I think we’ve griped about the silly season enough around here, but hot damn the silly season is on fire right now. Though it’s nowhere near this simple, it feels like I could write ‘the studs might sit and the scrubs might hit’ on every write-up.
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I don’t know about you guys but the illness that sidelined Ersan Ilyasova last night has been a gut-punch for me. The Bucks are locked into the No. 8 seed and have no incentive to rush anybody back, so your guess is as good as mine with regard to Ilyasova’s future. You can throw Larry Sanders into the same bucket after he left last night’s game after a hard fall onto his back, which of course cost him games just a few weeks back. And while we’re at it let’s add Brandon Jennings to the list as he left after just six minutes of action due to a sore Achilles’ tendon. That leagues are actually getting decided based on this garbage is beyond me.
Mike Dunleavy scored 17 points with six rebounds, six assists, a block and three treys in 37 minutes, and he’s well worth a look with guys dropping like flies in Milwaukee. John Henson went ballistic for 17 points, 25 rebounds, three assists, and seven blocks in 41 minutes against the lowly Magic. Is Henson worth a flier? Sure. But he needs at least one of Ilyasova and Sanders to miss time in order to mitigate a sizable helping of risk. J.J. Redick is looking like a must-add player after playing 42 minutes on his way to 16 points, though he didn’t add much else and his value could be sapped by a return of Jennings or the guys in the frontcourt. Consider Marquis Daniels (14 points, seven boards, three steals, two threes) a step or two down in value from Redick, but he’s also on the radar.
A common component on winning fantasy teams will be Nikola Vucevic (30 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, one steal, two blocks) and Tobias Harris (30 points, 19 rebounds, five assists, three treys). There really isn’t much to say beyond that. Maurice Harkless (knee) played 51 minutes in the overtime win, scoring 14 points with four rebounds, a steal and a block, which makes him a regular Andre from The League compared to Taco and Ruxin.
Jameer Nelson (ankle) did not play last night and with no timetable for return his regular season is easily in doubt. Beno Udrih rolled along with 13 points, four rebounds, 11 assists and two steals, but a 6-of-22 shooting line and five turnovers were a downer. Doron Lamb saw 35 minutes against his old team, scoring 16 points with four treys in 35 minutes. He’s a guy to watch and not add in normal sized leagues, but in a much deeper league I don’t have any problems with a speculative add at this time of year.
CROSS YOUR FINGERS
Kyle Korver returned from sitting out Saturday’s game and hit a 3-pointer to keep his consecutive games streak alive (71), but played just 18 minutes and scored only six points. It looks like he’s sputtering to the finish and while some big games can’t be ruled out, owners can move onto the plethora of fantasy options that are available right now. Al Horford played through his hamstring injury to the tune of 16 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes, and Josh Smith played through his sore knee with 28 points, 12 rebounds, a steal, a block and a three. Both guys should be monitored at this time of season, but for now they’re on the right track.
Devin Harris (foot) returned to action and scored eight points with eight assists in 18 minutes, and he’d be nothing but a desperation play if the Hawks rest guys. John Jenkins (21 points, six assists, three treys) fits the profile of a guy that the Hawks could lean on down the stretch, but owners will be playing with fire while the main cogs are on the court. Mike Scott is in the same boat and had a solid 17-point, eight-rebound night in the team’s win over Philly.
THREE CARD MONTE
The Sixers went small against the Hawks last night and that doomed Spencer Hawes to just five points and six rebounds in less than 25 minutes on the floor. Thaddeus Young bounced back from a bad outing to post 28 points and eight boards, and Nick Young scored 19 points with three treys in 26 minutes off the bench. Dorell Wright scored 15 points with a pair of steals and threes, but Damien Wilkins continued his freefall with six points on free throws, four assists, two steals and an 0-for-7 mark from the field. It’s a situation to avoid without a doubt, but if you’re riding the hot hand you’d go with them in the order I listed.
GO AHEAD AND HAVE A SEAT
LeBron James (hamstring), Udonis Haslem (ankle), Dwyane Wade (ankle) and Chris Bosh (illness) all did not play last night, and they’re going to be day-to-day for the rest of the season (as is almost anybody on the team). Mario Chalmers scored 13 points with four rebounds, eight assists, a steal and three treys, and he’s worth a look while the Heat sit guys out. Mike Miller was a hot pickup and finally delivered with 14 points, eight boards and four treys. All owners can do is plug him in and hope for the best, as the minutes and opportunities pencil out in his direction. Rashard Lewis (17 points, five rebounds, three treys) is also worth a look. Ray Allen made an appearance with 23 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and even dunked the ball, but owners should keep him on their DNP watch list.
PLEASE SIR I WANT SOME MORE
Trevor Ariza is feeling pain his knee and didn’t play last night, with a shutdown a distinct possibility. Martell Webster joined him on the injured list halfway through the game due to his abdominal injury, as the NBA silly season isn’t missing a beat. John Wall just missed a triple-double with 17 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists as the good times roll along for owners. A.J. Price came out of nowhere with 23 points and five treys, and he could be the guy to fill in for Ariza and Webster if they miss time.
ANDRE THE GIANT
Rodney Stuckey saw a full boat of minutes and responded with 18 points and seven assists, but Andre Drummond was the star of the show with a career-high 29 points on 10-of-11 shooting and 11 rebounds. Drummond didn’t block a shot and probably wasn’t in too many lineups for the two-game week, but this goes a long way toward assuaging Roto owners’ fears about using him in the final two-game slate. Will Bynum stepped into the void of time created by Jose Calderon’s injury, scoring 16 points with three assists and a pair of triples. He’s worth a look given Calderon’s status and the fact that Brandon Knight (seven points, 2-of-11 FGs) is pretty beat up.
There were no problems for Kyrie Irving (27 points, nine assists, 12-of-13 FTs) playing in the second night of a back-to-back set, so perhaps owners will get his full use down the stretch. Dion Waiters (knee) returned to action and played 15 minutes, scoring 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting with not much else. He’s worth a look in standards but is a much better look in deeper formats, since he could stay on a minute limit and his production isn’t guaranteed to be stellar with Irving on the floor next to him.
Gerald Wallace’s season has been a total bust and he may have been put out of his misery with a heel injury that knocked him out of last night’s game. He shouldn’t be anywhere near fantasy rosters with his season probably in doubt. Deron Williams scored 29 points with four rebounds and 12 assists as the late season resurgence continues. Congratulations if you saw that coming, as you’re in the minority on that call. Reggie Evans scored just one point but had his normal assortment of 14 boards and a steal, but after some massive outings owners should be able to cut him some slack. Joe Johnson scored 20 points and just having him on the floor is a win for owners at this point.
Jeff Green couldn’t find the range as he hit just 4-of-17 shots for 11 points with four rebounds and two treys. He could be getting used to having Kevin Garnett (11 points, eight rebounds, four assists) and Paul Pierce (23 points) back, but it would be fairly surprising if he didn’t get back on track.
Goran Dragic was let loose again last night and put up 21 points, four rebounds, 13 assists, two steals and a block, and some version of that has been available to the Suns all season long if they wanted it. P.J. Tucker scored 17 points with 10 rebounds, two steals, and three treys, but betting on a repeat is not advisable given his history. Markieff Morris stayed on the right track with 12 points, seven rebounds, a block and two threes, while Wes Johnson got back on the right side of the ledger with 17 points and three 3-pointers.
Jared Dudley scored 18 points but one look at his game log should deter owners, and Michael Beasley will not rejoin the team until Saturday and is questionable for that night’s game against the Wolves. Luis Scola backed up a solid Tuesday with 11 points and 15 rebounds. He’s a risky play any way you slice it, but the recent returns at least give owners a premise to justify starting him with. Jermaine O’Neal atoned for his faux pas on Tuesday with four points, six rebounds and seven blocks, and he’ll continue to be worth a look for owners seeking big man stats.
O.J. Mayo couldn’t shake off the struggles and hit just 2-of-10 shots for six points, five rebounds and six assists. I thought he wouldn’t take a huge hit when Dirk Nowitzki returned but that obviously hasn’t been the case. Dirk played through his foot injury and posted 21 points with eight boards, but tonight’s loss knocked the Mavs out of the playoffs and he should be on the DNP watch list. Chris Kaman followed up his big 26-point, 11-rebound outing with a two-point, eight-rebound dud, which isn’t all that surprising. Shawn Marion went big with 22 points, nine boards, three steals and a block, and Vince Carter scored 18 points with six rebounds, a steal and a block to go with three treys. Both guys are also on the DNP watch list. Elton Brand (calf) was in uniform but did not play last night.