Tuesday night got a bit crazy in NBA fantasyland, with several late scratches and in-game injuries to big names. Here’s what you missed (or suffered through) last night, along with any notable, or disastrous, performances. And yeah, I’m talking to you, Roy Hibbert.
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Wolves - Andrew Wiggins took a hard fall on Monday, the same night he scored 33 points, so he was a popular play in all formats on Tuesday. Unfortunately, news hit just before lineups locked that Wiggins was getting the night off due to a sore knee and that Kevin Martin would start. Wiggins’ injury isn’t thought to be serious, but his absence last night was a major buzzkill. Not surprisingly, Martin played 40 minutes and finished with 18 points, a 3-pointer, three boards, five assists and a steal. This was Wiggins’ first missed game of his career. Ricky Rubio (left knee) was also a late scratch and Zach LaVine started and had 20 points, eight assists and a full stat line in 37 minutes, along with eight turnovers. Rubio is expected back for Thursday against the Warriors, but if he’s out, LaVine becomes a tasty play. Kevin Garnett (rest) sat out and Adreian Payne started, but it was once again Nemanja Bjelica who saw 28 minutes and had 13 points, seven boards, four assists, a block and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes. Love him and you should pick up the Rotoworld darling if he’s still available in your league.
Wizards - Bradley Beal (left shoulder) sat out and Gary Neal started in his place. However, it was Ramon Sessions making noise off the bench with 15 points, five assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer in 23 minutes. I’m guessing Beal is back for his next game, so don’t make a run at Sessions unless that outlook changes. Nene was also out with a sore back, not that anyone noticed.
Lakers - Kobe Bryant (back, rest) sat out Tuesday and is iffy for Wednesday against the Magic. Metta World Peace started and shot the ball very well, scoring 14 points with four 3-pointers, but it doesn’t matter to me, and shouldn’t to you.
Raptors - DeMarre Carroll (plantar fasciitis) was out and James Johnson started and racked up seven points, three boards, three assists, a steal, three blocks and a 3-pointer. That’s what he does and with the news that Terrence Ross is now out indefinitely with a thumb injury could mean a lot more run for Jones. Deep leaguers need to give him a hard look right now. With Ross out, it should mean more DeMar DeRozan (29 points), while Cory Joseph added 12 points, eight assists, six rebounds, one steal and a 3-pointer in 27 minutes against the Knicks. That is T.J. McConnell-like and Joseph needs to be watched closely in his next game. If he does it again, he might be a nice pickup with Ross out for the foreseeable future.
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Anthony Davis suffered a hip contusion and left early for the Pelicans, but at least X-rays were negative. He’s iffy for the rest of the week, while Ryan Anderson now looks like a must-start, if he wasn’t already.
OKC’s Kevin Durant (left hamstring) left early and will have an MRI on Wednesday. Kyle Singler started the second half in his stead, but it was Dion Waiters and his 25 points and four 3-pointers who turned heads. If KD continues to miss time, look for Waiters to score in bunches. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook had a monster triple-double in KD’s absence, his first of the year.
Rudy Gobert (ankle) is iffy for the Jazz on Thursday vs. Heat. He had a season-high 15 points, seven boards, five assists and a steal, but zero blocks on Tuesday. It’s hard to be mad at him though, as this was his first game without at least three blocks. If he misses time (I doubt he does), Trevor Booker might be worth a look.
Boston’s Avery Bradley (leg) left early last night and Evan Turner had 13 points and a full stat line, and has been playing well for three straight games. With or without Bradley, Turner’s worth a look in all leagues right now with his averages of 13.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 3-pointers over his last three.
Returned To Action, Or Played Through Issues
LeBron James (thigh) played through his discomfort and went off for a massive line in Cleveland’s win. J.R. Smith (knee) finally returned, but hit just 3-of-7 shots and a 3-pointer for seven points, three assists. I’m not into Smith and his pipe, as he’s going to be nothing more than wildly inconsistent all year. But when he’s on, he will really be on.
Jrue Holiday (leg) was very efficient in just 15 minutes for the Pelicans, and given his low-minutes count last night, he could possibly play again on Wednesday. Ish Smith had a big night with 17 points and 12 assists, while Toney Douglas had 17 points and five 3-pointers. All three players are probably worth owning in most leagues right now, although three-headed timeshares are the worst. Center Omer Asik (calf) returned from his injury but was useless for the Pelicans. I have no interest in owning him right now, although he ruins Alexis Ajinca’s potential.
Dwyane Wade (illness) played, but struggled for just 5-of-14 shooting, 12 points and six assists for the Heat. Hey, at least he’s playing, right?
Wednesday’s Playing Status
Brook Lopez (back, foot) is probable for the Nets against the Rockets.
Denver’s Wilson Chandler (hip) has been ruled out for Wednesday, meaning more Will Barton. With centers Joffrey Lauvergne (back, out) and Nikola Jokic (back, iffy) gimpy, it should mean another solid-minutes night from J.J. Hickson. The price should be right on JJ on Wednesday after his big line on Monday (19 points, 13 boards, 3 blocks). My main man Kenneth Faried (glute) is probable for the Nuggets.
Atlanta’s Jeff Teague (suspension?) may have thrown a punch at our boy Bjelica a couple nights ago and a suspension is not out of the question. Keep an eye out for news and if he’s out against the Pelicans, Dennis Schroder becomes a must-start in all formats.
Gerald Henderson (hip) is probable for the Blazers on Wednesday vs. the Spurs, but you’d have to be in a pretty deep league to even blink at eye at that information. But I am hopeful his return doesn’t do anything to get into C.J. McCollum’s head.
The Heat’s Gerald Green has been suspended for two games for conduct detrimental to the team, so he’ll have one more night off when the Heat resume action next week.
Jeremy Lamb (P.J. Hairston was out with a migraine) had 18 points, four boards, a steal and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes for the Hornets, and should officially be on your radar, if not on your roster.
Alec Burks had 24 points and a full stat line, while Trey Burke had 16 points, three assists, a steal and three 3-pointers. Both of these guys have been getting it done off the Jazz bench, and may be available in your league.
Kevin Love had 22 points, eight rebounds and four 3-pointers for the Cavs, while Mo Williams was 8-of-9, 4-of-4 on 3-pointers and 9-of-10 from the free throw line for 29 points, six boards, six dimes and two steals. Now might be the time to sell high on Mo before Kyrie Irving is back, while we haven’t heard much on the “Love can’t play with LeBron” front this season, have we?
Roy Hibbert had two points, two rebounds and three blocks for the Lakers after going off for 18 points, 10 boards and two blocks on Sunday. Yuck, but he’ll bounce back.
Miami’s Chris Bosh had 30 points, 11 boards and two 3-pointers, and Hassan Whiteside torched the Lakers for 19 points, 15 rebounds, three blocks. The Lakers are notoriously bad against big men, but unfortunately for owners of the Heat, their week is already done after two quick games. Goran Dragic was awful, hitting just 2-of-10 shots for four points, five rebounds and three assists. That’s two really bad games in a row for Dragic, making this a good time to try to buy low. Hopefully the two-game week means he was on your bench, although I’m kicking myself for benching Whiteside in a weekly league. Meanwhile, rookie Justise Winslow (32 minutes) and Tyler Johnson (29 minutes) are quietly getting solid run in Miami, and should at least be on your radar.
Jared Sullinger had 11 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer in just 20 minutes for the Celtics on Thursday, notching his first double-double of the season. I don’t trust many Celtics and the fact Sully is getting around just 20 minutes a night makes me nervous, even though he’s been playing well. Yeah, if I needed a big man I’d pick him up (but not Kelly Olynyk).
Even with Kevin Garnett sitting out for the Wolves last night, Gorgui Dieng played just 18 minutes with two points and six rebounds. Sam Mitchell is refusing to play him alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, who had 19 points, 13 boards, a steal and three blocks in 30 minutes. A week ago I was giving Dieng another week, but with the strong play of Bjelica and KAT, and Sam’s refusal to play Dieng at PF, I’m giving up and moving on. Yeah, he’ll likely have value at some point this season, but I ain’t got that kind of time.
Dallas’ Wesley Matthews was 0-for-5 in 15 minutes and failed to score last night, but it’s important to note that Rick Carlisle gave up on his entire starting five. I’m not a Matthews guy this year with him coming off such a major Achilles surgery, but he’ll be better than this as long as he stays healthy. Charlie Villanueva went off last night, but ignore it, as Carlisle was playing the role of Hickory coach Norman Dale, and the starters were apparently ignoring Dale’s stupid four-pass rule. Meanwhile, reserve forward Dwight Powell had 10 points, six boards and a block in just 17 minutes. His minutes were also low, as he must be considered a ‘regular’ by Carlisle. Powell is certainly worth a deep-league look right now, averaging 11.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and a block in 23 minutes over his last five games.
I’m going to go see Brian Rosenworcel and Guster on Wednesday night, and then will be back late night to write up Thursday morning’s Dose. There is talk of Rosenworcel writing a guest Daily Dose in December, and it will be hilarious if it happens. Maybe I’ll see you in Athens tonight? If you're so inclined, click on the link and read my fantasy hoops interview with Brian from 2010.