It’s a veritable Ron-a-thon in the FA pool. Derrick Rose returned after a couple games off and tagged out Deng for what looks to be at least a week. The first thing you need to know is Luol Deng came into Monday night leading the league in minutes played through the first quarter of the season. The second thing you need to know is that Deng and his 38.3 mpg are having wrist-issues (wristues?) and there ain’t no telling exactly how long he’ll miss. In his place? Ronnie Brewer. Brew (no one calls him “Brew”) had 9 pts/3 rbd, with a three after one quarter (he played all 12 minutes). Had he ended the game with that, you deep leaguers would consider picking him up. The fact that he played 27 minutes, scored 11 points, blocked a shot, and ended with five rebounds on an off night against a team the Bulls were never excited about playing, bodes well for Brewer’s value. This is why the Bulls are so damn good. Their reserves come in, fill up the stat sheet for a couple games and slink back to reserve roles when the starters return. For as long as Brewer is starting for Deng, he should be owned across all leagues. I don’t think it will be long, as Deng was expected to try to gut it out even a half-hour before the game and the injury is on his non-shooting hand. But even if you get one more game out of Brewer, he’s going to play big minutes (last night excluded, due to the New Jersey’s sucktitude). No player playing that many minutes shouldn’t be owned. Rip Hamilton and Kyle Korver are the other Bulls most likely to benefit from Deng’s limp wristedness. Hamilton is the major add, but he’s owned in the majority of leagues. Brewer isn’t. In other Ronnie news, Phoenix doubled-down on Ronnie Price remaining the starting SG in place of Jared Dudley. Last night, he went 3/0/1, with 2 stl and a 3ptm. /sarcasm Good thing they moved Dudley’s weak line out of the starting lineup \end sarcasm I don’t like a Price pickup nearly as much as a Brewer pickup, but production is gold and minutes are gold and mares eat oats and does eat oats and little Price is gravy. Below are some kids who’ll eat ivy, too. Join us, won’t you?
Rip Hamilton – Double-doubled for the first time in almost exactly two years (January 27, 2010). That means he’s not likely to start double-doubling all over the place. So settle down about it.
MarShon Brooks – Out with Achilles tendonitis. Yeah, THAT’s why the Nets lost by 50 points. It was only 15. Not in spirit, it wasn’t. Anthony Morrow took his place and hit 15 points with little else. They’re basically the same player. Now that I think about it, have you ever actually seen Brooks and Morrow in the same place? Yes. They’re teammates. We’ve seen them together often. Ehhhhh, I’m not so sure. Isn’t Marshon Brooks just an anagram for Anthony Morrow? No. Clearly not. There’s no “s” or “b” in Morrow’s name. Dammit, Mr. Italics! What’s WITH you today!?!
Rodney Stuckey – Good enough to play in place of the more-injured-than-Stuckey Ben Gordon. Not good enough to help his team avoid getting blown out of the Chesapeake Energy Arena by 20 points.
Kirk Hinrich – He’s set to make his season debut on Wednesday. But don’t get it twisted (or betwixted, if you’re reading this from the 16th century), Teague is your starter and Hinrich really isn’t worth more than, say, Udrih, Cole or Farmar. Don’t freak out, Teague’s your man (For now!) Ignore my doom-and-gloom parentheticals. I’m just kidding (Or am I?) I am. (Probably.)
Ryan Anderson – 0-for-8, three fouls. Easily the worst shooting performance of his career. Before tonight, Anderson had never gone more than six shots without making one. His previous worst: November 11, 2009, 2-for-14. He and Orlando deserve each other.
Brandon Bass – Coming into last night’s game, Bass had amassed 37 pts/24 rbd with 3 blk in his last three. 19/8/0 last night. Put your abacus away. He’s averaging 14/8, with 0.8 blks this week and he’s still widely available in most leagues. Jrue story.
Eric Gordon – After a scare most of yesterday that he may have had a fractured kneecap, reports stated that his knee is structurally sound, but that he’ll miss another three weeks. Still, my guess is he’ll miss more than three weeks worth of games. Adjust your Marco Belinelli personalized calendars accordingly.
Elton Brand – 11/2, with a steal in the first 8:30 minutes = good. 6/7 in his next 20:30 = bad. Good + bad = 17/9, with a steal = still good! This is why I hate math. On another note, I have no statistics to back this up, but it seems pretty clear to me that playing sick makes people better at basketball.
Andre Iguodala – Seven assists in the first 9:30. I could do this for Thad Young and Jodie Meeks and Jrue, but what’s it matter? It was against D.C. Cut all of Philly’s stats by a third and you’d have an accurate idea of what they’d have done against a professional basketball team had they played one.
JaVale McGee – Five total rebounds in two games, because oldasses Jermaine O’Neal and Tony Battie are simply too much for him. Blocks be damned, McGee is awful.
Derrick Williams – Drill put on his big boy pants and took his first turn in the starting lineup. (11/7 in 37 minutes.)
Ricky Rubio – Shot 2-for-10 last night and .386 on the season. Also, I just threw up in my mouth a little … wait. *urp* Just threw up in my mouth a lot.
Kawhi Leonard – Shot (and missed) one shot in 7 minutes. That’s it. That sound you’re hearing is either a sad trombone or Leonard’s ship setting out to sea. Or maybe there is a sad trombone on his ship.
Trevor Ariza – Hey! Will you lookit ol’ Trev’ playing pretty well and averaging .440 from the floor, 14.5 pts/5.5 rbd/4.3 ast, and 2.8 stl in the four games since his return from injury! Ain’t that just prettier than eyelashes on a bull steer? I don’t know what that means.
Luke Ridnour – Ridnour ending last night with a 17/3/8 line three weeks after all of Earth had forgotten all about him is like remembering how hot Tiffani Thiessen still is after all these years. Oh, hey. That’s great. Way to go!
Serge Ibaka – Ten blocks in his last two games, 16 blocks in his last four. Say what you will about him: you wanted blocks, he’s giving you blocks.
Ian Mahinmi – 17/9, as he missed his first double-double by one rebound. … Or seven blocks if you’d prefer to take the long way around. Yahn ain’t a bad stream in deep leagues while Nowitzki takes his extended breather. Odom is the biggest beneficiary in theory, but Mahinmi had a fine game last night.
Marcus Camby – Camby left the game early with mild groin spr … oh, who cares? You saw Camby’s name and you already knew everything you needed to. You just knew. Look at Craig Smith if you’re desperate.