Wade’s out. Rip’s out. Stuckey’s out. Tyrus is out (again). Thornton My Side was out. Lawson is day-to-day. Hawes slammed his back and left after 10 minutes last night. Curry remains out. Beasley’s status was downgraded. Granger went from missing time due to food poisoning to foot poisoning, marking the first typo-related injury in NBA history. And that’s just the news from yesterday. I can’t take it. You can’t take it. We’re only 10 games into the season. Let’s take a deep breath and focus not on the Jonestown faithful taking the speed shuttle to Heaven’s Gate, but on the guys replacing them, and playing well. And let’s start with yesterday’s biggest communal add: Marreese Speights. He had a bit of a stinker last night to put it mildly (10/1/0, with a pair of steals and 5-of-8 from the floor). It wasn’t a bad game, but it was certainly a game played by a guy on a new team, in a new system, getting minutes and responsibility he’s never gotten before. Shizz happens. Sometimes the teacher calls on you and you know the answer, sometimes the teacher calls on you and you were staring at Molly McCarthy’s bare legs and totally didn’t hear the question, so you blurt out “four, remainder three” even though you’re in Law & Ethics class. Then everyone laughs, including Molly McCarthy. Then you grow to hate law, and math (irrationally) and especially ethics and you wile away your nights blogging about basketball to anesthetize the residual embarrassment. You know, normal stuff that happens to everyone. What you should take away from Speights is that he played the very tough Thunder, but played efficiently. The boards will come and you were never expecting much more than 12-14 points a game from him most nights (or you shouldn’t have been, anyway). There are four more Z-Bo-less weeks. Speight will improve and you will let him. Here’s s’more fantasy basketball factoids and opinionoids (not a thing) for your face to stare at.
Serge Ibaka – Played just 2o minutes in this one and is only averaging 24 mpg after 10 games, despite rarely being in foul trouble. Scotty Brooks should just instruct Nick Collison to constantly hang out with Ibaka at all times like Clooney’s character did with Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air” until Serge starts posting +/- numbers like Collison does. If Ibaka could see 33-34 minutes, he’d be averaging 11/9 and 3 blocks.
Derrick Rose – 31/3/11, with 2 blocks and 4 threes. I know, I know. I’ve already bumped him into the top 3 for next year’s draft.
Kyle Korver – 13 points, with a trio of threes and a few other nice goodies. He hasn’t been mentioned here (or anywhere) much, but as a simple source of threes, he’s got the sixth highest total of makes from behind the arc this season and a well-defined role on a solid team. He’s unowned in more leagues than he should be.
Josh Howard – 17/4/3 last night and he’s quietly averaging 16/4/1.5, with almost 2 stl per game. That said, he’s still only shooting .375 from the floor. It’s like a paper snowflake that looks pretty when you cut both halves, but when you open it whole, it just looks goofy.
Charles Jenkins – 2/0/4 in 11 minutes in place of Curry. I’m pretty sure Charles Jenkins was the name of my 90-year-old downstairs neighbor who let his pet lizard remain on his head when he’d answer his door. Anyway, Jenkins starting is about as weird as my neighbor opening the door with a reptile for a hat. Nothin’ to see here. Between him, Ish Smith and Nate Robinson, Sugar Nate is the best add, but the word best is probably not the right word at all.
Shannon Brown – 5-for-13, 11 points. This is Shannon Brown gettin’ up against his former team. “Terrible.” – Dorell Wright, who picked a helluva time to come alive (20/10, with 6 threes last night).
Trevor Booker – Replaced Andray Blatche in the starting lineup and ended with 8/7, 3 steals and a block in 28 minutes in D.C.’s first victory of the season. I grabbed him in two leagues because he’s averaging 2 steals, 2 blocks and 10 points in his last three games, and smart money says he’ll start the next game. (Don’t tell Adam that smart money never goes anywhere near the Wizards – Ed.)
John Wall – Shot 3-for-12 last night and is shooting .341 on the season. Three. Four. One. Sunglasses and Advil / Last night was mad real. Owners might want to shop him around. It’s hard giving up on your favorite child. No church in the wild.
Kyle Lowry – Returned after missing two games, ended with a 6/11/8 line that included two steals and two blocks. His shot was off and he turned the ball over six times, but you’re not complaining with defensive stats like that. He’s the Jason Kidd you should own now that you know how old Jason Kidd is.
Chandler Parsons – “I thought Chase Budinger was blond?” – Me, over and over last night. The non-blonde Budinger dropped a 20/7 line that included a steal and a pair of treys. This was a nice outing, but the game before, he shot .167 and ended with 2 points. Grab him if you’re in the mood to speculate on a fair shooter who’ll also grab an above-average number of rebounds. Call him Mar$hon West.
Boris Diaw – Shot .143 last night. In his last six, he’s shot .000, .800, .400, .125, .667 and .143. Looks like his field-gal percentage wags back and forth almost as much as his moobs.
Byron Mullens – 15/10 in 26 minutes off the bench. I can’t explain Mullens. Please don’t ask me to.
Evan Turner – 16/10/8, in 34 minutes. See: 1/8 inch above.
Nikola Vucevic – With Spencer Hawes possibly missing some time (his status was unclear at the time of this posting), Vucevic is the best candidate to step into the starting lineup or at least see a significant bump in minutes. In his first six career games, he’s averaging 6/5, with a little bit of everything else. He’s only cleared 20 minutes once so far, but he’s played extremely efficiently and extremely well in his brief time on the floor. If you’re in a deep league and you just lost Hawes, I’d strongly consider Vucevic.
Jimmer Fredette – Started in place of Marcus Thornton and ended with a scant 7/2/3, with a trey. He’ll be better than this on average, but I’m not sure he’ll be in many more starts. Whether it be your bench or the FA pool, I’d leave him be. Your mother and I think you can do better if you just apply yourself.
Delonte West – I always misspell Delonte as “Deltone,” which sounds like a soul group from the late ’60s. A sweet, sweet sounding soul group that dishes out 10 assists and five steals. Yeah, I’m confusing myself, too. It’s not just you.
Kawhi Leonard – 33.5 mpg/ .682 FG%/ 16 pts/ 6.5 rbd/ 2 ast/ 3 stl in his last two games. He’s available and he’s taking calls.
Stephen Jackson – 34/1/8. Yeah, but … well, okay. You can have this one, Stack Jack. We both know you’ll be back to normal soon enough.
Drew Gooden – 2/2/2, in 13 bench minutes now that Bogut is back. Thanks for playing!
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