There were six games on Monday night and plenty of injury news around the league. Dose breaks it all down.
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Injury & Rotation Roundup
Kobe Bryant (Achilles) could make his season debut on Friday, or closer to Christmas. He looked great on Sunday, took Monday off and will participate in Tuesday’s practice. And if that one goes well, I just can’t see him sitting much longer. I’m still guessing he’ll make an appearance on Friday, although I expect the Lakers to stay mum about his status right up until game time. But regardless of what I think, it’s anyone’s guess as to when we’ll see Kobe play.
Danny Ainge said something about Jeff Green not always being a “focal point of the offense” for the Celtics and I’m suddenly getting questions about dropping him for a guy like James Anderson. Look, Green’s slow start is a concern, but I clearly remember how dominant he was late last season and fully expect him to get back there at some point. Unless it’s a really good free agent, I’m hanging onto Green for now. Rajon Rondo did some 5-on-5 scrimmaging Monday and appears to be getting closer to a return from knee surgery. Ridiculous trade rumors aside, I’m guessing Rondo might be ready to play before Christmas.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has started the last couple games for the Pistons, but has scored a total of 14 points in them. Rodney Stuckey came off the bench to score 16 in each of them, and is still the guy to own for now. But as long as KCP is starting, he’s going to have a big game sooner or later. I just trust Stuckey more until further notice.
Coach Larry Drew said on Monday that he still has no timetable on a return date for Ersan Ilyasova. Of course he doesn’t. He’s got to be getting closer but I would suggest we start a Dorito Ankles Support Group for the owners of Ilyasova, Al Jefferson and Tobias Harris. I’ve never quite seen a more similar trio of day-to-day guys turn into an “out the first month of the season” group of guys. Speaking of Harris, he tested his ankle on Monday, while the Bobcats seem to think Al Jefferson could play on Wednesday. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Metta World Peace will be out on Tuesday with a combination of a sore left knee and the recent death of his sister. Simply put, his status for the week is in doubt, especially with the news that he had fluid drained from the knee on Monday. It does sound like he could be available on Saturday. Kenyon Martin could move into the starting lineup, but unless it’s suddenly 2006 again, I’m not interested in owning him and his old legs. Raymond Felton missed practice on Monday with his sore hamstring and pinched nerve in his hip, but the thought is he’ll play tonight.
Glen Davis could practice this week for the Magic after missing a year due to a foot and shoulder injury. It’s hard to say he’s going to step in and play a big role for the Magic right away, but it’s possible once his conditioning is right. Just keep a close eye on him.
Caron Butler practiced Monday and could return from his shoulder injury for the Bucks on Wednesday. If he was dropped in your league, he’s getting enough minutes and scoring opportunities to be picked up in most leagues. Brandon Knight was limited with his shoulder injury and could have a tough time getting his starting job back any time soon.
Lance Stephenson skipped Pacers practice on Monday with a foot injury but hopes to practice on Tuesday. If he’s in your lineup with three games this week, I’m pulling for him to practice today. Danny Granger was out with his lingering calf injury, which is good news for Stephenson.
Dion Waiters returned to the Cavaliers and says he didn’t have an altercation at a recent players-only meeting. He might have lost his starting job, and C.J. Miles should officially be on your watch list, along with Jarrett Jack, who has been struggling.
Rookie Trey Burke (broken finger) will practice with the Jazz on Tuesday and if he’s still available in your league and you need a point guard, grab him.
On a side note, I’ve got Rocky IV on as background noise (it’s 3:30 a.m.) right now and the James Brown lip synching in the ‘Living In America’ bit is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen in a big-budget movie. It had to be said.
Game News & Notes
Trail Blazers top Nets
Mo Williams had another solid line on Monday with 12 points, five boards, six assists, three steals and two blocks, and is worth a look if you need a guard. He’s been putting up similar lines for a couple weeks now. LaMarcus Aldridge came through again with 27 points, eight boards and two blocks, while Wesley Matthews scored 24, and Damian Lillard added 19 points and nine assists. Nicolas Batum was eerily quiet with seven points and six boards, hitting just 2-of-5 shots. He hasn’t looked great thus far, and now is a good buy-low opportunity.
And speaking of ankle injuries, the Nets have no timetable on Brook Lopez and Deron Williams, so if you started Andray Blatche and Shaun Livingston this week, so far, so good. Blatche had 10 points, five boards, two steals and two blocks off the bench on Monday, while Livingston went off for 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting in a loss to the Blazers. Paul Pierce played through a groin injury and had 11 points on 2-of-12 shooting, while Kevin Garnett played on his old knees and had 16 points, eight boards and two blocks.