Thursday, January 26, 2012 Basketball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Big Wednesday - 01/26/2012
BY Aaron Bruski

  • Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen ruled out on Thursday   
  • Andrea Bargnani to get MRI on calf Thursday   
  • Lawson (ankle) could be out 'couple of days'   
  • Chris Paul hands out 12 dimes in return   
  • Austin Daye blows up for career-high 28   
  • Tyrus Thomas blocks nine shots for Bobcats   
  • Update: Dwyane Wade (ankle) ruled out vs. DET   
  • Simply put, Wednesday night was madness.  There is a whole lot to get into so I’m not going to waste any time with the foreplay. 








    Chris Paul (hamstring) finally returned to action after a five-game absence, scoring just four points on 2-of-8 shooting with four rebounds, 12 assists, and a steal in 27 minutes.  He emerged unscathed as far as we can tell, and that leaves Mo Williams (16 points) and his owners hoping for some late-round value going forward.  Don’t drop Williams until he forces you to, as he has been on fire lately. 


    Andrea Bargnani broke owners’ hearts after leaving last night’s game due to the same calf injury that cost him six games, and of course he was having a great night before the injury with 25 points, three treys, five rebounds, and four assists.  He was “walking gingerly” and couldn’t put much weight on his calf, and he’ll be out indefinitely and my guess is we’re looking at weeks and not days.  Look for Amir Johnson (six points, one board, three blocks, 24 minutes) to be pressed into action, and if Johnson is still in Dwane Casey’s doghouse Ed Davis and Aaron Gray would be the next guys up! from a fantasy perspective.  Johnson should be owned in all 12-team, 8- and 9-cat leagues, while the other two should simply be watched.  This also helps the cause of James Johnson, who posted a typical two points on 1-of-4 shooting with five boards, one assist, one steal, and six blocks over 39 minutes in the Raptors’ double-overtime win over the Jazz.


    Al Jefferson hurt his ankle in shootaround and upon leaving told the media he simply needed to use the restroom, but really he meant to take a dump on owners who were made to think that Big Al was going to play.  Once late-breaking news hit that he would be out, Derrick Favors was given the start and promptly put up 16 points, 12 boards, and a block.  It’s pretty easy to point out that when one of Big Al, Favors, or Paul Millsap is out that the others are going to do well.  Jefferson was in a walking boot, which doesn’t mean much of anything these days, and he’s questionable for Friday’s game.  Beyond that, your guess is as good as ours about how serious it is, though we get the ! sense we’re measuring days and not weeks.  Don’t go adding Favors unless we get news that it’s the latter. 


    Ty Lawson left last night’s game with a sprained ankle and said afterward that he’ll probably miss a few days.  Lawson is always a bit overoptimistic with his injuries and needs to be held back by the coaching staff at times.  Andre Miller (15 points, four rebounds, 10 assists) was playing well enough to be owned before the injury and with this news he should be owned in all formats.  Likewise, Arron Afflalo was playing well enough to be owned in many 12-team, 8- and 9-cat leagues, so it stands to reason that this news can only help him while he recovers from his groin injury.  Corey Brewer (15 points, blowout) is! the deep-league spot-service special if Lawson misses a few games, and you can add Rudy Fernandez (Achilles) to that list if he can get back on the court. 


    Dwyane Wade (ankle) was moving well before Wednesday’s game but did not go, so we’ll do it all over again on Friday against the Knicks. 


    Andrew Bogut left Wednesday’s game with a seemingly severe ankle sprain, and will “likely miss a couple of games” according to beat writer Gery Woelfel.  That means it’s Drew Gooden time, even though his 11 points, two rebounds, and a rare 3-point bucket didn’t scream ‘take me.’  Gooden has averaged about 15 and nine in five starts this season in place of Bogut.  That’s good enough to add over the short-term unless your fantasy squad is set down low. 


    Luol Deng (wrist) said that he will play on Sunday against the Heat, which is a big game to circle if you’re Deng.  Sadly, he’s not favored to produce like he did before the injury if he’s playing hurt, with Richard Hamilton ready to steal touches at his side. 


    Spencer Hawes (Achilles) did not play and there is no timetable for Nikola Vucevic (knee/quad) to return.  It sounds like Hawes is going to beat him back, as Doug Collins said he was getting “closer to a return.”  That report was updated to say he would probably be back no later than early next week.  If you weathered the storm it’s definitely time to hold Hawes with Vucevic looking like he could be out for a bit and nobody else to push him.  Just be ready to move him if he starts putting up numbers again and news on Vucevic isn’t too bad.  There’s just too much injury risk and threat to his playing time as Vucevic develops. 


    MarShon Brooks (Achilles) did not play on Wednesday but hopes to be back Friday.  Anthony Morrow scored 16 points with two threes and Jordan Farmar had 12 points with two threes of his own.  While Morrow will almost certainly go back to the bench when Brooks returns, I like him to hold late round value once the peaks and valleys are ironed out. 


    Baron Davis (back) did not play last night after some talk that he would, and one has to wonder what we’re really looking at here.  It seems like he’s not so sure he can perform and is buying time.  That said, he’s still worth holding and/or adding if you are in need of a point guard. 


    Marcus Thornton (thigh) has a “significant hematoma,” which is where blood pools near blood vessels instead of under the skin where bruising shows.  In English, that’s not good, and he’s expected to miss 1-2 weeks. 


    Gerald Henderson (back) was a last second scratch on Wednesday after taking a fall in Tuesday’s game.  There’s no indication that the injury is serious.  Matt Carroll played well with a season-high 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting in 35 minutes, but he needs much more of that to matter in fantasy leagues or in Charlotte. 


    Luke Ridnour did not play on Wednesday due to a sore left knee.  This came out of nowhere so the severity of the injury is unknown.  Wayne Ellington started in his place and scored 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting with a three, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and two blocks in nearly 40 minutes of action.  He has been inconsistent, but he has also shown flashes of utility and my best guess is that Rick Adelman’s offense is the rising tide that lifts all boats in Minny.  There’s not enough for an add, but if playing time every opens for Ellington don’t hold his career-to-date against him too heavily. 


    Chris Kaman was inactive without having any injury.  He’s either falling out of the rotation or (if you’re into conspiracy theories) involved in a trade, but hoping for the latter means you’re wearing a tin hat (hey, I do). 


    Thaddeus Young played through a lower back contusion he suffered last night, finishing with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting and five boards.  If anything happens there it’ll boost the usual suspects – Evan Turner, Lou Williams, and Jodie Meeks (in that order)


    Rodney Stuckey (groin) was pulled off the Rotoworld injury report after scoring 15 points with four boards, six assists, and a steal.  He may be back on it eventually, but owners can slowly take their finger off the panic button. 


    Gerald Wallace played through his finger injury but it may be causing him to shy away from the action, as he had just six points and six rebounds in 32 minutes.  As long as he’s healthy, he needs to be in your lineup, though, as this is his absolute ‘floor’ when he plays. 


    Nick Collison (ankle) did play 17 minutes last night, but Serge Ibaka looked good with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting with seven rebounds and two blocks.  And wouldn’t you know it – the beat writer in Oklahoma City and Scott Brooks were synchronized in saying how much Ibaka has changed.  The writer then discussed some short-comings in man-defense for Ibaka, and frankly I don’t have the time to go to the tape each time one of them tries to justify why he’s not on the court.  Four times now I’ve gone to the tape and seen nothing but good defense after the comments from the peanut gallery say otherwise, and four times it has been nothing but bunk.  I’ll go and check it out aga! in just to do my job, but the general public will eat that type of stuff up and think that magically Ibaka changed his ways.  Whatever.  It’s good for owners, though, because the storyline indicates that Brooks is moving more toward playing Ibaka.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he was making better eye-contact during rah-rah speeches in the locker room. 




    Kris Humphries had 13 points and a season-high 19 rebounds and his value should be stable as things stand.


    Chris Bosh scored 27 points on 12-of-15 shooting with six rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a three with Dwyane Wade (ankle) out on Wednesday.  I’ve said many times this year that I think Bosh is going to perform above preseason expectations all year, but owners have to think about putting out the feelers after his recent hot stretch.  Most players know that his numbers will take a hit when Wade returns, but believe it or not there are people out there that don’t pay much attention.  LeBron James scored 32 points with another full line including a 13-of-14 mark from the foul line and a three, and you won’t find me moving him on behalf of Wade’s return. 


    Austin Daye jolted the fantasy populace with a career-high 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting with four treys, six boards, and a steal in 30 minutes last night, but the stark reality is that Ben Gordon (shoulder) and Tayshaun Prince (personal) will be back as wet blankets soon.  Daye certainly earned minutes with his performance, but I think owners in 12-team leagues have to simply sit back and watch.  If you have a dead weight roster spot and nothing promising on your waiver wire feel free to make the add, but this is not a run-to-the-wire moment. 


    Ersan Ilyasova has improved since heading back to the bench, and last night he posted a ridiculous career-high of 19 rebounds while also chipping in with seven points and a block in just 28 minutes.  He is averaging nine points and nine boards to go with 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 0.6 threes in 22 minutes per game as a sub, which is good for sneaky late round value in 8- and 9-cat, 12-team leagues.  Ilyasova is going to be touch-and-go coming off the bench, but he can’t play any less than he is right now and will be needed more with Andrew Bogut (ankle) out for at least a couple of games.  I don’t see how owners in need of a power forward can’t add him now that these numbers have held, and there’s also room for growth (that’s what she said). 


    Samuel Dalembert is going to stop getting blurbs on nights he grabs 18 rebounds with 13 points and two blocks at the rate he is going, and since I own him virtually everywhere I’m feeling downright giddy.  Kyle Lowry almost triple-doubled on a 2-of-16 shooting night with eight points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists, and Kevin Martin added 29 points.  Good times.  But the story of the night was the Chandler Parsons Project, who scored 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks.  He’s another guy I’ve been adamant about holding onto while he has provided! solid value despite low amounts of counting stats.  If he is available run and pick him up. 


    Ricky Rubio scored 17 points with seven rebounds, 12 assists, and four steals, and has officially rendered any European stats useless until the end of time. 


    Paul Millsap scored a season-high 31 points with 11 rebounds, a steal, a block, and a three with Al Jefferson (ankle) out, and Millsap is providing top-15 value in 8-cat leagues on a per-game basis courtesy of and top-7 value in 9-cat formats.  Those numbers jump up to top-8 and top-5, respectively, over the past two weeks.  I don’t know about you, but with the trade deadline a potential pitfall and the late-season development of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter on the horizon – I’m all about selling while the going is good.  Favors has been notably muzzled so far this year, and some of hi! s surrounding players have been so bad that Millsap has been relied upon heavily.  That smorgasbord of negative happenings is bound to hit on at least one level. 


    Stephen Curry (ankle) is officially back, scoring a season-high 32 points with six rebounds, seven assists, and four steals in a much-needed Warriors win last night.  There is going to be a point in time in which folks start to feel comfortable with Curry’s ankle, and if his trade value is ever high enough to return a first round pick or a second-round pick with an up-arrow – it’s my position that you have to take the deal simply to eliminate the risk.  If his ankle didn’t get better with a summer’s worth of rest, no amount of time this year is going to make it any better than it was to start the year. 




    Tyrus Thomas exploded for 13 points, nine boards, four steals, and a career-high NINE blocked shots in 33 minutes, and has now entered Stage 1 of Dr. A’s Six Stages of Owning Tyrus Thomas.  If anything has changed about Thomas since then let me know, but he’s a must-own player after this outing, even if it came against the Wizards. 


    Linas Kleiza was a forgotten man on draft day, but has proven healthy and effective lately.  He busted out last night with a season-high 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting (including four treys) with five rebounds and a steal in 33 minutes.  Yes, the Raptors had a productive box score as a group in a double-overtime game against the Jazz, but Andrea Bargnani’s calf injury makes Kleiza worth a look in 12-team formats.  I don’t see how Toronto can produce two valuable small forwards without trending toward a small lineup while Bargnani is out, and I’d still prefer to own James Johnson because he’s starting and has big-time upside.  The kicker here, though, is that Kleiza’s scori! ng could be needed while Bargs is out and that could make Kleiza the better player to own in the short-term.  It’s a tricky situation, but if you missed out on Johnson then give Kleiza a look. 


    Devin Harris finally busted out last night with a season-high 24 points with three rebounds, six assists, a steal, a block, and a three in the Jazz’s double-overtime loss.  I recently added him when he was dropped with very little expectation, with the hopes that some of his recent embarrassment would spark better play.  There are a lot of factors to suggest this is a mirage, including Jose Calderon’s matador defense and the added minutes of double-OT, but the Jazz really need him to improve his trade value at a minimum and Earl Watson just isn’t an NBA starter.  If he was dropped, consider the add with the same logic I used. 


    Jimmer Fredette’s season started with fans climbing over themselves to see him in Sacramento, and landed with a thud when the powers that be in Sacramento were semi-forced to give Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton (thigh), John Salmons, and DeMarcus Cousins the keys to the car.  Well those guys went and drove the car 130 MPH off the side of a cliff, and with Thornton out for 1-2 weeks with a severe bruise there is a nice window open for Jimmer to jump through.  Last night he hit five 3-point shots as the Kings were getting drop-kicked out ! of their own building last night, scoring 19 points with one rebound, three assists, and a steal in 36 minutes. 


    The situation for owners in a 12-14 team league is dicey, because Thornton could come back and obviously ruin his value, but with the Kings needing all of the public support they can get to get an arena deal – Jimmer could end up demanding minutes with some solid play.  Kings fans are already fed up with the selfish brand of basketball played by Tyreke Evans and Co., and with embarrassing losses piling up, the change to a willing passer in Fredette and even some more Isaiah Thomas (16 points, six assists, garbage time) makes basketball sense.  Jimmer’s next game is in Utah on Saturday and it sets up well for both owners taking a chance, and also for the Kings to internally decide that a change needs to be made if they can win on the road.  As I blurbed last night, he graduated la! st night from a long-shot flier stash in 12-team leagues, to a speculative add in hopes he can win a 25-30 minute role with a directive from Keith Smart to his guys to pass Jimmer the ball. 




    First off, I’d like to thank the reader Gary for pointing out my mistake yesterday.  I called B.J. Mullens a second round pick when he was the No. 24 overall pick in 2009, and maybe it was a Freudian slip with the way he has been playing lately.  Teams have figured out how to muscle him around and defend his perimeter approach, and coming off a two-point, zero-rebound outing in which he played through a bruised shooting hand – owners are right to be concerned.  I said yesterday that it doesn’t make sense to ditch him while he’s slumping, but there is a sense that this could be more than a slump.  Try to see where this heads if you can, but don’t pass up on a sure-fire or high-upside waiver wire pickup to do it. 




    Alvin Gentry is looking at making changes and he specifically mentioned the possibility of moving Markieff Morris out of the starting lineup.  If you’re holding onto Channing Frye you may want to wait and see what happens, and at the same time it’s time to slow whatever roll you had with Morris, too.




    DeMar DeRozan (44 minutes) bounced back from some slow outings in last night’s double-overtime win, scoring 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting (including a three), eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals, while Leandro Barbosa was plenty effective with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 25 minutes off the bench.  After Tuesday’s benching in the fourth quarter all is well again for DeRozan’s owners, and I hope somebody out there scored him on a buy low offer even though I was iffy about recommending it.  With Andrea Bargnani (calf) out indefinitely, Barbosa should be owned in 12-team formats as a clear top scoring option whenever Bargnani goes out.


    Jose Calderon (35 minutes) also bounced back and is holding off

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