Perennial first-rounder Chris Paul slammed his noggin yesterday, hit the ground with a stillness that silences crazed stadiums, was carted off the court amid extended hush and finally gave a thumbs up to signify … that his hand wasn’t paralyzed, I guess. Several hours after the Hornets captain was lifted off the hardwood, his ailment was labeled a simple concussion. Which is great news in the grand scheme of things, but still pretty problematic in context of how fantasy owners felt, say, this morning. Concussions are tricky and this time of year can be tricky for fantasy managers and NBA mangers alike. Ersan Ilyasova got concussed several times this season (as has Carlos Delfino) and neither have had swift and clean recoveries. Stephen Jackson didn’t have a concussion, but he was rushed back early despite Paul Silas believing he shouldn’t play. Now, he’s going to miss additional games. Eric Gordon? Aggravated the injury he had returned from less than a week prior. Tony Parker returned from a 2-4 week injury less than a week after he received it. What all that means for you Paul owners is that you should quickly become Jarrett Jack owners if you can spare the space. Jack plays well in Monty Williams’ offense and will play 36+ minutes (15/4/4.5 per36 as a Hornet) in every game Paul misses. He traveled with the team last night after he was hurt, which is a good sign, but he’s almost certainly going to miss multiple games.
Here’s what else I saw fantasy basketball-wise last night:
Quincy Pondexter - 6/5, with a block in 44 starter’s minutes spread over two games in place of Trevor Ariza. Don’t blame Q-Pon, he’s doing Ariza a favor. By sucking so bad, he’s making Ariza look like a golden god; like the three ugly girls hanging out with their average friend.
Mike Miller – 0-for-5 from the floor including back-to-back wide open misses from the arc.
Dwyane Wade - 20/4/5, with 7 tovs. This line simultaneously illustrates how great Wade is, even in the face of Chicago’s defense as well as how great Chicago’s defense is, even in facing Dwyane Wade.
Andrew Bynum - Played a foul-plagued 27 minutes. Shot a perfect 2-for-2, grabbed 17 boards and blocked five shots. He looked even better than this line suggests and seemingly single-handedly stopped the Spurs from putting the biscuit in the basket.
Manu Ginobili – Shot 3-for-10, 6/1/3 in 23 minutes. He’s averaging fewer than 25 mpg in his last four after averaging 31 mpg previously throughout the season. His scoring has also drooped almost every month since November, averaging 22 in the season’s first month to just 12 through the four March games.
Tim Duncan – 2/7/2 after he got L.A.-ed low by the Laker defense and shot 1-for-7 from the field. This season should take nothing from his legacy, but as far as next season’s fantasy draft goes, I suspect him to tumble farther than any other player.
Chauncey Billups - Missed last night’s game, but will likely play tonight. Drop the confetti.
Jrue Holiday – Back in August, I predicted Holiday would offer up a line of: .440/.765/1 3pt/13 pts/3 rbd/6 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/3 tov. Seven months later, the Philly PG has brought out a .442/.795/1 3pt/13.7 pts/3.9 rbd/6.2 ast/1.5 stl/0.4 blk/2.7 tov line. Not too shabby, but still should have gone a round earlier than he did on average.
Jordan Crawford – 10/3, with a steal in 22 minutes. He isn’t worth a grab yet, but he’s gone from 12 to 20 to 22 minutes played in each of his last three games and may see more time the closer to the merciful end of the season the Wiz get.
Andre Iguodala – 15/11/10 as it was his second triple-double in as many games. He’s had three trip-dubs all season and they’ve all come in his last seven games. And this is why you drafted him in your second round and held onto him in late December.
Samardo Samuels – The fifth Ninja Turtle ended with an 8/11/1 line, with three blocks. In a tad over 30 mpg in his last four, he’s averaging 14.5/8.3/1.3. Tubular pickup, dude.
Josh Smith – Returned to earn his 26th double-double of the season (17/11/1). He also turned the ball over four times and fouled five times. Still, he belongs in lineups once again.
Kevin Durant - Shot 3-for-14 in 46 minutes including overtime. As the Thunder don’t play today, Durantula took his Casimir Pulaski day early. That’s for my Illinois readers.
Vince Carter – Sank six treys on his way to 29 points after missing Friday’s game with dizziness. Now that Half Man, Half A Daisy reminded us all that he still plays professional basketball, expect him to return to grazing out near the three-point line for 25 minutes a game for the next couple weeks.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute – In his first game in a week, he dropped 19/7 in 37 minutes as neither Larry Sanders, nor Jon Brockman have done much in starting positions. I don’t really recommend LRMaM any more than the other two. I recommend waiting a game or two until Andrew Bogut returns. However, Mbah a Moute has done more in this last game than Sanders has done in his last three.
Rajon Rondo – Some points, some assists, a few other things … eight turnovers. Eight. Tied a season-high. Tied. Meaning he’s done this before. Before. I imagine my creating one-word sentences to emphasize the previous sentence’s importance is getting stale. Stale!
Troy Murphy – 2/4/2. Look at it this way, Murphy’s game was on par with Tim Duncan today. So that’s nice.
Brendan Haywood - 5/8, with six blocks. The blocks are well above-average, the 5/8 is slightly below-average. In all, it probably won’t matter for anything more than one game.
Rodrigue Beaubois – 15 points in 15 minutes. He also had 13 points in 15 minutes the game before. His shot is fine, but until he offers something more than scoring, Jason Terry and J.J. Barea will continue to get more minutes. I warned you this would happen. You just watch: his stats will be up across the board by the end of the month.
Eric Gordon - Looks like he’s back on the shelf for another week or so. And Randy Foye has whiplash from being jerked from here to there and back to here so quickly. Just when you thought he was out, they pulled him back in.