Tyreke Evans will miss the next three weeks with the same foot problems that has dogged him all week. Normally in these circumstances, the coach would identify a replacement to take over. Paul Westphal won’t do that. Pooh Jeter, Jermaine Taylor, Luther Head, and Donte Greene will all profit, but only for one in every five games. So, if you can guess which games those will be … well then, your talents are considerably wasted on fantasy basketball. Why aren’t you betting on the Oscars!?! For the record, Taylor was last night’s “winner” (13/2, and a steal).
It’s good to be back to real (fake) basketball!
Rashard Lewis – Played limited minutes last night (20) and Josh Howard was the largest beneficiary (29 minutes, 14/5/3). There are a few people on Earth, in which nothing good comes from them being the beneficiary of anything. Josh Howard is one of those people.
Kirk Hinrich – Was out with a sore calf. Or as my Grampy Cletus used to call it: Date night!
Tony Allen – Started in place of Rudy Gay and got to the line a ton (14 times, made 11) in just 31 minutes. Allen’s minutes will be there, but the scoring won’t. Look for fewer free throws and something closer to 14-17.
O.J. Mayo - Played 30 minutes for the first time in a month and dropped 21 points on a surprisingly organized Nuggets squad.
Stephen Jackson – Left the game early after injuring his hamstring. After the game he said he was fine and could have played. I hate when players say this. Maybe I just hate when Jackson says it. He says it a lot.
Joakim Noah – After a brief 30-game hiatus, JoaNoa returns to the starting lineup. Give it a game or two before putting him back in your lineup. If he blows up tonight, you’ll be happy he returned to form so quickly. If he stinks it up something awful, you’ll be glad he was on your bench.
Ty Lawson – 21/5/7, with 6 steals. Now, to get rid of Raymond Felton.
J.R. Smith – Started in place of Carmelo Anthony, Played like Carmelo Anthony (26/8/5, with 6 threes). Earl’s value will rise a bit, but not this much. There are still a crop of rootin’-tootin’, heavy-shootin’ Knicks riding into town.
Michael Beasley – Returned after a couple weeks off to shoot go 10-for-17 from the field, turn the ball over five times and little else. All-in-all, I’d say it was a successful return, despite a bit of lingering wonkiness. Wonkiness being a technical term to sophisticated for your general understandin’.
Delonte West – Returned to play his first 13 minutes in almost three months. Barring some injury to Rondo and Sugar Nate, I’d pass on this pick-up. Dude’s only played six games this season.
Patrick Patterson – Career-highs in points (20), shots made (8) and shot attempts in 22 minutes. Watch him as closely as Klum doing pilates.
Aaron Brooks – 9/4/6, with a pair of steals in 28 minutes. His line looks better than Lowry’s (9/2/5, in 23 minutes), except that Brooks took 11 shots and Lowry took three. Having said that, my hunches tell me Brooks has a better post-All-Star Break than Lowry. Where do I keep my hunches? Why, in my haunches of course. No one ever searches the haunches.
Will Bynum – 21/2/6, in 22 minutes. Brooks either made Bynum look good, or Bynum made Brooks looks all kinds of stupid. If I ever paid any attention to either player, I could tell you for sure. Either way, Bynum’ll make you look all kinds of stupid too, if you roster him.