Welcome to the last week of the regular season - just about the only time that swapping Chris Bosh
for Earl Barron
might actually make sense.
Bosh's status for the remainder of the season - and the playoffs - is very much in doubt, courtesy of an inadvertent Antawn Jamison
elbow. Bosh took a shot to the face just two minutes into Toronto's game with Cleveland on Tuesday night, suffering "maxilla and nasal fractures." His status is unclear for the remainder of the season and playoffs - but I certainly don't expect to see him before the first round of the postseason (assuming the Raptors hold off Chicago for the eight seed in the East).
A couple hundred miles to the East, Earl Barron
was putting on a show at Madison Square Garden in his first start for the Knicks. Pushed into the starting lineup because Al Harrington
and Tracy McGrady
were unavailable, Barron made the most of his opportunity, putting up 17 points, 18 boards, an assist and a steal in 44 minutes of action. His presence also allowed David Lee
to shift to his more natural power forward position, where Mr. Double-Double generated 13 points, 11 boards, six assists, three steals and actually looked pretty good on defense as New York rolled to a 104-101 win over the Celtics.
McGrady and Harrington should be back soon - McGrady is reportedly targeting Friday's game against the Magic - but there's no reason Barron shouldn't get an extended look. He's exactly the sort of low-cost player Donnie Walsh will need to fill next year's roster.
Unsurprisingly - given that yesterday's game was just his second of the year - Barron is available nearly universally (0.2% owned).
Other potential replacements: Amir Johnson
(0.3% owned), who posted a double-double off the bench after Bosh was hurt last night, and Kurt Thomas
(0.2%), who will get lots of run in place of Andrew Bogut
The Most Added:
The most popular adds in ESPN NBA.com Leagues this week:
* Taj Gibson
* Anthony Morrow
* Mike Miller
* Joakim Noah
* Terrence Williams
The Most Dropped:
* Marc Gasol
* Darren Collison
* Andrew Bogut
* Toney Douglas
* Marcus Thornton
Picks for the Week
The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who will typically be available in your average 10 team/15 player roster league. The second group is for owners in very deep leagues, and will be based more on speculation than actual numbers.
All "percent owned" stats are taken from ESPN NBA.com Fantasy Basketball - your mileage may vary.
(17.6% owned) - Delfino has scored in double figures twice and played 30-plus minutes three times in three games since returning from a neck injury. He should get plenty of touches as the Bucks look to replace Andrew Bogut
Mareese Speights (8.3% owned) - Speights played 32 minutes on Tuesday, while Elton Brand
and Sam Dalembert played 13 each. It seems the Sixers have finally decided to give the young guy with potential some run.
(33.5% owned) - Expected to return Wednesday after missing seven games with a hip injury.
(10.3%) and J.J. Hickson
(3.2% owned) - Hickson remained in the starting lineup Tuesday, despite Varejao's return to action. Varejao played 28 minutes in the game. They'll both put up useful numbers… but probably not on the same night. Personally, I lean towards Hickson, who could take on a greater role as the Cavs try to get their core players healthy for the postseason.)
(1.0%) and Willie Green
(0.4% owned) - Both Thaddeus Young
and Rodney Carney
are fighting injury - Young is officially done for the year and Carney might be soon. That should mean additional playing time for Kapono, Green, and possibly Jodie Meeks
during the final week of the season.
(0.8%) and Maurice Evans
(0.5% owned) - Mike Bibby
and Joe Johnson
are recovering from injuries, which means more playing time for rookie Teague - who started in Bibby's place on Tuesday - and Evans. Evans was particularly good playing in Johnson's spot on Tuesday, racking up 20 points, 12 boards and three dimes in a loss to the Bobcats.
(1.1% owned) - Livingston has scored 16 or more points in three of the Wizards' last four games, and hit the eight assist mark three times as well. He's also averaging over four rebounds per game in that stretch.