Well, it finally happened. The New York Knicks shut down Carmelo Anthony for the season. The news isn’t surprising, especially after he went 6-20 in the All-Star Game on Sunday night. The East players tried their best to get Anthony the ball, but it was clear something was amiss with his jump shot.
On Thursday, Anthony had successful surgery to repair his patella tendon in his left knee. The initial recovery time is around 4-to-6 months, but more will be known about his timeline in the days after the surgery. He’s safe to drop in all redraft leagues.
As mentioned in previous injury posts, Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Langston Galloway become the primary beneficiaries on offense. Someone will have to take the shots that Anthony was accustomed to taking. When starting this season, Hardaway has averaged 14.6 ppg and 2.1 3PTM, while Galloway has averaged 11.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, and 3.0 apg. Readily available on the waiver wire (22% for Hardaway and 24% for Galloway in Yahoo leagues), these guys can become useful pickups for the playoff run.
For deeper leagues, Jason Smith should remain the starting power forward for the Knicks. He’s been inconsistent game to game, but in his last five he’s averaged 13.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, and 2.2 apg. With the rash of injuries to big men, owners could do worse.
Jrue Holiday felt more discomfort in his right leg, while doing “light stuff” on the court on Monday. Holiday was working back from his stress reaction in his right leg, with hopes of returning this week. After re-aggravating the injury, he will be out indefinitely and reevaluated again in three weeks.
It’s unfortunate for Holiday, as he suffered a stress fracture in the same leg last year. Last year’s injury forced him to miss the last 48 games of the season. Hopefully, Holiday can return this season, but with Pelicans still out of the playoff picture, they might decide to just shut Holiday down.
While the setback is unfortunate for Holiday, owners of Tyreke Evans should continue to enjoy his improved play. Without Holiday, he’s moved from small forward to point guard and has been pretty dominant, with averages of 14.8 ppg, 8.4 apg, and 5.8 rpg in the last five games.
The Pelicans traded for Norris Cole right before the deadline so it’ll be interesting to see if he becomes the starting point guard or simply another guard to help Evans run the offense. Based on Cole’s mediocre play with the Miami Heat, I would go with the latter. Cole has averaged just 7 ppg, 3.4 apg, and 2.4 rpg as a starter for the Heat this season. Cole might take some minutes from Evans, but I don’t see him overtaking the starting role from Evans.
Washington Wizards’ guard Bradley Beal is doubtful to play on Friday night. Beal will undergo an MRI on Friday to see how his stress reaction in his right fibula is doing. The examination should determine when Beal will return for the Wizards. With Beal out, Otto Porter and Rasual Butler will see increased minutes. Butler is in a cold streak (shooting 38% from the field in the last five games), but could return to the three point prowess he showed earlier in the season.
It seems that stress reactions are all the rage in the NBA right now. In addition to Holiday and Beal, the Boston Celtics’ Jared Sullinger is out indefinitely with a stress reaction in his left foot. Apparently Sullinger suffered the injury in the Celtics’ win over the Hawks on February 11. Sullinger removed himself from practice on Wednesday and X-rays revealed the injury in his foot. Coach Brad Stevens doesn’t think Sullinger will be back anytime soon and there’s no reason to rush him, since the Celtics are in complete rebuild mode.
Meanwhile the Celtics are still without their center Kelly Olynyk. He isn’t expected to play Friday and may miss more games beyond that with an ankle injury. He should return sooner than Sullinger, but with their injuries in the frontcourt, Tyler Zeller and Brandon Bass will see an increase in playing time.
Of the two, I would rather have Tyler Zeller. He shoots well from the field and line (55% FG% and 82% FT% on the season), in addition to good rebounding and point totals. Zeller is also four years younger than Bass so he should be given a chance to see if he’s a part of the Celtics’ future.
After complaining about discomfort on Wednesday, Chris Bosh was admitted to a Miami hospital with flu-like symptoms. He may have gotten sick while vacationing in Haiti with teammate Dwyane Wade during the All-Star Break. [editor’s update – Bosh was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung and will miss the rest of the season. Horrible, horrible blow.]
Clippers’ forward Blake Griffin received good news this week from doctors about his elbow. Doctors will remove the stiches in his elbow next week, with a possible return to the court not too long thereafter. Spencer Hawes will continue to start, with DeAndre Jordan taking on a larger role as well.
Darren Collison is doubtful to play on Friday for the Kings with a hip injury. He’s still day-to-day and as long as he’s out, Ray McCallum and recently acquired guard Andre Miller should see the lion’s share of minutes at guard.
Tyson Chandler returned from his ankle injury on Thursday night. He ended the night with a 10/13 double double. It looks like the ankle injury is behind him and he’s safe to use in lineups.
Jimmy Butler also looks like he’ll play Friday, after dealing with a shoulder injury prior to the All-Star Game.
Lastly, this is unrelated to injuries, but we get a lot of questions about strength of schedule in the comments. For those worried about playoff schedules, be sure to read Slim’s breakdown of the H2H Playoff Schedule.