Last night was very quiet with just three games, but fantasy owners know that is just the quiet before the storm. Big Wednesday will probably determine the shape of many championships. Let’s get right to the action and get you ready for a big night.
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TYSON CHANDLER PUNCH OUT
Tyson Chandler (neck) did not play last night and is doubtful for tonight, and his status for Friday is in doubt, too. A decision to drop him is based solely on risk tolerance, since he’s a must-start play when healthy. Raymond Felton has been awful lately, and posted another stinker with six points, three rebounds, and three assists in 32 minutes. You can’t dump him, but weigh your options carefully as you deploy.
Kenyon Martin played 25 minutes and posted nine points, five rebounds and a block, which is the type of night you should be expecting for the low-end big man. Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points with eight rebounds and three steals but hit just 10-of-30 shots. J.R. Smith did not follow that tact with 13-of-24 makes for 32 points, seven rebounds, and three steals in the Knicks’ easy win over the Celtics.
Danny Ainge said that Kevin Garnett does not have a sprained ankle, but the up to two-week absence is still on the table and it sounds like simple rest to me. Courtney Lee did not play due to his ankle injury, which is interesting if anything because his teammates wanted him back on the floor the other night. But he has also been called doubtful for Wednesday, which opens the door a bit for Jordan Crawford, who started in his place.
Crawford scored 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting with four rebounds, six assists, a steal and two threes, which is what you expect when he gets 41 minutes, but he’s still a bit of a gamble as his production is tied to Lee’s health. Brandon Bass had 11 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks, and is back on the radar if you need a forward. Jeff Green scored 19 points with 10 rebounds, six assists, a steal, a block and a three. He profiles as a difference maker for any games in which KG or Paul Pierce sit.
The Wolves ran away from the Pistons last night so the minutes were wonky on both sides. Nikola Pekovic bounced back with 18 points, 11 rebounds and a block, while Andrei Kirilenko struggled to the tune of nine points, one rebound, two assists, a steal and a three in 24 minutes. AK is not a must-start player but he has a four-game week to hopefully iron things out for those that took the plunge. Derrick Williams, who I’m not a huge fan of, played just 17 minutes for six points and five boards. J.J. Barea got hot with 21 points in 21 minutes, but a lopsided game against the Pistons shouldn’t move the needle too much with any of these guys.
You can throw away the Pistons box, too. Nobody survived, with Jose Calderon’s 14 points and one assist and Greg Monroe’s 11 and 12 with four steals leading the way. Rodney Stuckey scored seven points and Brandon Knight scored seven points with three assists. Yuck.
Chris Paul was iffy going in last night due to a knee injury, which is something for owners to watch like a hawk, but he played and that bodes well for his overall status. He finished with 33 points on 12-of-15 shooting, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and three treys to back that up. DeAndre Jordan gave something to owners with eight points and 11 rebounds and nothing else. Matt Barnes was serviceable with 10 points, three rebounds, two threes, a steal and two blocks, but the 4-of-13 mark from the field is a buzz-kill. Again, like many of the outcomes here there isn’t a lot to see.
I’M MIKE JAMES
O.J. Mayo has been a bit of a buzz-kill himself but it has been hard to trace his ineffectiveness to anything but his own invisible play. He injured his left shoulder late in a collision with Jamal Crawford and finished with 11 points on 5-of-15 shooting, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals, which gets the job done but doesn’t assuage any fears that he's damaged goods.
Mike James continued his march out of nowhere and scored 10 points with four rebounds, six assists, and two threes on 4-of-8 shooting last night, and he’s well worth a look even if Darren Collison will prevent a breakout. Owners simply have to assess if they believe James can keep up with the numbers under that scenario. Brandan Wright hit again with 11 points, seven rebounds, one steal and two blocks last night, and while I don’t trust the center situation in Dallas at all he’s worth a look if you’re desperate for a big man. Wright has been surprising with low-end numbers, even if the Dallas shuffle at big man is totally unpredictable.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
ORL @ CHA: Nikola Vucevic (concussion) did not travel for tonight’s game and there is no reason for the Magic to rush him back. Kyle O’Quinn is a solid low-end pickup for those needing a big man. Andrew Nicholson (ankle) profiles as a guy that should see some minutes, but until he’s healthy all bets are off. Josh McRoberts’ shoulder injury hasn’t generated any news, but any slippage there should be a sign to owners that they can grab a hot free agent. I think McBob can put up low-end numbers if healthy, but it’s a critical stage for owners and it’s not like he has a season-long history of production.
ATL @ TOR: Devin Harris (foot) is a very low-end desperation play and he is questionable right now. Kyle Lowry is apparently struggling with a knee injury but there have been no reports to suggest he won’t go tonight. Dwane Casey backed off ‘shutdown’ talk for Rudy Gay, who is day-to-day. Back off a bit on projections for Alan Anderson and Terrence Ross. Amir Johnson’s ankles were called “wobbly” by beat writers, and that bodes well for Jonas Valanciunas.
MIL @ PHI: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (toe) is trying to return tonight, and that would remove about 24 mpg from the equation when he’s at full strength. Mike Dunleavy (illness) and Larry Sanders (rest) are expected to play tonight. The Sixers are just looking to gain a rhythm. Good luck with that.
BOS @ CLE: Dion Waiters (knee) will return this season if he’s cleared, but beat writers say he’s closer to the operating room than the court. That’s enough for me. Kyrie Irving (shoulder) hasn’t been shut down for the year yet. Like others, owners should gauge their risk tolerance in making a decision there.
MEM @ NYK: We’ll be watching to see how the Grizzlies handle life without Marc Gasol (abdomen). Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis and Darrell Arthur will be under the microscope tonight.
LAC @ NO: Eric Gordon is dealing with an ankle injury. Tell me more. Meanwhile, Greivis Vasquez’s ankle injury sounds a lot better and he sounds like he has a shot to go tonight. If you added Brian Roberts after his 18-assist outing I’d see how things play out. Gordon is a prime shutdown candidate and both Roberts and Vasquez are built to pass in the Hornets’ offense.
IND @ HOU: There is a chance Danny Granger (knee) returns tonight, and I wouldn’t think you’re crazy for a speculative add. The Pacers are banged up and Granger has some upside, even if it’s laced with downside in the form of injury risk, rust, and chance of low-utilization. The banged up crew of David West, George Hill, and Lance Stephenson could all return tonight, but West seems unlikely and Hill sounds very iffy himself.
LAL @ MIN: Metta World Peace is out indefinitely with his knee injury and is droppable without a doubt. Antawn Jamison’s wrist injury makes him a question mark, but he, Jodie Meeks and Earl Clark are all worth a look as the remaining healthy bodies. There was also a report about Pau Gasol coming off the bench, but it doesn’t really matter how he is deployed as his value will be the same.
MIA @ CHI: Dwyane Wade (knee) had a precautionary MRI and it revealed no serious damage and he looks like he’s playing tonight. Joakim Noah (foot) did a “little more” in Tuesday’s practice and is a game-time decision. Marco Belinelli (abdomen) was a game-time decision early yesterday and that means he has a shot tonight. Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler are the beneficiaries, respectively. Derrick Rose? Ha. Your guess is as good as mine, but everybody is sick of the wait.
WAS @ OKC: The Wizards are suddenly hobbled and the attention of fantasy owners. Nene, Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster are all questionable.
DEN @ SA: Ty Lawson “didn’t look good” during limited practice on Tuesday and he looks doubtful for tonight. Andre Miller is a must-start player if that is the case. The Spurs are at full strength, more or less.
PHO @ UTA: Jermaine O’Neal (calf, flu) practiced yesterday and that means he has a good shot of playing tonight. If he can stay healthy, he can make some noise. I think you all understand what type of risk that is. The Suns are about as easy of a matchup as one can get, so we’ll see if the Jazz can get back on the right side of the ledger tonight.
BKY @ POR: Joe Johnson (quad) did not practice and he’s a game-time call tonight. C.J. Watson is a desperation play best suited for deeper formats if Johnson can’t go. You can move that up to standard league value if Gerald Wallace (rest) somehow doesn’t play tonight. LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t practice because of the flu, and that sounds light but he’ll be questionable until a report says otherwise.
SAC @ GSW: Tyreke Evans is iffy for tonight due to the flu. Sacramento continues to be the favorite to keep their Kings, which is only a surprise to the rest of the nation not reading Rotoworld and PBT. The Warriors need a win tonight to keep their playoff hopes on a solid track.