With nine games on Monday night there is plenty of talk about. I kick things off with the injury report and then take a look at what you need to know, game by game. Follow me on Twitter by clicking this link and check out the NBA Season Pass, which includes weekly rankings, exclusive live chats, a daily hot pickups column, and much more. Click here. I will also be on the radio in Honolulu this morning at 11:30 ET with Bobby Curran, and you can listen here.
Walking Wounded Report
Bucks center Larry Sanders will miss six weeks or so after having surgery on his right thumb. Just the news already disgusted owners were waiting for, right? I know a lot of you are now even questioning whether or not you should even bother holding onto Sanders, and that is a personal decision each owner will have to make based on their level of patience, league size, center situation, and other factors. Personally, I don’t own him anywhere. And if I did, I’d have a tough time waiting for him to get back. What a disaster. Ersan Ilyasova’s ankle injury is still a big problem and it’s unknown if he’ll play on this week’s road trip. Hopefully you benched him in weekly leagues. With these two injuries, John Henson should now be owned in all leagues, while Zaza Pachulia also looks like a decent add, even though he missed Monday’s practice for undisclosed reasons. And if you were looking for another reason to own Caron Butler, these are two good ones.
Derrick Rose had 16 points and seven assists on 8-of-21 shooting Monday, but limped off the court near the end of the game with a hamstring injury. Yes, it could easily be related to overcompensating for his knee, then again, maybe not. In any case, we’ll know more later on Tuesday, so keep an eye out for updates. Tim Duncan got a semi-surprise DNP (rest) on Monday against the lowly Sixers, although we had the news up at Rotoworld well over an hour before game time, so hopefully owners were paying attention. Thank you Pop, for letting us know in advance. Tiago Splitter got Duncan’s minutes and had 11 points, six boards and a block, while Boris Diaw was a FanDuel disappointment with just eight points, five boards, three dimes and nothing else. Duncan should be back on Wednesday against the Wizards.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $15,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday night's games. It's just $10 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:30pm ET. Here's the link.
As I predicted in Monday’s Dose, Steve Nash has been shelved for at least two weeks with his bad back. Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Jodie Meeks will all benefit, and that’s the order I like them in, although Meeks might be better than Farmar. As for Nash, I didn’t see much reason to own him, even when he was trying to play. Al Jefferson finally returned for the Bobcats and had 10 points, seven boards and no blocks in 28 minutes. At least he played, and owners now have to hope the ankle issue is officially behind him.
For the Rockets, Chandler Parsons played through a sore back and had 18 points in a ton of minutes, while Dwight Howard played through the flu and went off for 18 points, 24 boards, a steal and five blocks, and hit 4-of-12 free throws. I’d love to write about Howard one day and not mention free throws, but I don’t see it happening. James Harden played through his sore feet and had 26 points, 10 assists and three 3-pointers on 7-of-19 shooting, and while I’m worried about his feet and body in general, he also has some ’warrior blood’ in him when it comes to playing through injuries. Omri Casspi played through a sore knee and had five points, six boards, four assists, a steal and a block, but hit just 1-of-4 shots and zero 3-pointers tonight. And Francisco Garcia sat this one out with the flu.
Toronto’s Kyle Lowry is dealing with a sprained ankle and bum finger, but played through it on Monday with 16 points, four 3-pointers, two assists and a steal in 48 minutes of a double-overtime loss. The fact he played so many minutes makes me think his ankle is fine, but his finger will continue to slow him down offensively on most nights. As will guys like Rudy Gay hitting 11-of-37 shots last night, and DeMar DeRozan going 6-of-25. Gay tweaked an ankle, but continued to keep firing away, so he should be fine. Good thing it wasn’t a shoulder injury, or he might have taken fewer shots. Gay finished with 29 points, 10 boards, four steals, a block and three 3-pointers, but the poor volume shooting has officially become a buzzkill.
Wilson Chandler (hamstring) was slated to play, then was scratched on Monday at the last minute. I got burned and have him in a weekly lineup, so I hope you did a better job of paying attention than I did. Will he play this week? My Magic 8 Ball says, “Reply hazy try again.” LeBron James says he’s a go for the Heat Tuesday despite a sore back. Enough said. Kemba Walker hit just 3-of-11 shots for the Bobcats last night and is now 22-of-66 from the floor since suffering a shoulder injury on Nov. 5. He’s playing through it, but his shot has clearly suffered since the injury.
Tyreke Evans has a sprained left ankle and even before that, he was really struggling to fit in with the Pelicans. Is he droppable? In some leagues, dependent upon whom you would pick up. Ryan Anderson’s foot injury is still very painful and he’s decided to slow it down. Now I’m guessing he won’t return this week, but his arrival isn’t going to do Evans any favors, either. If Evans misses time, watch for Anthony Morrow to do some nice things.
Andrei Kirilenko’s back is still a pretty big problem for the Nets and there’s no timetable on his return. He’s a tough player to hold if you don’t have an IR spot. Memphis’ Quincy Pondexter left Monday’s game with a broken nose and I expect he’ll be back sooner than later with a facemask. Alex Len’s left ankle is still tender and it’s unknown when he might play again for the Suns, which is just more good news for Miles Plumlee. Matt Barnes (thigh) was back in action for the Clippers on Monday and had nine points, eight rebounds, two assists, three steals and a block in 22 minutes. Deep leaguers will want to keep an eye on him.