Some observations made about the NBA while consoling Sam Mitchell:
Josh Smith made his triumphant return to the Hawks lineup in a victory over the Grizzlies after missing 12 games with a sprained ankle. He posted his usual type of line: 14 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. Get him back in your lineup ASAP.
Andrew Bogut made a surprisingly early return from a bruised knee for the Bucks after missing only three games. He had five points, four rebounds and a block before leaving the game with a migraine. It seems safe to activate Bogut and even though Dan Gadzuric (14 points, 11 rebounds) had a solid game, his fleeting value is now all but gone.
Jeff Foster also came back for the Pacers after missing just one game with a sore lower back and had nine points, three rebounds and two steals. Foster has enormous rebound potential but the presence of Rasho Nesterovic is keeping him from getting major consistent minutes. He’s borderline ownable at this point.
As if sticking with him through a few weeks of uninspired play wasn’t daunting enough, Elton Brand suffered a hamstring iunjury in a loss to the Lakers, derailing his stellar performance of late. He played just 26 minutes and managed only three points and five rebounds.
Don’t panic yet. It may be nothing but a tweak. But Brand, who had scored at least 17 points in eight straight games, will be on a lot of owners’ minds for the next couple of days.
Minnesota’s Mike Miller left Wednesday’s game with a knee injury and will have an MRI on Thursday. He returned to the game, but only briefly. Miller said he originally thought it was serious but now thinks it’s “just a sprain.”
After missing a game last week with an injured ankle, Steve Nash sat out due to flu-like symptoms. Clearly he will heal from this but the Suns have quick turnaround before visiting the Mavericks on Thursday.
If he does not play, those in daily league should definitely start Leandro Barbosa, who has 39 points on 16-of-35 shooting, four 3-pointers, eight assists and three steals in the two games Nash has been absent.
Shaquille O’Neal also sat out because the Suns have a game tomorrow night and he is no longer playing on back-to-back days.
Though is overall numbers are below normal, Chris Wilcox may be a player you can steal from an unsuspecting owner if you need a center/forward type. He is averaging just 9.2 points and 5.7 rebounds rebounds this season (last season: 13.4/7.0) but had 12 points on Tuesday, reaching double figures for the sixth time in seven games.
Wilcox is a fill-in piece, not a team-changing type of player. But he’ll likely have more value for the remainder of the season than anyone on the waiver wire.
Smoke and Mirrors
There were a surprising number of productive scrubs on Wednesday led by Orlando rookie Courtney Lee, who scored 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go with four rebounds, three assists and three steals. He had made only 33 percent of his shots entering the game, so it’s far to say these 8-of-10 outings are going to be rare.
The infinitely disappointing Kyle Lowry had 17 points, four assists and two steals in Memphis’ loss to Atlanta. He has enough potential to at least keep track of him, he’s been so disappointing so far this season it’s hard to have too much faith.
New York’s Anthony Roberson had 19 points, four assists and three steals in a blowout loss at Cleveland. He played a season-high 28 minutes due to the lopsided score. His spot in the rotation (aka wayyyyy at the end) and the impending return of Nate Robinson wipe out any significance.
F@*! You Coach Jackson!*
It’s not fun being made to look like a liar and that’s what Phil Jackson is doing. He’s absolutely destroying my proclamations of Jordan Farmar‘s fantasy greatness. The only solid guard on the Lakers’ bench, Farmar is averaging 15.1 points, 5.2 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.2 3-pointers per 36 minutes coming into Wednesday’s game.
Against the 76ers, he played just 17 minutes and still managed eight points, three assists, one steal and one three pointer.
So why he is only getting 20.5 minutes per game (slightly LESS than last season)?
I get that he’s a little erratic for a team on a title quest. He’s young….he’ll GROW. But he needs the minutes and the experience, so just play him 30 minutes per game, because some of us trying to win titles too.
*Name of coach will change with each roundup.