Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Hopefully you’re enjoying your turkey leftovers and your star players are all healthy!
After successful wrist surgery on Tuesday, Kevin Martin is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Martin broke his wrist the previous week in a Minnesota win over the New York Knicks. The crazy thing is that Martin hurt his wrist in the first quarter and ended up scoring 34 points in the game. He was 6-9 from downtown with a broken wrist! Too bad everyone can’t play that well through their injuries!
It’s a big blow to the Timberwolves who are already missing Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic. Replacing Kevin Martin in the starting lineup is Corey Brewer. He’s not as pure of a shooter as Martin, but Brewer will provide points and steals for as long as he’s starting. His minutes have already jumped from 23.5 to 31.2 per game since Martin went down.
Without Martin’s 3-point prowess, the T’Wolves will need another shooter to step up. Enter Mo Williams. He was already seeing an increase in minutes due to Rubio’s injury, but should see even more 3-point looks. In two games without Martin, Williams has seen his 3-point attempts rise from 1.8 to 5.5 per night. It’s a small sample size, but Williams is a cheap source of threes, points, and assists.
Already owned in most leagues, Andrew Wiggins should see increased opportunities as well. Since Martin went down, Wiggins has taken 14+ shots a night, after not taking more than 13 shots in any game prior. With any rookie, there will be some growing pains, but it’s clear that the Timberwolves want Wiggins to take on more of a role on offense.
As if the Knicks’ season couldn’t get any worse, Carmelo Anthony sat out Wednesday’s game with back spasms and is doubtful for Friday’s game. The spasms were so bad that Melo had trouble walking in the locker room on Tuesday. Hopefully the back pain isn’t a sign of something worse, like disk problems, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Anthony miss a few games.
With Melo day-to-day, there are a lot more opportunities for shots on offense. While Amare Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, JR Smith, and Tim Hardaway, Jr. should all see increased looks, I think Smith is the best player of the group to pickup. Smith started and scored 15 points in 36 minutes in Wednesday’s game against the Mavericks, after only averaging 19 minutes per game prior. Since Smith never saw a shot he didn’t like, the shooting percentage and free throw percentage will leave something to be desired, but he will provide solid scoring and 3-pointers, while throwing in a few rebounds and assists.
Another week and another game Derrick Rose left early. After missing a few games last week, Rose returned to play on Monday and Tuesday. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it through Tuesday’s game. Rose practiced fully on Thursday, but is uncertain to return to the court for Friday’s game. As I keep saying each week, expect Rose to continue to miss games here and there.
Rose’s teammate, Taj Gibson, is also day-to-day, but with an ankle injury. The ankle has bothered him in the past, but fortunately, X-rays were negative. However, the Bulls still sent him home from the Bulls’ west coast road trip for further examination. Gibson was out for Monday and Tuesday’s game and doesn’t have a timetable for his return, but hopefully will be back in a few games.
Washington Wizards’ starting power forward, Nene, is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He left Saturday’s game early and missed both of the Wizards’ losses this week. Nene has missed a good deal of time due to this injury in the past. Keep him owned, but be aware that he may be out for a few weeks.
While Nene is sidelined, Kris Humphries and Drew Gooden will get more run at the 4. Kim Kardashian’s former flame has been starting for the Wizards and can put up close to a double double with starter’s minutes. Both games weren’t very competitive so it may take another game or two to see how coach Randy Wittman will truly divide up Nene’s minutes. Gooden can shoot and rebound, but is only worth a pickup in the deepest of leagues.
Detroit Pistons starting point guard Brandon Jennings missed two games this week due to a sprained thumb. Now this doesn’t appear to be a long-term injury, but D.J. Augustin could make for a solid temporary plug-and-play option. He’s averaged 15 ppg and 6.5 apg in two starts this week. The Pistons play again on Friday, but it’s unclear if Jennings will return then or have to miss further games. Monitor the situation, but feel free to grab Augustin while waiting for Jennings to return.
Raymond Felton was eligible to return to the Mavericks’ lineup on Monday. However, he didn’t see any court time. After beginning the season with an ankle injury, Raymond completed his four game suspension due to gun charges on Saturday night. On Tuesday, he re-aggravated his ankle and had to miss Wednesday’s game. There is still a lot of competition for minutes, with Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris, and JJ Barea. As of now, it looks like Felton will be the odd man out, but Harris and Nelson don’t have the healthiest track records so we might end up seeing more of Felton if one of those guys were to go down.
Now for some good news. Fortunately for David Lee owners, Lee is expected to return to the court within a few games. He’s hoping to play Friday against the Pistons, but is more likely to return next week on either December 2 or 4. Hamstring issues are always tricky injuries because they are easy to aggravate. Look for Lee to be eased back into action, which will likely begin with him coming off the bench.