Amidst all the tomfoolery, rigmarole and other old-timey adjectives my grandfather uses when he throws his shoulder out churning his Victrola, connected with the pending blockbuster trade that need not be discussed until it is official, a story likely to get lost in the shuffle is Cleveland’s loss of yet another roster bulwark (another grandpappy word) Anderson Varejao. Having only played one game since Christmas, Varejao will miss the remainder of the season with a torn foot tendon. He won’t miss it, he’ll likely watch it from the sidelines. His owners are the ones that will be missing anything. Roughly 9/10 and a block every game. J.J. Hickson is the obvious add here, especially following his best game of the season on Sunday (23/17/3 and a block … albeit against the Suns). But – or butte if you’re reading this in Montana (which you’re not) – I don’t believe he’ll be an automatic stud now that Varejao’s out of the way. Coming into the season, Hickson was given every opportunity to produce (he started the first 20 games of the season, averaging 25 mpg) and produced poorly. He’ll play closer to 30-34 mpg this time around and see a congruent bump in stats because of it. He still doesn’t have many tools to score the ball around the basket or the muscle to overpower most bigs, added to Antawn Jamison‘s resurgence as a score-first forward and Cleveland’s rotating pen of semi-capable guards, this isn’t suddenly Hickson’s team to conquer. Still, a sudden 14/7 ain’t bad.
Here’s what else went on this weekend in fantasy basketball:
Christian Eyenga – 8/5 with a steal and a block. Had he not tweaked his ankle and sat out for a bit more of this game than he otherwise would have we might be talking about another impressive performance from out of nowhere, but he did and so I’m forced instead to comment on Matt Barnes’ tweets.
Manny Harris – L’Adorable dropped 27/8/2, 4 treys in 41 starter’s minutes. Settle down, I just mopped in here. He’s a go in leagues larger than 12 teams. The rest of you, hold for his next performance.
Matt Barnes – Tweeted that he’ll be out eight weeks with a torn meniscus. Might only be four. Grab Shannon Brown, then Ron Artest (but not around then neck!) to supplement your loss.
Amar’e Stoudemire – 23/10/4 with six blocks against the Lakers. Having owned STAT in each of the last four seasons, I can tell you that the dude is playing with force and anger. Never mind the scoring, look at the blocks. He’s blocking 2.5 shots a game this season, shattering his previous high 2.1 in ’07. And even that 2.1 was an outlier. Before that he’d never blocked more than 1.6. He’s a career-1.5 bpg player, suddenly getting up more often. He’s always been athletic, but he played soft in his last two years on the Suns. Like an egg emerging from a boiling pot of water, he ain’t soft no more.
Tyreke Evans – Evans missed Sunday’s game with a swollen ankle, not to be confused with a swoll ankle, which is what dudes work on when their skin cannot stretch over any more thigh and calf muscles. Does Ed Hardy make muscle socks, bro? I need intricate stenciling around my ankles to show how muscular they are! ‘Reke looks doubtful for tomorrow’s game too. Jermaine Taylor might start in his place again, but Francisco Garcia and Omri Casspi are the likelier beneficiaries of Evans’ absence.
Beno Udrih – 25/4/3/ with four steals against the Raptors on Sunday. He’s averaging 13/3.5/4 with a steal in 32 mpg this season. With Evans out of the lineup he’s averaging 17.7/2.7/5 and 3.3 steals in 37 mpg.
Leandro Barbosa – The Brazilian Blur is averaging a season-high 16/2/3 this month despite his percentages taking a nose-dive. Still, with the tenuous PG situation in Toronto, now might be a good time to use Barbosa for a while and never call him again when you get bored.
DeMar DeRozan – He’s quietly averaging 21/4/3 on .506 shooting from the floor in the month of January. Also worth noting for those of you in keeper leagues: DeRozan’s per36 and advanced stats compare very similarly to Eric Gordon‘s last season (except for the threes).
DeAndre Jordan – In keeping with the DeTheme we’ve started, Jordan has 50 rebounds and 22 blocks in his last four games. Stick that in your pipe and call it macaroni!
Baron Davis – 17/4/11 in 30 minutes. The days of feeling queasy about owning Boom-Dizzle are dead and buried. The days of giddily calling Davis ‘Boom-Dizzle’ are here again! O Happy Day!
Stephen Curry – Steph shot a sickly 2-for-13 yesterday (0-for-6 from the arc) and only dished out four assists because no one but Dorell Wright could hit a shot. So what? We shouldn’t blame Curry? No, we should blame him for not giving the ball to Wright more.
Monta Ellis – 4-for-19, 0-for-5 from the arc. It’s okay Monta. It’s not your fault. Curry kept giving you the ball when he clearly should have given it to Wright.
Darko Milicic – Hungry, hungry Darko. 11/10 with five blocks in 32 minutes.
Michael Beasley – Aggrivated an already-aggrivated ankle during the pregame shoot-around. Then re-re-aggrivated it 11:35 into the game and never returned. It doesn’t seem serious, but if he plays another partial game, I’m going to re-re-re-think owning him.
Anthony Tolliver – 9/2/2 with two steals in his first game in over a month. Unless he manages more than 30 mpg, he’s just another member of Minnesota’s rejectsplosion.
Grant Hill – Hurt his knee after a player stepped on his foot. Makes total sense to me. He won’t likely miss more than Tuesday’s game, if any.
Jared Dudley – 21/7 in 43 minutes, 25 of which were Grant Hill’s minutes. Don’t touch Grant Hill’s minutes, bro!
Robin Lopez – 15/6/3 blocks. To celebrate, he put on a hat, went out on the town and pretended to be Brook.
Carmelo Anthony – 8/5/4 in 34 minutes. He looked to be trying as hard last night as a high school senior in June.
Trevor Ariza – He’s driving more in his last five games and shooting over .500 in January after never clearing .398 in any of the previous months. Still shooting threes with the accuracy of an ice skating drunk though.
Wesley Matthews – 6 -for-20, 2-for-10 from beyond the arc. He’s dropped a few 30-point games in his totals these last few weeks, along with a ton of turds. Shooter’s got to shoot, doesn’t mean owners have to play ’em.