Ryan Knaus

Saturday Dose

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After Afflalo

Saturday, March 23, 2013


 

Walking Dead

 

In this section I'll compile the players who are 'out indefinitely' or possibly done for the season, while skipping players who are certainly done for the season, like Lou Williams (knee surgery). Hawks center Zaza Pachulia continues to battle an Achilles injury and the team recently called it a "serious concern" that has him shelved indefinitely. He won't travel with the Hawks for their next four games and his minutes will probably be monitored closely upon his return, so fantasy owners should breeze past him on the waiver wire.

 

Roddy Beaubois (hand surgery) hasn't officially been ruled out for the season by the Mavs, but Rick Carlisle said on Friday that Roddy is "probably" not coming back. Either way he's a lost cause in fantasy leagues. He'll be a free agent this summer and a backup job with the right team could revive his career...on the off chance that he stays healthy enough to play.

 

Brandon Roy (knee) also hasn't officially been ruled out this year, but I'd be shocked to see him on the court again. Even if he does play, it will be a moral-victory bench role in the final lost weeks of the season. Interestingly, ShamSports.com notes that Roy's contract would have paid him a guaranteed $5.3 million next season had he not re-injured his knee. Even then, he would have gotten paid had he been 'active' for 65 games or played at least 1,400 minutes this season -- he's been active for five games and a total of 122 minutes.

 

Austin Rivers (hand) could also return for a few meaningless end-of-season games. He was already shooting horribly as a rookie (37.2 percent FGs) and he would be out of shape while also rebuilding strength in his hand/wrist, so he's to be avoided.

 

Kurt Thomas is '50-50' to return from his foot injury in time for the playoffs, while Rasheed Wallace (foot) and Amare Stoudemire (knee) are also targeting possible returns during the postseason. Their fantasy seasons are over. Tyson Chandler (neck), meanwhile, is doubtful to play on Saturday but he could return either Tuesday vs. Boston or Wednesday vs. Memphis. His fantasy outlook is improved by the fact that New York plays four times each of the next three weeks.

 

Al Harrington (DNP-CD) probably won't play again this season, as Jacque Vaughn has shifted his focus to player development/evaluation. I assume that the Magic will buy out the final two years of his contract this summer, but with 50 percent of his salary guaranteed it will cost them a cool $7.4 million.

 

Danny Granger (knee) practiced a bit on Thursday and could return in the near future, but I'm listing him here because he's no longer a viable fantasy option. If his knee problems aren't frightening enough, you can always reflect on his horrendous numbers in limited action this season.

 

Rip Hamilton (back) is in a similar situation, though he's not even making progress in his rehab. A late-season return is very possible, but it won't give him fantasy relevance.

 

Derrick Rose (knee) remains out indefinitely and questionable to play this season. His status is a column unto itself. Whether you can afford to keep stashing him depends entirely upon your league's format, but in most cases I'd prefer a reliable healthy player, or at least a position to stream.

 

O.J. Mayo has led the Mavericks in scoring twice in their past 20 games. He's averaging a season-low 13.1 points in March. The initial assumption is that he's in a slump, yet he's burning the nets on 49.2 percent FGs, including 52.8 percent from downtown (1.8 threes per game). The problem is that Dirk Nowitzki's return as the offensive centerpiece has relegated Mayo to a sidekick role, reducing his shot attempts to 10.5 per game (compared to 13.2 per game in February, and 14.8 per game with Dirk out in November). He attempted just eight shots vs. Boston on Friday, making four of them to finish with 10 points, two 3s, four rebounds, nine assists and two steals. The Mavs' win, combined with the Lakers' defeat, moves 10th-place Dallas to within 2.5 games of the West's final playoff spot.

 

At this point in the season almost every player is nursing a few injuries, but some guys continue to play through ailments ranging from 'annoyance' to 'debilitating'. Joe Johnson, for instance, said this weekend that his sore/stiff heel feels "pretty good," and there are no indications that he'll miss any more games. Though good for the Nets and their playoff positioning, many fantasy owners probably wish Johnson would shut it down for a while, allowing them to cut him without compunction -- he's been a drag on many teams for the past month, averaging 13.1 points on 44 percent FGs and 62 percent FTs, with 1.9 threes, 3.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.1 blocks per game.

 

And finally, the Heat won their 25th consecutive game on Friday, this time victimizing the Pistons behind LeBron's now-routine 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting, with eight rebounds, eight assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer. Chris Bosh had five points and six rebounds, shooting 1-of-7 from the field and 3-of-6 from the line, but it didn't matter. Miami recently survived a 42-point night from Jeff Green, they followed that up by overcoming a 27-point deficit on the road in Cleveland, and it's hard not to be fascinated by the streak and the MVP who is its primary cause.

 

Follow me on Twitter @Knaus_RW



Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.
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