Tyreke Evans dropped 32 points on the Clippers in 40 minutes, but couldn’t drop a free throw that might have saved the game for ’em. Then he dashed to the locker room and dropped a bombshell that he’s considering having laser surgery that will heal his foot and lay him low for the next 3-4 months, or as simplists like to call it, the rest of the season. If this happens, it’s a problem. If it doesn’t, it’s still a problem. Where’s the rub? Because Evans had one of the better games of his season and within an hour said that he might shut it all down, suggests that he perhaps can play through the injury but sees little reason to do so. Oh, there’s the rub. If Evans stays, opts not to have the surgery until the offseason, and plays on your fantasy team, how sure will you be for the next 19 weeks that he won’t poop in your kitchen every third game as he has this season? Would you prefer no Tyreke Evans or one that screws you once a week? That was a pop quiz. And this is me telling you to put your pencil down because the answer is, you want the one screwing you. Because getting screwed a) still allows for those games in which he doesn’t, and despite a disappointing season, he’s still worth owning in standard leagues and more importantly b) you can’t trade away guys that aren’t playing. Just ask Troy Murphy. As long as Evans averages 17/5/5, he’s tradeable. Grab Francisco Garcia (gently and politely, of course. Dude has a temper) in case the fit hits the shan and Evans bids adieu to you and you and you. Then send out trades like they were late Christmas cards.
Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball:
Drew Gooden – Missed Monday’s game with plantar fasciitis, not to be confused with missing games because of Planter Fascism, which is where players miss games because government figureheads forced them to eat too many peanuts. Why this would ever happen is beyond me, but what can I say? You were the one confusing the two! Anyway, he won’t be back until at least January 1.
Keyon Dooling – He’s averaging 11/2.5/5.5 in 34 mpg as a starter (including 14.5/4/7 in his last two) while shooting over 90 percent from the free throw line. If Gooden is suffering from Planter Fascism, Dooling has a case of Shot Communism: he’s only making 37 percent of his shots from the field and apparently only wants the free throws, not the throws he has to work for.
Andrea Bargnani – Missed Monday, likely out Tuesday. Start Joey Dorsey if you can. Otherwise, sleep soundly knowing you weren’t reduced to starting Joey Dorsey on your fantasy team.
Gerald Wallace – Will miss “two more games.” That’s the bad news. The good news is that when he returns, Paul Silas is gonna have Crash running wind sprints up and down the floor like he was trying to catch the last train to work. I’ve said before that the Bobcats were flush with quick players playing in a slow offense. Hang onto Charlotte’s top five players for now, they might all show big improvements in the weeks to come.
Tyrus Thomas – 14 points, 5 blks, 6 tov last night and if you told me he’d average this for the rest of the year, I’d believe you. Then I’d adapt it into an O. Henry story.
Stephen Jackson – Scored 23, but lost it nine times. Crikey StackJacks, stack ‘em a little lower, would ya?
Richard Hamilton – After exploding for 35 points in his first game as a reserve, he has since exploded for 15 and nine in the next two contests. That’s more sparkler than bottle rocket, no?
Rodney Stuckey – 6/1/3 as no one told Rodney the Bobcats were gonna actually try last night. Rodney’s not used to teams trying when they play his team.
Trevor Ariza – 13.5/7, with 2.5 steals and a .455 FG%. This is what we hoped he’d do all season. He’s only done it six other times in the previous 31 games. He owes his owners and until he pays off, the juice is still running.
Russell Westbrook – As Durant finally has his groove back, the portrait of Westbrook hidden in the attic has grown older and a bit more haggard. He’s shooting .397 and averaging 19/5 in his last three games.
Dirk Nowitzki – Left after playing just 11:32 minutes. Original reports claimed he hurt his ankle, but Nowitzknee. He might miss a game, maybe two. Don’t let their fair skin fool you, Germans are tough.
Andrei Kirilenko – Speaking of fair skin! It’s that time of the year again where I tell you that Andrei Kirilenko hurt himself. Lower back this time. We should be coming up on a Marcus Camby hurt himself announcement shortly.
Marcus Camby – Hey, whaddya know! Marcus Camby hurt himself after stepping on Paul Millsap like he was a Lilliputian (Milliputian?) Anyway, there was no structural damage and he shouldn’t miss much time.
Hedo Turkoglu – 20/7/5 last night. He’s averaging 13/4/5 for the Magic after averaging 10/4/2 on the Suns. What is Orlando’s strange voodoo making Hedo do so well?
Ryan Anderson – 10/12 Double-double. Settle down. He shot sub-.400 from the floor and is surrounded by guys who play his position. What are the odds he remains the big team breakout?
Wesley Johnson – He sank six treys on his way to sinking the Hornets, who were already sinking just fine without Johnson’s help, thank you very much.
Vladimir Radmanovic – Three steals, a pair of treys and a block against the Sixers and he’s been averaging this all week. For those of you waiting for Carlos Delfino to return, might I point you in Rad-man’s direction?
Amir Johnson – 15/9, followed by two crap games. Then 12/12, followed by three crap games. Then 14/6 followed by his last two crap games. Those non-crap games weren’t non-crappy enough to justify hanging onto him. Drop him like he’s rot.
Linas Kleiza – In the last four games he’s shooting .547 while averaging 21.3/7.8 and 2.5 treys a game. He won’t maintain this forever, but that shouldn’t stop you from digging in now.
Leandro Barbosa – 0-for-6 from the arc. Threejerk!