The story with Sacramento’s reigning Rookie of the Year is as easy as pie. Unless you’re talking about Uncle Jake’s hardscrabble country pie, then it’s easier than pie. Or perhaps you meant pi, in which case Tyreke Evans‘ ongoing foot and ankle injury is also easier than that as well. But if you were referring to my Chinese mail order bride Pie Wu, then no, Evans’ injury is not quite that easy. He’s got plantar fasciitis, wanted to play through the pain, realized there are still 60-something games left and he’s averaged 6.5/2.5/3 in his last two and would be better off skipping a few games. That’s the story. That’s the part I said was easy. Paul Westphal hinted after Saturday’s game that Evans would take some time off after someone asked if Evans was okay and he replied that “if he was okay, usually he plays better than that.” Then yesterday, Evans’ brother texted that he’d be out “a while.” Judging by other similar injuries, and the fact that Evans isn’t making the Kings’ road trip this week, Evans will miss no fewer than three games and perhaps more. So now here’s the hard part: replacing your third-round pick or waiting until your third-round pick returns. As was the case in recent years with Tim Duncan or Danny Granger, plantar fasciitis tends to linger like a fart in an elevator. If Evans returns in a week, he’ll still have it. If he returns in three months, well, then he’ll be okay but your team will look run over. If you can stash him, grab Francisco Garcia and Luther Head in that order. If you can’t stash him, start fielding offers. Don’t drop Evans, as only his offensive explosiveness has taken a severe hit this season (his ORtg plummeted from 107 to 94 and he’s averaging 3.6 fewer points per game, while his other stats are remarkably on target). At the very worst, you’ll just have to wait it out and be glad he’s not hurting you with 5/1/1 lines for the time being. But like Linda Ronstadt told us, the waiting is the hardest part.
Here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy basketball:
Chauncey Billups – I told you to sell Billups a month ago and that was before he started scoring 4.5 fewer points per game than last season. He’s scored less than five points in two of his last three games. Yeah, that’s one way to spin it. Another way would be to point out he’s scored 21+ in two of his last four. And yet another way would be to say he’s scored fewer than 11 points in three of his last five. This is going to go one forever, isn’t it? Like when two mirrors face each other on opposite walls? Yes. Yes it will.
Ty Lawson – 18/4/2 in 29 minutes, or one minute more than Billups played. /innocent shoulder shrug suggestive of nothing\
Nene Hilario – When Nene led the league in field-goal percentage last season with just under nine attempts per game, it was cute. But he’s averaging .697 this month averaging 19.7 ppg, 9.5 shot attempts from the field and getting to the line almost twice as much as he has throughout his career (8.0 FTA this month, 4.5 FTA in his career). The thought of him as a top 30 fantasy option is no longer a hilarious suggestion, or, as it is known in Brazil, a hilario suggestion.
Wilson Chandler – Sank a season-high five threes on his way to a season-high 27 points. Then he celebrated by getting high on seasoning. That’s what the kids call it now: “seasoning.”
Amar’e Stoudemire – STAT’s recent asplosion of awesomeness has been well-documented (34/11 in his last eight games), which shouldn’t bother Stoudemire too much, as most people who have ever lived in Arizona and have punctuation in their names are used to the necessity of constant documentation.
Damion James – As quickly as he entered the Nets rotation, James was KO’ed by a foot injury requiring surgery. OK. Even the skeletal structure of fringe players understands that Terrence Williams needs to be in the starting rotation. Therefore, watch for Quinton Ross (0/2/1 in 19:30 on Sunday) to be a starter until something terrible happens to his nervous system.
Anthony Morrow – Morrow’s averages this year are surprisingly in sync with last year’s. Like, ‘Valley of the Dolls’ synced. Like, no matter how many minutes you trot Morrow onto the floor, you’re getting back 13 points, a pair of threes and .467/.886 percentages synced. He’s averaging six more minutes per game this season than last. I don’t hate myself enough to watch Nets games, so can anyone fill me in on what he’s doing with this extra time? I imagine he sinks his baker’s dozen in the first 10 minutes on the court and then does suicide sprints like a crazy person for the next three quarters.
Brook Lopez – After freaking everyone out by shooting .440 from the field in November, he’s almost halfway through December shooting .416. His owners are like Portman in ‘The Black Swan,’ just keep going like nothing bad is happening, until one way or the other, the pain disappears.
Jodie Meeks – 8/2/0 in 31 min. You knew what he was when you got involved! Oh, sure! You’re happy to be by his side when he’s averaging 20 points a game like his previous three. But when the going gets rough, you’re all, “Jodie? That’s a girls name!” Don’t expect him to be there to take you in when he drops 18 his next game out!
Louis Williams – He’ averaging 17.3 points in each of his last three games. You’ve probably picked him up and dropped him once or twice already this season, so your muscle memory should already be acclimated.
David West – Shot a season-low 2-for-10 from the field in a game in which half the Hornets roster would have killed for that high of a shooting percentage.
Chris Paul – Had 75 percent of the team’s assists. Paul had three assists, mostly because the rest of the team shot .239 from the floor. After the game the team wordlessly lined up in the locker room and allowed Paul to kick each of them squarely in the junk.
George Hill – He’s averaged 17/3/3 in the month of December. As opposed to the recipe of December or curse of December. I just want to be clear here.
Danny Granger – Tweaked his leg on Saturday in the first half, then turned his ankle in the second half. Might miss time. Even if he does, he’ll find a way to go 1-for-5 from beyond the arc in games he’s not even dressed to play in.
Brandon Bass – Finally replaced Quentin Richardson in the starting lineup. After averaging 10/5 in 21 reserve minutes this season, he’s averaged 15.5/9.5 in 30 starter’s minutes over the weekend. Yes, grab him. Yes, now.
Ryan Gomes – Replaced Al-Farouq Aminu in the starting lineup. Gomes played almost 24 minutes, Al-Aminu played nine. They scored the same number of points (2). So, you know, that move worked out well.
Serge Ibaka – 4/4 with a pair of blocks in 20 minutes. Ibaka’s like cotton candy at this point. He looks great, and there’s something kinda neat that happens when you first encounter it that you can’t quite describe and before you can put your finger on it, it disappears and leaves you feeling just kinda gross.
James Harden – 19/3/3 in mostly garbage time minutes, although most minutes against the Cavs are garbage. At this point, it’s wise to bench your borderline fantasy starters when they play Cleveland because they’re not likely to play more than 24 minutes against them.