Aaron Brooks & Kirk Hinrich – Bulls – With Derrick Rose’s latest knee surgery upon us, Brooks is the guy you want to own here, while Hinrich will also see a boost in minutes. Rose may not have to miss the rest of the season if they remove the torn part of his meniscus, instead of trying to surgically repair it again, but either way, he’s probably going to miss a lot of games. There weren’t many games on Tuesday night, so Brooks looks like the cream of the crop as far as pickups go.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Pistons – He’s easily outplaying Jodie Meeks and had 21 points and five 3-pointers on Tuesday. He also scored 26 points on Sunday and 20 points in his last game before the break. KCP is averaging 16.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, a steal and 3.2 3-pointers over his last five games, making him nearly a must-own player.
James Johnson – Raptors – JJ made another start and had six points, four boards, two assists, three steals and a block on Tuesday. He’s not going to knock your socks off with any of his numbers, but he has been quietly effective, averaging 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.8 blocks over his last five games. He also scored 15 and 27 points in his previous two games, making him a relatively hot pickup right now.
Devin Harris – Mavericks – Rajon Rondo got into an argument with his coach on the bench and never reentered the game. Rick Carlisle says it’s over, but that may or may not be the case. Harris had 14 points, five assists, four steals and a 3-pointer in 28 minutes last night, as Rondo watched from the bench. Maybe the Rondo-Carlisle beef is nothing and truly is over, but if this is something that’s going to linger, Harris would benefit.
C.J. Miles & Rodney Stuckey – Pacers – Miles had 21 points in a start on Tuesday, along with two 3-pointers, and is averaging 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s also put his injury woes behind him, playing in 10 straight games. Stuckey cooled off last night with just five points on 2-of-8 shooting, but still played 26 minutes. He scored 30 in his previous two games and Tuesday night broke a string of five straight games in double digits. Both players are worth a look in most leagues.
Al-Farouq Aminu –Mavericks – Aminu has been up and down like a yo-yo and just when you think he can be trusted, he disappears for a game or two. He had nine points, 12 boards, a steal and two blocks on Tuesday, didn’t even score on Sunday, and had 17 points and 12 boards last Friday. Start him at your own risk.
Richard Jefferson – Mavericks – RJ started again on Tuesday and had 11 points and a 3-pointer, and he also had 10 points, 10 boards and three 3-pointers on Sunday, but he’s old as dirt and I doubt he’s still seeing these kinds of minutes a week from now. But if he is, deep-leaguers might be happy they took a flier on him.
Garrett Temple – Wizards – He started again on Tuesday and had 10 points, three boards, two assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers. He also scored 12 points on Sunday, but as soon as Bradley Beal is back from his leg injury, Temple should become a forgotten man.
Amare Stoudemire – Mavericks – Tyson Chandler suffered a hip injury on Tuesday, but played through it. It looks like he’s going to be fine, but if news breaks that he’s going to miss time, look for Stoudemire to pick up his slack. Amare had six points and three boards in 17 minutes on Tuesday, but would be forced into action if Chandler goes down. Especially since the other centers on the roster are named Greg Smith and Bernard James, who didn’t even play last night.
Mitch McGary – Thunder – He had a nice game for the Thunder with nine points, eight boards, two steals and two blocks, but we’ve seen this before. He’ll likely disappear for a couple games before his next big one, so only pick him up if you’re really desperate for a big man.