NBA Basketball Column: The Daily Dose
Dose: Bogut in, Curry out
Bogut in, Curry Out for Golden State
Andrew Bogut (ankle) shockingly started for the Warriors on Monday, while Stephen Curry left the game late after aggravating his right ankle injury (again). Bogut lasted 24 minutes and finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, which was a nice coming out party for a guy who was supposedly out another month, according to reports on Saturday. The good news starts and ends there, as he’s already been ruled out for tonight’s game against Cleveland, which makes sense due to the fact he hadn’t played a game since Nov. 7. He won’t play in back-to-back games until the All-Star break, but if you picked him up, Monday’s line was about as much as an owner could hope for. Now let’s just hope he’s still playing when the All-Star break gets here.
I don’t have the patience, energy or time to look it up, but it would be interesting to know how many times the word “aggravate” has been used in Curry blurbs over the past three years. In any case, while this injury is said to be similar to the last one (which kept Curry out for just two games) you have to think he’s highly questionable for tonight’s game against Kyrie Irving and the Cavs. And if it is similar to the last injury and he misses two games, his four-game week is now a two-gamer, and he would return on Saturday against Phoenix. However, we still don’t know when he’ll be back and the reality is that he could play tonight, or miss the rest of the week. Obviously, Jarrett Jack is the big winner any time Curry misses time.
Carl Landry might have been in starting fantasy lineups with four games, but played just 14 minutes for 12 points and five boards, while Harrison Barnes woke up with 14 points and five boards in 33 minutes, but left the game late with a calf injury. Consider him day-to-day for now. If he misses time Landry will bounce back sooner than later. David Lee stayed hot with 21 points, 12 boards and seven assists, as he prepares for his All-Star appearance in Houston, and Klay Thompson chipped in with 19 points and remains a must-start player.
For the losing Raptors, Kyle Lowry was out with back spasms and remains day-to-day. Landry Fields left Monday’s game at halftime with an illness, as Alan Anderson stayed relevant with 11 points, four boards, three steals and a 3-pointer, but hit just 2-of-11 shots in 26 minutes. With or without Landry, Anderson looks like a great player to own right now, scoring in double digits in seven straight and averaging 17 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.0 3-pointers, while shooting 83 percent from the line and 41 percent from the field over those games. And if you throw out Monday's 2-for-11 performance, that number goes up to 44 percent over his last six. DeMar DeRozan hit 7-of-18 shots for 21 points and a season-high nine assists, but his lack of threes and steals is still a buzzkill. Aaron Gray started at center over Amir Johnson, presumably for matchup purposes, and exploded for 22 points and 10 boards on 9-of-12 shooting. AJ had just nine points, five boards, a steal and a block, while Ed Davis had 12 points, nine boards, a steal and three blocks in the loss. I’d still rather own Johnson and Davis over Gray, but things are about to get very crowded for this group once Jonas Valanciunas and Andrea Bargnani return, which could happen next week.
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Memphis beats Sixers after being down 17
Marc Gasol put up a monster line, hitting 10-of-15 shots, all six free throws and a rare 3-pointer for 27 points, seven boards, seven assists, two steals and two blocks in Monday’s tough comeback win over the Sixers. His fantasy owners have to be pumped after getting things off on the right foot for Week 14. Rudy Gay had a much better line than normal, and I’m hoping this is a sign he’s ready to turn things around, while Zach Randolph disappeared with four points, but did have 12 rebounds. Speaking of Gay, it sounds like the Raptors are ready to make a serious move to try to acquire him in a trade, with Jose Calderon and Ed Davis possibly heading to Memphis. I just don’t know why Memphis would want Calderon with Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless on hand. Conley missed the game with a sprained ankle, which wasn’t surprising. The question now becomes how many games will he miss? The good news is that they’re off until Thursday against the Thunder, meaning there’s a decent chance Conley will play in that game. Jerryd Bayless started in his place and had season highs of 21 points and nine dimes to go along with five boards, a block and a 3-pointer in 41 minutes. If Conley is back on Thursday, Bayless will return to irrelevant status, which is too bad after this line.
Jason Richardson missed Monday’s game with his sore knee and is hoping to return for the Sixers on Friday. However, it looks like Nick Young, who had 13 points, two 3-pointers, a steal and a block last night, might have stolen his job. Evan Turner got hot again last night and hit 12-of-18 shots for 27 points, and has scored 20 or more in three straight. Jrue Holiday double-doubled, Thaddeus Young had 23 points and seven boards, and Spencer Hawes disappointed in another start with eight points, four boards and a block.
Nets crush Magic
Deron Williams led the way for Brooklyn with 20 points and nine dimes, while Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Keith Bogans (off bench) all hit double digits in the easy win. Gerald Wallace is still struggling, and had seven points and four boards despite hitting all three of his shots, including a 3-pointer. You have to figure he’ll get it going at some point.
Arron Afflalo missed this one with his strained calf, and remains day-to-day. Moe Harkless started and had a career-high 16 points, four boards, three steals and two 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting, but should go back to the bench once Afflalo is back. J.J. Redick cooled off after his eight 3-pointers on Monday, hitting just 2-of-13 shots and one 3-pointer last night, but also added a career-high 10 assists in the ugly loss. Redick remains a must-start player in all leagues right now. Hedo Turkoglu returned from his hand injury and had four points in 12 minutes. I’m not touching him until he gets hot, as he hasn’t shown us anything this season, except a massive struggle in returning from his hand injury suffered in the first game of the season.
Rockets destroy Jazz
James Harden had a big game for Houston and was joined by Jeremy Lin, Patrick Patterson, Chandler Parsons, Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris in double-figures scoring. Delfino is suddenly playing consistent ball and is worth a pickup in most leagues, draining four more 3-pointers last night. Marcus Morris did his damage, which included four 3-pointers, in just 15 minutes, but I don’t trust him or Patterson right now.
Gordon Hayward was out Monday with his shoulder injury on his shooting arm. He wasn’t exactly in beast mode this season, so make sure he’s on your bench until further notice. The Jazz saw only Randy Foye (12), Al Jefferson (10) and Derrick Favors (11) in double digits, and were never in this game.
Kings hang on to beat Wizards
Isaiah Thomas was the story for the Kings with 22 points, four boards, seven dimes and a 3-pointer on 9-of-16 shooting. He had been struggling and I was getting a lot of questions from owners wanting to drop IT2 for the Celtics’ Avery Bradley, and my advice was ‘don’t do it.’ Thomas will continue to be up and down, but might also be ready to get hot. John Salmons left the game with an illness after playing just 12 minutes, although he wasn’t even expected to play. Francisco Garcia got hot early and finished with 17 points, three steals and four 3-pointers on 6-of-10 shooting. I guess I should have started him in my 30-team league. Jason Thompson has become unplayable, but Thomas Robinson, who looks like a nice stash, is still not doing enough consistently to be considered a must-own. T-Rob had nine points, three boards, a steal and two blocks last night.
For the Wizards, John Wall had 19 points and six assists on 9-of-16 shooting, while Emeka Okafor blew up for a season-high 23 points and 15 rebounds. Okafor is must-start at this point. Martell Webster stayed hot and got off to a good four-game start with 18 points and two 3-pointers, but Bradley Beal’s bum wrist appears to have come into play again, as he had just six points on 2-of-6 shooting. I’m not dropping Beal, and am just hoping his wrist injury heals soon. Nene struggled and Kevin Seraphin had 12 points and seven boards, and it’s impossible to figure out which guy is going to get hot from night to night. And Jordan Crawford hit just 1-of-5 shots for four points in 17 minutes, meaning he’s not startable as long as Beal continues to play.
Denver sneaks by Pacers
JaVale McGee sat out for the Nuggets with a knee injury and will have an MRI today. It’s not like he was a must-own player to begin with, but if nothing else, this means more minutes for Kosta Koufos for as long as he’s out. KK had nine points, 11 boards and three blocks in another start, while Danilo Gallinari had 27 points and three more 3-poiners in the win. Ty Lawson stayed hot and Andre Iguodala double-doubled. Kenneth Faried was in foul trouble and played just 12 minutes last night. George Karl hasn’t been too kind to Faried’s fantasy owners this season, but he’s simply too good to cut in my book. Now is the time to make some low-ball offers on the Manimal.
Paul George had another big line for the Pacers in the loss with 23 points, 10 boards, five assists, four steals, a block and four more 3-pointers. He’s having a dream season and is only going to get better. Lance Stephenson, who did nothing in his previous game, blew up for a season-high 20 points with eight boards, four assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers. This one looks like a fluke to me. Roy Hibbert’s shot disappeared last night (3-of-12), but he had been shooting it better lately, so I’m going to call it an off night.
Bulls trump Bobcats
Luol Deng returned from his hamstring injury and had 12 points, four boards, a block and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Get him back in your lineup. Despite the return of Deng, Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 19 points with six boards and a block in 31 minutes. Maybe he’ll get some nice run at shooting guard going forward, and he’ll be worth hanging onto if it happens. Nate Robinson filled the stat sheet with 15 points, seven boards, four dimes, three steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers. I put him in several lineups with four games, and so far, so good. Joakim Noah stayed hot with 13 points, 18 boards, seven assists and five blocks in the win, while Carlos Boozer was quiet. Both players are having fine seasons for the Bulls.
Kemba Walker stayed hot with 18 points, four boards, six dimes and two 3-pointers, while Ben Gordon had 18 points and four 3-pointers in 28 minutes off the bench for Charlotte, and is heating up again. Jeff Adrien started at power forward and had a career high with 14 points, 10 boards and two blocks in 35 minutes. He hasn’t played well lately, but could get hot if he continues to start, but that may not last long with Byron Mullens nearing a return. Bismack Biyombo had eight points, nine boards, a steal and a couple blocks, and is suddenly becoming relevant again, averaging more than 10 boards per game over his last four.
Injury & Lineup Updates
There are conflicting reports on when we’ll see Andrew Bynum on the court this season, but it looks like the one about him returning before the All-Star break might be false. Then again, we had a report Saturday that Bogut was going to miss another month, and then he started for the Warriors. It sounds like Bynum will start practicing soon, but still hasn’t tried lateral movement, um, which is kind of important in this whole process. One wrong move and Bynum could end up right back where he started. As I’ve said before, I’m not stashing him, as guys with knee injuries and their expected triumphant return have constantly disappointed this season.
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