Articles by Ryan Ceisner

A listing of all the articles written by Ryan Ceisner for the RotoWire Blog.

NBA: Preseason Notes

Daniel Gibson: Ankle Around 95 Percent Gibson had to overcome both an offseason ankle injury and some concussion-like symptoms this preseason, but it looks like he will be ready to start the regular season. He should be one of the Cavs’ first guards off the bench in 2012-13, and he could see some extra minutes early in the season if Kyrie Irving (tooth) can not play. Even when Irving returns, Gibson should be one of their primary long-distance threats.

Danny Granger: Plays 22 Minutes Against Chicago Granger toughed it out for nearly half of a game against Chicago on Friday. He made his preseason debut less than a week ago, and he was limited in the only two exhibition contests he played. He may be playing through some pain as the regular season gets underway, which could affect his early-season performance.

Bernard James: Blocks Four Bobcats The 27-year-old rookie is a bit undersized, but he showed some great energy on defense during the preseason. That energy should translate into minutes early this season for the Mavs, who have to cope with a slew of injuries in the frontcourt.

Ryan Anderson: Ends Preseason on a Good Note Anderson made three shots from behind the arc Friday in his final game of the preseason. He played poorly enough this October to start the regular season in a sixth-man situation, but he should continue to get his touches regardless of his role.

Kirk Hinrich: Season Opener in Doubt? Hinrich said he will be able to return from a late-preseason groin injury in time for the start of the regular season, but he is probably questionable at this point. The Bulls are probably hoping he is ready, as otherwise they will have to depend on Nate Robinson to deliver at the point.

Rasheed Wallace: Needed in New York Marcus Camby and Amare Stoudemire are both on the injury report as the regular season nears, which may mean the Knicks lean on Wallace early on. Wallace “retired” two years ago, so it will be interesting to see how much is left in the tank.

NBA Preseason Notes

Stephen Curry: Removed from Friday’s Game Curry left Friday’s game against Portland after another player stepped on his ankle. The injury is apparently not that serious (and he will not need an MRI), but it is always a concern to see an injury designation next to Curry’s name, even if it is just “day-to-day.”

Damian Lillard: Returns from Injury, Scores 15 Speaking of point guards and ankle injuries, Lillard returned from his ankle injury Friday to accumulate 15 points and seven assists against the Warriors. He could have had a double-double in his home debut if his team mates had made a few more make-able shots off his passes. Expect big things from the rookie.

Ricky Rubio: Still a Month Away From Practicing Rubio’s recovery looks to be going according to schedule, which is disappointing for the optimists out there who thought he might be able to return before mid-December. He started hitting some jump shots this week, and he hopes to start non-contact drills in the end of November.

Derrick Williams and Dante Cunningham: Empowered at PF Williams and Cunningham will split starts at the four for the rest of the preseason. Williams may have the edge once the regular season starts, but it looks like Cunningham will have an opportunity to earn a larger role in the frontcourt while Kevin Love sits.

Kyrie Irving: Cavs Exercise Option It probably took the Cavs all of two seconds to decide to lock up Irving for a few more years.

John Wall: Wizards Exercise Option See above.

Dirk Nowitzki: Scoped It had been a possibility that Nowitzki would need arthroscopic surgery to alleviate the swelling in his right knee, and that possibility became a reality Friday. The initial estimate on his return is at least six weeks, which means Elton Brand will be playing significant minutes for the Mavs well into December.

NBA Preseason Notes

Cole Aldrich: Records Second Double-Double. It’s too bad preseason stats do not count for fantasy. Aldrich tallied 11 points and 10 boards in a loss to the Jazz Friday as he continues to receive time in the frontcourt with Kendrick Perkins out. It was Aldrich’s second double-double of the preseason, but minutes will limited once Perkins returns to start the season.

Jeremy Lin: Knocked From Friday’s Game. Lin left Friday’s game after taking a hard foul from Robin Lopez. The resulting scratches and scrapes are probably nothing serious, but it may be a sign that his knee is not at full strength quite yet.

Kirk Hinrich: The Captain Collects Eight Assists. Hinrich had eight assists, to go with 14 points, in the Bulls’ loss to the Cavs on Friday. Hinrich last played for the Bulls during Derrick Rose‘s rookie season, and the former is expected to take on a big role in the Chicago back court with the latter’s status for 2012-13 hazy. Hinrich has looked good filling those shoes through two preseason games, with a 15:5 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Anthony Davis: Groin Injury. Davis did not play Friday against the Rockets because he “tweaked” his groin Thursday. It is not clear how significant the “tweak” was, but he should sit for a few days. Davis is off to a strong start to his professional career, averaging a 14 points and 8.7 boards through three exhibition games. But like all rookies, he will have to endure over the longest stretch of basketball of his life.

Dirk Nowitzki: Knee Troubles Already? News came out Friday that Nowitzki has already had his right knee drained twice during camp, which equals the number of times he had it drained all of last season. He hopes the latest batch of drains will stop the swelling, and he will continue to play, but it is never good news when a 34-year-old player goes through this procedure four times in a calendar year.

NBA Preseason Notes

Kobe Hurting? Kobe Bryant sat out both of the Lakers’ practices Friday because of a foot injury. Which foot? The Lakers won’t tell us, which makes me think the injury is not all that serious. Bryant will suffer his share of minor injuries in 2012-13, but this is probably nothing to be too concerned about a month away from real games.

Celtics Felled by Fenerbahce Ulker, Green Looks Good: The Lakers lost by six in Instanbul to one of the better Euroleague squads. The result was not all that important, but Jeff Green scored 16 points off the bench on 7-of-10 shooting in his first game since May of 2011. Former Ohio State product Jared Sullinger also put up 16 off the bench, and it will be worth tracking his progress once the Celtics start playing against NBA big men.

Wizards try Price at Point: A.J. Price scrimmaged with the Wizards’ "White" team Saturday, while Jordan Crawford struggled to lead the "Blue" squad. Shelvin Mack and a nicked-up Jannero Pargo are also in the mix with starting point guard John out for the next eight weeks. None of the non-Wall options are great, but one of them may need to shoulder the point for a good part of the first month of the season.

Vasquez Will Play Through Thigh Bruise: The Hornets’ Greivis Vasquez suffered a minor thigh bruise during Friday’s practice, but he still remains on track to start in Sunday’s preseason opener. Vasquez has a chance to earn a substantial role in the Hornets’ back court in the wake of Jarrett Jack‘s departure. The thigh injury may hamper his early-exhibition stats.

Dragic’s Ankle no Longer an Issue: Goran Dragic returned to the practice floor for the Suns on Friday after sitting the past three days with a sprained ankle. The Suns’ new point guard will not scrimmage this weekend, but the injury should not be a concern for much longer.

Young’s Ankle Now an Issue: Thaddeus Young left the Sixers’ practice Friday after spraining his left ankle. The injury is reportedly minor, so it is nothing to consider when evaluating his value for Opening Tip. The Sixers do not begin the preseason until Oct. 11, so he might not even miss exhibition play.

Suns’ SG Spot Down to Dudley and Brown: The Suns open camp with a competition between Jared Dudley and Shannon Brown. The early edge goes to Dudley.

NFL Training Camp Notes

I’m a pretty big baseball guy, but I have to admit, I’m starting to get the football fever. Yesterday’s full slate of college action was a nice appetizer, but I’m really looking forward to CHI-GB next Sunday.

A few notes from training camps’ final weekend.

Nate Washington’s hammy problem won’t go away. The Titans brought in Washington to bolster their receiving group, but he has been held out of practice for two weeks now. His status for Week 1 is in question, and since he’s a speed guy, he may not realize his potential for a good portion of the season. Kenny Britt pulled in eight catches for 115 yards this preseason, and he should start opposite Justin Gage when the season begins.

Brandon Marshall’s suspension ends. Coach Josh McDaniels suspended Marshall for a week for “conduct detrimental to the team” (aka not getting along with others). Marshall has hardly taken place in any of the Broncos’ preseason practices, but he could be forced into action next weekend with the Broncos’ receiving corps running thin. Anquan Boldin put up good numbers with the Cardinals last year despite wanting out of Phoenix like a coulrophobiac wants out of the circus, but Marshall seems to be a more extreme case. The whole Broncos’ offense would get a boost if Marshall decides to make up and play nice.

Speaking of the Broncos, Kyle Orton won’t practice until Tuesday. Orton dislocated his right pointer finger in last Sunday’s exhibition tilt against the Bears, and he sat out the Broncos’ preseason finale on Thursday. The team wants Orton to take it easy until Tuesday, and he should be considered questionable for Week 1 against the Bengals. Chris Simms would be the second option at QB, but the injury won’t keep Orton out long enough to affect his draft status. Brandon Marshall’s holdout would affect his status more.

David Patten cut by the Browns, Ronald Curry by the Rams, Ashley Lelie by the Chiefs. The veterans should catch on in other cities in need of receiver depth.

Richard Seymour dealt to Oakland. The Raiders sent the Patriots a first-round pick in the 2011 Draft for the veteran lineman. The Pats have lost Seymour, Tedy Bruschi and Mike over the past year. That defense will need to find new leadership, but they have enough talent to rank among the league’s elite. Seymour recorded eight sacks last season, so he could bolster a Raiders defense that got to the QB 32 times last season.

Shawne Merriman takes a shot of love. Tila Tequila, Merriman’s girlfriend, accused Merriman of choking her early Sunday morning, and she signed a citizen’s arrest report charging him with felony battery and false imprisonment. Merriman’s attorney has refuted both claims, and the district attorney has yet to levy official charges. The NFL will probably wait for the legal process to run its course before taking disciplinary action. San Diego’s defense struggled without Merriman last year, and they would undoubtedly miss his presence.   

NFL Training Camp Notes

It was a fairly slow NFL news day today with a slew of exhibition games being played this weekend. The most interesting notes of the day deal with two coaches’ hesitancy to name a winner in two uninteresting QB battles.

The TB QB battle rages on. Head coach Raheem Morris has yet to name the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback, and the battle between Byron Leftwich and Luke  McCown may rage past Thursday’s exhibition against the Dolphins. McCown leads all TB quarterbacks in preseason play with a 107.5 rating, but Leftwich barely outpaces him with a 4.8 YPA. Note the small sample size for each player, so the team’s coaching staff will probably base their decision on “intangibles.” Counting numbers may be hard to come by in the regular season too, as the team offense will probably be run-first minded, and Josh Freeman may take over mid-season. Morris said the loser of this battle is not guaranteed to win a roster spot, as Josh Johnson and Freeman have impressed the coaches enough to be the backups.

Same deal in San Francisco. Head coach Mike Singletary is also not ready to name his Opening Day QB. He said neither Alex Smith nor Shaun Hill impressed him in the team’s Saturday exhibition game, and neither quarterback has put up any statistics of note through the preseason. Smith suffered a minor thumb injury in the game, but it should not have too much of a bearing on his standing in the competition. Like the situation in Tampa, San Francisco should be home to a run-first offense, and Michael Crabtree’s hold out makes the receiving group look less attractive.

NFL Training Camp Notes

Some notes from NFL camps Sunday. Enjoy Mad Men.

Beanie’s back. Chris Wells returned to Cardinals’ practice Sunday for the first time since tweaking his right ankle Aug. 1. He was pretty limited Sunday (it sounds like he only did some running drills and “shorts and shells” time), but the coaches said they want to bring him back slowly. This particular injury should not knock his draft value, but would-be drafters should recognize his collegiate injury history. Tim Hightower has reportedly looked good so far, but Wells profiles better as the go-to back.

Rexy not so sexy. Rex Grossman will be out the next 4-5 weeks after injuring his hamstring in Saturday’s preseason game. He entered camp sitting third on the QB depth chart (behind Matt Shaub and Dan Orlovsky), so he should not have been on too many cheat sheets. Injuries contributed to Grossman’s lack of success in Chicago, and it looks like they may do the same in Houston.

Roy’s wrist hurts. Roy Williams’ (the receiver) sprained his wrist in Sunday morning practice. X-rays came back negative, so this should not keep him off the practice field too long. The Cowboys threw Williams into their offense mid-season last year, so it must have been hard for him to build up a chemistry with QB Tony Romo in 2008. Hopefully they break out the test tubes in 2009, as he will be a top-two target in Big D (along with TE Jason Witten).

Don’t draft Plax. A source said The Commish may  suspend Plaxico Burress (shot himself) for up to the entire 2009 season, should a team sign the free agent. Burress’ trial dates are not until the spring of 2010, so he would not need to miss any games to tend to legal matters, but it looks like Mr. Goodell will not let him play. He may only be worthy of a lottery ticket in extremely deep leagues.