Another week, another rash of injuries to some of the NBA’s top players. All-Star Chris Bosh was admitted into a hospital last week with flu-like symptoms. Unfortunately, his diagnosis was much worse than initially thought. On Friday, doctors diagnosed him with a blood clot in his lung and Bosh will miss the remainder of the season. Bosh is safe to drop in redraft leagues and isn’t the only player to have their season cut short to blood clots. Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic also has blood clots in his lungs. Left untreated, blood clots can cause sudden death, like what happened to former-Trail Blazer Jerome Kersey.
Bosh is expected to be out of commission for at least six months, as he’s on blood thinners to address the blood clot. Blood thinners will make it easier for him to bleed, hence why he won’t be able to play contact basketball for a while.
With Bosh out of the lineup, Hassan Whiteside, Udonis Haslem, and Chris Anderson will see increases in playing time in the frontcourt. Whiteside has already been a fantasy beast, averaging 11.75 ppg, 13 rpg, and 2.5 bpg in the last four games, and should continue to be great. Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to trade for him or pick him up off waivers.
That leaves Haslem and Anderson, but both guys should remain on the waiver wire for the majority of leagues. Despite starting in Bosh’s place, Haslem hasn’t played much (20.75 mpg) or produced (7.25 ppg and 4.75 rpg) when he is on the court. Birdman, despite an Oscar win, continues to pick up a few rebounds, blocks, and steals each game, but both players offer only slight value in the deepest of leagues.
Offensively, Luol Deng, Dwyane Wade, and Goran Dragic will have to step up their scoring to offset Bosh’s 21.1 points and 16.9 FGA per game. A combination of Dragic’s playmaking ability and lack of Bosh has given Deng a shot to shine. He has back-to-back 20-point games and has averaged 17.25 ppg, 5.25 rpg, and 3.25 apg in the last four games. Wade has been pretty consistent all season, but has missed a fair share of games. Both Wade and Deng have injury histories so it’ll be interesting to see if their bodies will be able to hold up with the added pressure and minutes down the stretch.
Dragic’s value really increases the most of the three, but that’s largely in part to the fact that he will no longer have to fight for minutes in Phoenix. He won’t have much competition for minutes and is off to a decent start with the Heat, averaging 14.3 ppg, 4 apg, and 3 rpg in 35.7 mpg. I think these averages are a worse case scenario and that they will all rise as he gets accustomed to his new team.
Derrick Rose just can’t get a break. Earlier this week, Rose tore his meniscus in his right knee, the second time that he’s done that in recent seasons. As a fan of the NBA, it’s so sad to see Rose suffer this many injuries to his knees.
Rose underwent successful surgery on Friday and will be out another 4-6 weeks.
Rumors are swirling that the Bulls will grab free agent Nate Robinson, but until they make a roster move, the man to own in Chicago is Aaron Brooks. He’s been a great offensive spark off the bench and should provide solid points and assists in a starting role. Last season he averaged 13.3 ppg and 6.9 apg as a starter. Kirk Hinrich is a great defensive player and will continue to get playing time, but doesn’t help us as much in fantasy. Even if the Bulls add someone like Robinson, Brooks should start the rest of the season.
Continuing with the bad news, Kevin Durant had another surgical procedure on his ailing foot. After missing a few games with soreness, Durant elected to go the surgery route to help his chances of pushing the Thunder into the playoffs. Durant should miss another week, before he’s re-evaluated and given a clearer timeline for his return.
While he’s out, recently acquired forward Kyle Singler should start. Unfortunately he hasn’t done much in the starts so far (5 ppg and 1.5 rpg). Durant owners should wait patiently and grab someone like Evan Turner, P.J. Tucker, or Danilo Gallinari in the meantime.
Darren Collison had been out since February 7 because of a strained hip flexor, and had surgery to a core muscle and will be re-evaluated in 3-6 weeks. Yahoo’s Marc J. Spears reports that the Kings aren’t optimistic about Collison’s chances of playing again this season. In the meantime, Ray McCallum is the starting point guard, with recently acquired Andre Miller as the backup.
Boston Celtics’ big man, Jared Sullinger, will miss the remainder of the season with a stress-related foot injury. Having a solid season of 14.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, and 2.4 apg, the third year pro was really starting to become a solid back end of the rotation fantasy asset.
With Sullinger out for the year, the Celtics will turn to a combination of Tyler Zeller, Brandon Bass, and Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk has been out about a month now, but coach Brad Stevens thinks he’ll be back within a week or so. He’s the best fantasy asset of the three, but while he’s out, Zeller and Bass will get the lion share of minutes.
Zeller has been inconsistent on a nightly basis, but has averaged 12.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, and 1.6 apg in the month of February. Bass has had similar averages over the last month (11.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, and 1.1 apg), but has picked it up over the last four, with three double-digit games. Both Zeller and Bass could be good short term pickups, at least until Olynyk comes back.