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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.

Baron Davis – Finally replaced Eric Bledsoe in the starting lineup. Huzzah! Time for a sweet-ass invisible blues guitar solo!

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.

32 Responses

  1. MDS says:
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    Does Pi Wu know you talk about her like that?

  2. RASHEED WALLACE! says:
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    Seems tomato-tomahto right now, but who do you like more in the long-run? Kris Humphries or Brandon Bass?

  3. Quintero says:
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    Amir Johnson or Bass?

  4. Eric says:
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    Love that Brandon Bass – 50 80 big guys are hard to come by, except for my team lol (Dirk, Al Jeff, Nene, etc) I guess it doesn’t hurt to add another one!

    What are your thoughts on Barbosa? He’s been quietly putting up good numbers again, even when Calderon wasn’t out.

  5. Eric says:
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    Also, who do you like more, Barbosa or Lawson – I’m thinking about adding a 4th PG after Jameer, Calderon, and Andre Miller. The other guys in my league are getting around 180 assists a week while my team got 140 this week (I just got Jameer Saturday though)

  6. barker says:
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    was going to offer a trade in a 18 team league

    my marvin williams (ranked 149 in yahoo 23 % owned) for his ty lawson (183 13% owned)

  7. Rob says:
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    So at what point do I cut bait and drop Murphy?

    The problem is I need a PF or C to replace him and the best on the lot are Brad Miller, Glen Davis and Shawn Marion (PF).

    I just know the day after I drop Murphy he will be traded and then racking 30 minutes a game.

  8. Migs says:
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    I’ve suffered through plantar fasciitis before, and even though my vertical is like 35 inches lower than Tyreke’s, it still felt like a nail was being driven through my heel every time I jumped, or even walked.

    As a former (and prospective) Francisco Garcia owner, here’s hoping ‘reke sits it out a while.

  9. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @MDS: I should hope so. Who do you think types these posts every day while I dictate them?

    @RASHEED WALLACE!: Bass. His upside is bigger and Avery Johnson has hinted that Humphries isn’t long for the starting lineup.

    @Quintero: I would have confidently said Johnson a week ago. I’m still leaning that way despite his rough week, but I’m less confident now.

    @Eric: He’s fine in deeper leagues. If he can get to the line a couple more times each game (and make the shots when he gets there) I’d be more excited about him. RE: assists – Lawson has more upside, but Billups is an unfortunate roadblock.

    @barker: Honestly, you have nothing to lose by ridding yourself of Marvin Williams.

    @Rob: Now seems as good a time as any. Johnson inexplicably said this weekend that Murphy will never start for him. Glen Davis is your best replacement option there. He’s certainly done more this season than Murphy has.

  10. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Migs: Can’t say I’ve ever had plantar fasciitis, but it sounds like a real s.o.b. I’d be surprised if he only misses three games. He’s already tried playing through the pain, he can’t do it. This injury seems either moderate enough that players can play through it, or it keeps them out a matter of weeks.

  11. Migs says:
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    @Adam: Yeah, it’s not a huge injury, but I don’t think surgery or cortisone treatments/drugs can get rid of it either… its one of those things that just lingers, and then disappears and may recur again. There are ways to alleviate the pain though – I usually tape my feet up in a certain way whenever I play ball, and some folks wear splints at night or something.

    What’s up with Tyreke’s brother sending out the message though? Doesn’t Tyreke have his own twitter account? Is his brother trying to justify the payouts he gets from Tyreke by acting as his PR guy?

  12. Quintero says:
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    @Adam: Thanks for the input. Will hold onto Amir. Hope he and Flynn could play well enough in the coming weeks so I can 2-for-1 them and grab me a Marlos Affinolli or Ty Lawson if he is still there. Lawson surely has the most upside out there in the wire in a standard league.

  13. Cary says:
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    Do I want Meeks or Louis Williams for the rest of the year?

  14. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Migs: The intricacies of PR run by family members is lost on me. If my sibling was in charge of my interactions with the public, she would screw me every chance she had. Adam’s sister tweeted yesterday that her brother wanted the world to know that he’s “addicted to Viagra and thinks the Lakers are a bunch of bitches.” Yeah, it would not end well.

    @Quintero: No doubt. I wouldn’t mind Billups suffering a month long injury so we can see just what Lawson can do with constant minutes. We got a glimpse last season and it was “hella fun” as my California brethren might say.

    @Cary: Louis. Meeks seems a little too good to be true.

  15. Migs says:
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    @Adam: I think I know what’s going on… Tyreke’s brother is actually trying to swing a trade in his fantasy league where he sends Chauncey Billups for Tyreke Evans. He hopes that if he leaks any negative PR about ‘reke’s health, there’s a chance that Tyreke’s fantasy owner will agree to the trade.

    Let’s hope his fantasy league commissioner vetoes the trade to teach Julius not to be spreading lies about his brother.

  16. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Migs: I just pictured a world in which all NBA players play fantasy and own themselves.

    “Well, I’m all set in rebounds this season.” – Kevin Love after picking himself in the first round.

  17. Migs says:
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    @Adam: Hehe, no lie, and I know this is kinda creepy, but I actually had dream a few days ago where I bumped into Amir Johnson at some mall. I started talking to him about all sorts of NBA stats and crap, and he just looked at me bewildered. Here’s what I recall from our conversation.

    Amir: How the hell do you know all this stuff?
    me: I looked it up on the internet. I play fantasy basketball!
    Amir: …. ? What the hell? I just go on twitter and shit… man, I don’t have time for all this internet stuff…

  18. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Migs: That’s weirder than my dream in which I’m pretty sure I was the short kid in ‘Hoosiers’ who shot his free throws granny-style.

  19. PoohDribblesUpThe Court says:
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    Bass, Bayless, Farmar? Which 2?

  20. Yoni R says:
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    hey adam so the PGs on my team are: K-Lowry; George Hill; Tony parker; and Jrue, what are your thoughts on sustained production from those three other than parker? the top PGs on my waiver wire are: Beno, Ty lawson, farmar, Lou williams, and ridnour. should i make a move for any of them?

  21. Jeremy says:
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    if Brooks isn’t going to play, why do i have to take him off IR?

  22. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @PoohDribblesUpThe Court: In the immediate future, Bayless and Bass. After, say, next week Bass and Farmar.

    @Yoni R: Lowry’s production will take a huge hit in a week or three when Brooks returns, while I think both Hill and Holiday have better days ahead of them this season. When Lowry returns to the bench everyone you listed on the wire will be worth more than he is.

    @Jeremy: Has your league dictated that you have to?

  23. Jeremy says:
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    espn has declared him day-to-day rather than out so he is no longer IR eligible. I still have him on the IR but if I want to make any transactions I have to take him off the IR, real whack setup but what’re you gonna do i guess.

  24. Jeremy says:
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    so here’s my frozen (because once I take Brooks off IR he’s stagnant on my bench) roster:

    Deron Williams, Jameer Nelson, Jordan Farmar
    Jason Richardson, Wesley Matthews, John Salmons
    Gerald Wallace, Richard Jefferson
    Brook Lopez, Nene, Ibaka, Milicic, Tyson Chandler, Rashard Lewis

    Brooks on IR

    If I want to make a move let’s say pick up Bayless because I’d like a sg tomorrow, he’s coming off a 30 pt effort, and calderon is momentarily out the picture, which two should I drop. I’d like to just do a straight add/drop farmar for bayless but I can’t unfortunately and I’d need to drop another player. I’m really not sure I want to drop any of my players at this point, except maybe salmons but I recognize he will have upside after the all-star break…hopefully. So i’m at a loss, my strategy has always been to pick up players that give me the minutes advantage but if I don’t want to drop anyone on my roster I can’t really use that strategy. Thoughts? Thanks as always

  25. Jeremy says:
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    i’m not so hot on jefferson either, more so than salmons though

  26. PoohDribblesUpThe Court says:
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    @ Jeremy…I know your problem, this happens in baseball a lot. If I were you Id hold tight, who knows when Brooks is coming back and how long it will take him to get back up to speed. The reason I say this is you really only have 1 player to make a move with which is Farmar. When its all said and done Farmar will probably give you more minutes and production then Bayless while you wait for Brooks to return.

  27. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Jeremy: Pooh’s advice is sound. If you’re set on dropping two though, you might consider Farmar and Milicic. The Wolves play four games this week, but Darko is still hobbled by a quad injury that has forced him to play erratic minutes (8,37,14 mpg in his last three)

  28. Jeremy says:
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    cant drop darko i like the blocks too much. plus the 8 minutes was from the game he got injured and the 14 is from them getting blown out of the building by the bulls.

  29. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Jeremy: Won’t argue the blocks, though I’m not convinced his quad is a thing of the past. Another possibility is dropping a guy you feel you can grab in a week after Bayless’ (or whomever) stock goes down. If you drop Jefferson today, what are the chances he’ll still be available next week?

  30. Jeremy says:
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    yep did it with salmons. dont think he’ll get too much interest in the league, honestly he’s been real real whack lately and all he’s got going for him is that he’s salmons and supposedly heats up later in the season. he is 31 though and is like the third or fourth option on the bucks

  31. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Jeremy: Nice. Well, good luck with your Bayless add. It looks like you’re good for maybe an extra game or more.

  32. Jeremy says:
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    had a very solid game tonight, nearly a dub dub. shooting was hot to start then (judging only by refreshing the box score) it seemed like he was forcing shots at the end. meh, nine assists is not something i ever thought possible from bayless but if given the oppo i guess he’s capable of running the ship. just have to wait and see if triano will give him the oppo

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