Articles by Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown is the Managing Editor of NBA Content for RotoWire.com. He hosts the Fantasy Basketball Podcast and writes about fantasy basketball. Kyle used to run an after school program and approaches his work as an editor with teaching in mind. He genuinely cares about helping others win their fantasy basketball leagues, which seems really dorky when it's written in the third person. kyle@rotowire.com

NBA Blogcast: Thursday Production Notes

Blogcast notes by Kyle McKeown (@RotoWireKyleNBA) and James Anderson @RealJRAnderson.

If you’d like to listen to the actual podcast, you can use the RSS feed or just copy and paste the link below.

RSS feed: http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/roto|UNDER|podcast.asp

Thursday Podcast: http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/NBA|UNDER|Podcast|UNDER|11|UNDER|14|UNDER|12.mp3

Before we get too deep into all the specifics of the games, we’re going to go through . . .

Top News of the Day

Injuries

  • Steve Nash (leg) expected to miss another week or two.
  • Danilo Gallinari (sore knee) sat out practice Wednesday, but he’s expected to play Thursday against the Heat.
  • Al Horford (illness) missed Wednesday’s game, but is expected back soon.
  • Brandon Roy (knee) continues to have his return pushed back, he didn’t play Wednesday.
  • Rodney Stuckey missed Wednesday’s game with flu-like symptoms, Kyle Singler started in his place.
  • Tyler Zeller (concussion) could return as soon as Saturday, and Byron Scott sounds pretty thrilled to have him nearing a return.
  • Gerald Wallace (ankle) practiced Wednesday, and is 50-50 for Thursday’s game.
  • MarShon Brooks (ankle) is probable for Thursday’s game.
  • Steve Blake (abdominal strain) is unsure when he will return to action, meaning Kobe Bryant’s assist totals could continue to be inflated in the short term with Steve Nash’s return continuing to be pushed back. In deep leagues, Darius Morris has some short term value, though he hasn’t looked great when he’s been out there, and late in games the Lakers appear to favor a lineup where Kobe is the lone guard.
  • Nikola Pekovic (ankle) didn’t play Wednesday, consider him day-to-day.
  • JJ Barea (foot) also didn’t play Wednesday, but he’s nearing a return.
  • Hedo Turkoglu (hand) will miss an additional month after having his hand re-cast.
  • Aaron Brooks (ankle) said he doesn’t expect to miss any more time after having to leave Tuesday’s game in the first half.
  • Devin Harris sat out Wednesday’s game with a hamstring injury and a bout with the flu.
  • Ben Gordon (personal) missed his second game in a row Wednesday.
  • Kevin Love (hand) is targeting an early-December return. He will have his broken hand X-rayed on Tuesday and the results will be sent to a specialist.

Game Notes and Other Rigamarole

  • Isaiah Thomas (personal) will rejoin the Kings Thursday after missing Tuesday’s tilt.
  • Royce White can be dropped in almost all formats. He continues to clash with the team and has failed to report to practice and a game over the weekend and will be fined by the team every day remains away and/or fails to meet with his therapist.
  • Donatas Motiejunas, a guy we talked about a bit in the preseason, was assigned to the D-League Wednesday.

Pistons vs Sixers

  • Corey Maggette made his debut, he had nine points, missing just one shot in 22 minutes.
  • Kyle Singler started for Rodney Stuckey (flu), he played 40 minutes, shot 50 percent, and ended up with 16 points and four rebounds to go with a block and a three-pointer.
  • Greg Monroe had 19 points and 18 boards to go with six dimes in 40 minutes.
  • Everyone on the Sixers played horribly except LaVoy Allen, who had 14 points on 60 percent shooting to go with six boards, a block, and a steal off the bench.
  • Kwame Brown started at center for the Sixers. He missed their last four games with a strained calf. Brown played only 12 minutes.
  • Dorell Wright had to leave the game briefly to get stitches in his chin, but he returned to play 20 minutes off the bench.

Jazz vs Celtics

  • Rajon Rondo rolled his ankle in the first half, but he returned to the game. He could experience swelling, but we would expect him to play in the Celtics’ next game on Thursday.
  • Jeff Green finally had the kind of night he had been displaying in the preseason, 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including seven attempts from the free-throw line, but he’s been too inconsistent so far to grab in standard leagues based off just this game, keep him on your watch list.
  • Jason Terry is owned in 77 percent of Yahoo! leagues and had a horrible night Wednesday – three points, he attempted just one shot in 22 minutes – are you dropping him in standard leagues?

Pacers vs Bucks

  • This game was a blowout, so the Pacers emptied their bench and all of their starters had poor numbers, so just throw it out.
  • Ersan Ilyasova had another rough game, he shot 2-for-9 in 22 minutes with four boards and has now gone six straight games without tallying more than seven rebounds, which was his best trait last season. Is he the biggest bust in fantasy so far this year? And what would you do if you owned him?

Hornets vs Rockets

Grizzlies vs Thunder

  • Wayne Ellington played just 11 minutes and had six points as his follow-up to the 25-point outburst he had on Sunday. Quincy Pondexter and Jerryd Bayless did the damage off the bench Wednesday, and Lionel Hollins said before the game that he is just looking for one of those guys to step up each night, so it’s going to be hard to bank on consistent production from any of them.
  • There’s a narrative going around that Russell Westbrook is having a down season, but anyone selling that story is simply trying to manufacture drama where none exists. Westbrook is averaging a career-high in three-pointers, distributing two more assists than he did last season, and turning the ball over less.
  • Kevin Martin had an odd game. He finished with just seven points on 1-of-4 shooting. Martin still played 33 minutes, but the lack of shots shows us his floor on this Thunder team.
  • Kevin Durant scored 34 points. This was the first time all season that he finished with over 30 points. Durant is currently taking three less shots per game, hitting only 0.9 three-pointers, and scoring four less points per game this season on a whole.

Bobcats vs Timberwolves

  • Greg Stiemsma started for Nikola Pekovic and had seven boards and two blocks, but was 0-for-6 from the field in 22 minutes.
  • Luke Ridnour had another solid game with the Timberwolves’ backcourt shorthanded, 16 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and two steals. He is owned in just 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
  • AK47 has three-straight double-doubles with big production in the defensive categories. He had 26 points on 9-12 shooting, 3-3 from downtown with 12 boards, two blocks and a steal. How do you see his production being impacted when Kevin Love returns next month?
  • Ramon Sessions had a big night in Ben Gordon’s absence, 18 points, six boards, four assists and two steals in 32 minutes off the bench.

Wizards vs Mavs

  • Dahntay Jones started for Shawn Marion (knee) and played just 15 minutes.
  • Jae Crowder came off the bench and had a solid night, 12 points, two steals, two rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes.
  • Chris Kaman started and played well (23 points, eight rebounds) while Brandan Wright was a healthy scratch.
  • Kevin Seraphin played just 22 minutes, but had excellent numbers, 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting, five boards, five assists, one steal and one block.

Bulls vs Suns

  • Kirk Hinrich (hip) started and played 27 minutes with seven dimes, five boards and two steals, so he appears to be back. Nate Robinson also saw big minutes off the bench, 26 minutes, 11 points and four assists, so it could be a time share in Chicago at point guard.
  • Carlos Boozer had 28 points and 14 boards, but this game went into overtime and that line could easily

Heat vs Clippers

  • We just gabbed this game out on the podcast.

Hawks vs Warriors

  • We just gabbed this game out on the podcast.

I think that wraps us up here. If you would like to get in touch with us, you can e-mail us at NBApodcast@rotowire.com.

NBA Blogcast: Wednesday Production Notes

Blogcast notes by Justin Mertes-Mistretta (@RotoWireJustin) and Kyle McKeown @RotoWireKyleNBA.

If you’d like to listen to the actual podcast, you can use the RSS feed or just copy and paste the link below.

RSS feed: http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/roto|UNDER|podcast.asp

Tuesday Podcast: http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/NBA|UNDER|Podcast|UNDER|11|UNDER|13|UNDER|12.mp3

Before we get too deep into all the specifics of the games, we’re going to go through . . .

Top News of the Day

Injuries

  • Manu Ginobili was questionable for Tuesday’s game due to recurrent back spasms, but he was able to suit up and played 18 minutes.
    • Manu struggled with his shot, hitting on just one of his eight attempts. It’ll be interesting to see if it was just an off shooting night or if Popovich thinks it’s related to the back and decides to rest Manu for their next game Thursday against the Knicks.
  • Isaiah Thomas missed Tuesday’s game. He was away from the team due to a death in his family. Aaron Brooks started at point guard in his place. The Kings have two more games this week, Friday and Sunday. It’s unknown when Thomas will return to the team.
  • Ben Gordon sat out Tuesday’s game due to a family emergency.
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist left in the fourth quarter against the Wizards to ice his sore back. After the game he said he was “fine.” It was another solid scoring night for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, as he put up 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Had 25 points Saturday. Shooting nearly 50 percent from the field this year. How much does his value rise if he can score anywhere close to this much?
  • Andrew Bogut’s ankle issues continue to be mired in mystery. A report came out Tuesday that Bogut may not be ready to return until January. No one on the Warriors has officially ruled out Bogut from returning next week, but it seems unlikely. Bogut wants to play uninhibited, without a minutes restriction, but the Warriors don’t want to cut him loose until they’re sure he’s going to come back and be healthy for the long haul. Coach Mark Jackson actually came out and said
  • Jameer Nelson missed his sixth straight game Tuesday with the groin injury that has sidelined him most of the young season. Nelson was apparently ready to play, but coach Jacque Vaughn held him out. It’s sounding like we could see Nelson return Friday. If you need a point guard, now would be the time to grab Nelson. He’s been dropped in lots of leagues, currently being owned in only 62|PERCENT| of Yahoo leagues. If healthy, I think Nelson could average a career-high in minutes this season.
  • Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields were sent to New York on Tuesday to have their injuries further examined. Until more news comes out about the results of their visit, it’ll be hard to make any recommendations here.
  • Kenneth Faried took a hard fall onto his back in Monday’s game, but coach George Karl said there’s no doubt in his mind that Faried will play. He stayed in the game Monday, so this is really just a heads up in case something else creeps up from this in the future.
  • Shawn Marion has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game, but coach Rick Carlisle said he’s getting closer to returning.
  • Steve Nash will miss at least one more game. The Lakers have two more games this week, Friday and Sunday. Nash will be re-evaluated this weekend, and it’s possible he could be cleared to play Sunday.
  • Darrell Arthur is working his way back from a non-displaced fracture he suffered back in September. He was cleared to participate in full-contact practice Tuesday, but the Grizzlies haven’t said when he’ll able to return to game action. Once healthy, Arthur could steal minutes from Marreese Speights.
  • Al Harrington had a checkup on his right knee Tuesday. The visit was positive, but he remains sidelined and has yet to be cleared to participate in on-court activities.
  • Nikola Pekovic received treatment on his sprained left ankle Tuesday. He’s questionable for Wednesday’s game and will be examined during the morning shootaround to determine his availability. Greg Stiemsa could start at center if Pekovic isn’t able to play.

Game Notes and Other Rigamarole

  • Hakim Warrick was traded to Charlotte in exchange for Matt Carroll on Tuesday. There’s not much in the way of fantasy implications here. Carroll appears to be an insurance policy with Eric Gordon sidelined indefinitely and Austin Rivers picking up scratches and bruises every other day.

Knicks vs Magic

  • Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points on 50 percent shooting (11-for-22). Coming into Tuesday’s game, he was leading the league in scoring with 27.3 ppg, which is up nearly five points from the 22.6 points he averaged last season. Is this directly correlated with Amar’e Stoudemire’s absence? Or is this something we can expect to continue when he returns.
    • Carmelo is getting to the free-throw line an extra 3.3 times per game so far this season. That’s getting him some extra points, and he’s also taking more three-pointers and shots from the field. Carmelo’s possessions would obviously be down if Amar’e were healthy, so it’s easy to draw that correlation. And that’s likely the primary reason his scoring is up.
  • J.R. Smith, who played 32 minutes off the bench, continued his hot three-point shooting, knocking down both of his attempts Tuesday. He is now 13-of-18 (over 72 percent) behind the arc this season. Coming into Tuesday’s game, he averaged 34 minutes per game. Smith is playing more than he ever has, so did we overreact over his bench role?
    • I think the thing to talk about with Smith is if he’ll continue to be as effective as he’s been so far this season. You pointed out that he’s shooting 72|PERCENT| from deep this season. That won’t last. So, that will shave a point or two off his scoring. I also think that his minutes will be reduced eventually. When Amar’e and Iman Shumpert are healthy, the Knicks will be squeezing minutes. I don’t think Smith has the equity to really get you anything huge back in a trade, but if someone wanted to trade me Klay Thompson for Smith, I’d probably make that trade in a heartbeat.
  • Tyson Chandler 12 points and 6 rebounds in a season-high 33 minutes. Coming into Tuesday’s game, Chandler was averaging just under 26 minutes per game, which is down more than seven minutes from last season. Is Tuesday a sign that he is returning to full health?
    • Chandler battled a bone bruise in his knee during training camp that may have played a factor in his decreased playing time. I don’t think the team would have played him if he wasn’t healthy, so I’m not going to play up the injury angle too much here. I simply think you saw the Knicks blowing teams out so convincingly in their first three games that is wasn’t necessary to play Chandler big minutes. If you own him and are worried about his production, I’d feel confident that Chandler’s minutes will come back into the 30 mpg range, and he’ll be a good source of efficient scoring, rebound, and decent blocks.
  • Glen Davis only took five shots. He hit all of them, but it’s a bit odd to see him be such a non-factor in the Magic’s offense.
    • The Knicks may have been focusing on Big Baby to keep him out of the game. I don’t want to read too much into it. If I’m a Davis owner, I take solace in the fact that he was efficient in his limited production and didn’t put my field goal percentage in traction this week by forcing up a bunch of shots.
  • Nikola Vucevic posted his second straight double-double (fourth in first seven games).
    • No blocks from the young center, but Vucevic had two steals to help make up for that. He’s a double-double threat every night right now and should be owned in pretty much all standard leagues. Vucevic is currently owned in only 54|PERCENT| of Yahoo leagues. He’s going to have the occasional odd game where he only plays 15 minutes due to Jacque Vaughn trying to scheme too much, but that’s just something his owners should live with this early in the season. Don’t overreact and drop him.
  • Maurice Harkless played 20 minutes off the bench, scoring 10 points to go with seven rebounds and four blocks.
    • If this young guy starts getting consistent minutes, he could be a factor in standard leagues. Make sure he’s on your watch lists.   

Wizards vs Bobcats

  • Trevor Ariza scored 19 points in 35 minutes.
    • Ariza was one of two players to play over 27 minutes for the Wizards Tuesday. He’s a terrible shooter, but Ariza has the ability to put up diverse stat lines that can be of use in deep head-to-head leagues. I personally don’t like rostering him in rotisserie leagues, because Ariza’s poor shooting can kill the field goal percentage category there for your team.
  • With Ben Gordon a late scratch due to a family emergency, Ramon Sessions stepped up, scoring 21 points off the bench in 30 minutes. Could he still a threat to Kemba Walker?
    • Sessions has been playing very well off the bench, being much more of an option in fantasy than I would have projected, but Kemba Walker would have to have an epic fall from grace to have the starting point guard gig taken from him. I was hesitant to take Kemba in drafts this year due to the presence of Sessions and Gordon, but he’s doing a good job playing within himself for the most part this season. He’s only taking about two three-point attempts per game, limiting the effect that might have on his FG|PERCENT| if he were out there chucking. And that eight steal game he had against Dallas has him averaging over two steals per game. That makes up for the three-pointers he isn’t hitting.

Raptors vs Pacers

  • Jose Calderon recorded a triple-double (13-10-10) in place of Kyle Lowry (ankle). While the rebounds were an outlier, Calderon has produced at a high level in the four games Lowry has missed, averaging 14.5 points and 11 assists during that span. He is also averaging 2.8 triples per game during that stretch, going 2-for-2 Tuesday.
    • Calderon is only owned in 66|PERCENT| of Yahoo leagues. Go make sure he isn’t sitting on your waiver wire. Kyle Lowry’s status going forward is tentative, and the more time he misses, the better Calderon will be to own.
  • Roy Hibbert just six points in 24 minutes. Heading into Tuesday’s game, his scoring is down four points per game from last season. Do you see a bounce back in store anytime soon?
    • Hibbert’s scoring is down, but he’s still getting the same amount of shots that he took last season. He’s only going to the line 1.6 times per game right now, compared to the 3.7 he went to the line last season. That tells me he’s settling for jumpers and not being aggressive enough in the post. I’m not a big Hibbert fan, but he’s definitely a buy-low candidate right now. While he is struggling with his scoring, he’s still blocking 2.6 shots per game, and that’s worth owning pretty much regardless of his other stats.

Cavs vs Nets

  • A Career-high 35 points (16-of-21) for Anderson Varejao on Tuesday. He also pulled down 18 rebounds (11 offensive). What is he eating for breakfast?
    • Tires. Good Year.
  • Dion Waiters scored 8 points on 3-of-16 shooting (1-of-5 from behind the arc) in 36 minutes.
  • Joe Johnson scored 25 points (9-of-16) and hit 3 triples in 39 minutes.
    • Johnson came into the night shooting 36|PERCENT| from the fields, so it’s good to see him put up an efficient line, but where people really are going to get value from Johnson this season is threes. He’s converting his threes at over a 40|PERCENT| clip this season.
  • Kris Humphries had 12 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes.
    • This is the obligatory update to the Kris Humphries saga. I think I have 10 bets with random people on what Humphries will do this season. I think he’ll average closer to 25 mpg and put up around eight and eight with half a block, while there other people on the podcast crew who think he’ll get over 30 minutes and be a double-double, plus a block again this season. If I check my score card here, the running tally shows five games in support of my argument and one game in support of the other guys’ arguments.

Trail Blazers vs Kings

  • LaMarcus Aldridge has a sore right wrist. They took precautionary X-rays on it before the game that came back negative. Aldridge is a righty, so if you see his field goal percentage dipping even more, this could be a reason why.
    • Aldridge was 5-of-14 from the field but went to the line 10 times. He’s averaging just 3.9 trips to the line per game, so this was great to see. Despite having the sore wrist, he still played 37 minutes.
  • Nicolas Batum contributes an all-around performance once again, recording 15 points, two threes, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
  • Damian Lillard scored 22 points (7-of-10 from the field and 5-of-6 from deep) and 9 assists. Is he living up to your expectations so far?

    •  
  • J.J. Hickson scored 10 points and grabbed 13 boards in 34 minutes. He is averaging a double-double this season and has double-digit rebounds in all but one game this season.
    • If the last three games are any indication, it appears the Trail Blazers are going to let Hickson play through any issues. He’s played over 30 minutes in each of the last three games after being given more than 30 minutes only once through the team’s first five games. Hickson is owned in only 67|PERCENT| of Yahoo leagues and should be grabbed in all standard leagues.
  • Aaron Brooks left Tuesday’s game with a sore left ankle. Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton were the backcourt to open the second half, and Brooks never returned.
  • Thomas Robinson returned from his two-game suspension, playing 30 minutes and putting up 12 points and four rebounds.
  • DeMarcus Cousins will return in the Kings’ next game, Friday against the Hawks.  

Spurs vs Lakers

  • Tony Parker returned from a one-game absence due to the flu. He scored 19 points and dished out 7 assists in 34 minutes.
  • Danny Green 11 points (3-for-7 from deep). Before Tuesday night, he was shooting 53 percent from the field (48 percent from behind the arc) and getting 2.1 threes in 29 minutes per game. Is he worth a roster spot?
    • Green is a good streaming option when the Spurs have four games, but other than that, I’m only rostering him in deep leagues.
  • Tim Duncan finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds, which is exactly what he is averaging this season.
    • Duncan also had four blocks and is averaging 2.4 per game this season. If you weren’t afraid to invest in the old man, I tip my hat to you. I bought him on discount in auction leagues but was typically looking for guys who I thought had higher upside at the point where he was going in snake drafts this season.
  • Dwight Howard finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds, but turned the ball over six times.
    • What’s the first rule of turnovers, Justin?
  • Pau Gasol records double-double with 10 points and 10 boards, but shoots just 3-of-10 from the field.
    • I’m not making any decisions on the production of Lakers until after D’Antoni gets there and Steve Nash returns to the lineup. The only thought I really have on most of them is buy, buy, buy. If someone wants to give me Gasol on a discount based on his scoring and low percentage from the field, I will gladly buy him right now. When Nash and D’Antoni get in there, I want to have an investment in whatever they produce.

I think that wraps us up here. If you would like to get in touch with us, you can e-mail us at NBApodcast@rotowire.com.

NBA Blogcast: Tuesday Production Notes

Blogcast notes by Eric Caturia (@ETCat30) and Kyle McKeown @RotoWireKyleNBA.

If you’d like to listen to the actual podcast, you can use the RSS feed or just copy and paste the link below.

RSS feed: http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/roto|UNDER|podcast.asp

Tuesday Podcast: http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/NBA|UNDER|Podcast|UNDER|11|UNDER|12|UNDER|12.mp3

Before we get too deep into all the specifics of the games, we’re going to go through . . .

Top News of the Day

Injuries

  • Andrew Bynum won’t begin on-court activities until December 10, and that has the Sixers considering him out of game action until January.  
  • Mo Williams missed Saturday’s game with a strained adductor issue, but he was able to return for Monday’s game against the Raptors. If there were any doubts about his health going into the game, he did his best to quell concerns. Williams played 50 minutes in the triple overtime game, scoring 17 points to go with 14 assists, four steals, two blocks, and three three-pointers. The Jazz have three more games this week, so make sure Mo is in your lineups.

  • Shawn Marion missed his fourth consecutive due to his sprained MCL, with Jae Crowder getting the start. However, Crowder was again limited (13 minutes), with Vince Carter seeing 29 off the bench. Going into the game, Carter wasn’t certain to see the court, though, as he’s dealing with a hip flexor.
    • Neither were effective fantasy options tonight: Crowder had three points (1-5 FG, 1-4 3Pt), one assist, and one block; Carter had four points (1-7 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT), three rebounds, two steals, and one assist.
  • Devin Harris left Monday’s game with a left hamstring strain and did not return. The extent of the injury was not immediately known. Through five games, Harris has posted averages of 5.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.6 three-pointers in 21 minutes per game.
  • Lou Williams and Josh Smith are dealing with flu-like symptoms, but they played through their illnesses Monday. The Hawks have two more games this week.
  • Dwyane Wade tweaked his left ankle Monday, but he received treatment and was able to return to finish the game.
  • Brandon Bass suffered a dislocated right finger. He left the game but returned shortly thereafter. The team had X-rays taken on the finger after the game that came back negative.
  • Jeff Green suffered a mild ankle sprain Monday, but he was able to return and finish the game.
  • Vince Carter was a game-time decision with a hip issue Monday but ended up playing 29 minutes. He struggled from the floor, but the fact that he continues to try and play through the injury that he continues to play is encouraging.
  • Steve Blake will miss Tuesday’s game with a an abdominal strain. This should mean more minutes for Darius Morris.
  • Wilson Chandler played 14 minutes off the bench Monday. He’ll probably continue to get the occasional rest as he works himself into full health from hip surgery. The Nuggets had him sit out the previous three games. They have two more games this week, Thursday and Saturday. It’s unclear whether Chandler will play in either or both of those games.
  • Kirk Hinrich sat out Monday’s game with a hip injury. He is considered day-to-day. Nate Robinson played 30 minutes Monday as the starting point guard, and Robinson should continue to see extended run if Hinrich misses more time. Marquis Teague played 18 minutes, and he may continue to get modest minutes with Hinrich out as well.
  • Hasheem Thabeet missed the previous two games with a mild sprained ankle, but he was able to return Monday. He played just three minutes, but he seemed healthy.
  • Derrick Rose has began cutting. While it’s nice to hear Rose is doing more high impact work, there still hasn’t been an official timetable released for his return. So, we’re still looking at him returning sometime between January and March.
  • Jason Richardson returned Monday from the ankle injury that had sidelined him for four games. The Sixers put him right back into the starting lineup at shooting guard and moved Dorell Wright back to a bench role. Richardson played 36 minutes and scored 20 points to go with four rebounds, two steals, and three three-pointers. Wright’s move back to the bench didn’t hurt him much. He still played 25 minutes and scored 14 points to go with four rebounds, four steals, a block, and four three-pointers.
  • Stephen Curry missed Monday’s practice with flu-like symptoms, but the Warriors don’t play until Wednesday, so he has time to recover.
  • Nene continues to try and work himself back from the plantar fasciitis injury that has sidelined him all season, but he’s expected to miss at least another three weeks.
  • Tyler Zeller will remain in Cleveland and miss Tuesday’s game against the Nets. He continues to undergo testing to ensure that all his concussion symptoms have subsided. The Cavs have three days off following Tuesday’s game, so we could see Zeller return Saturday against the Mavs.
  • Chase Budinger will miss between one-to-two months recovering from knee surgery.
  • Brandon Roy missed Monday’s game despite speculation that he might return. Malcolm Lee started at shooting guard with Roy and Budinger out, but it was Alexey Shved who saw the greatest uptick in minutes.
    • Shved played 33 minutes and scored 16 points to go with four rebounds, five assists, three blocks, and a three-pointer. Most promising from his stat line was the 9-of-11 he shot from the free-throw line.
  • Jameer Nelson was reported to be a limited participant in Monday’s practice, but I believe that means he played a little against coach Jacque Vaughn. Not to discount Vaughn, but if Nelson isn’t practicing against real NBA athletes right now, I doubt he’ll play Tuesday.
  • MarShon Brooks and Gerald Wallace practiced a little Monday, but they will not play Tuesday.
  • Nikola Pekovic left Monday’s game with a sprained ankle and did not return. He told reporters after that game that he didn’t think it was too bad but that he wouldn’t really know the severity of the injury until after he saw how bad it is tomorrow morning.
  • Austin Rivers rolled his ankle in Monday’s practice, but it is not considered serious. The Hornets expect Rivers to play Wednesday.
  • Landry Fields sat out Monday’s game with his wrist injury. Alan Anderson sat out with his foot injury. Dominic McGuire started at small forward in their place, but Linas Kleiza was the small forward to really capitalize on the extra playing time afforded by the triple overtime game. Kleiza put up 20 points to go with seven rebounds, a steal, and three three-pointers.
  • Dirk Nowitzki said his optimistic timetable of three weeks that he threw out was a stretch. While Nowitzki didn’t offer a new timetable, he also hasn’t suffered any setbacks. We’re still working under the assumption he’ll be able to resume basketball activities near the end of November or beginning of December.
  • Jose Barea sat another game with his sprained foot Monday.  
  • Kyle Lowry will undergo an MRI on his ankle early this week. Consider him out indefinitely for the time being.

Game Notes and Other Rigamarole

Utah vs. Toronto

  • 3OT. Too hectic to judge much.

Milwaukee vs. Philadelphia

  • Ersan Ilyasova only played 18 minutes Monday. He isn’t hurt, the Bucks are simply running unconventional lineups and leaning heavily on their guard play.

Oklahoma City vs. Detroit

  • Rodney Stuckey scored 19 points to go with three rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a three-pointer. Games like this are worthy of owning in standard leagues, and this is a pretty typical Stuckey game. After a horrible start to the season, Stuckey is owned in only 34 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Consider yourself lucky that so many other people made the mistake of dropping him, and go pick him up if you’re in expanded 10-team leagues or 12-team leagues.

Boston vs. Chicago

  • No big changes beyond injury stuff that was already covered.

Miami vs. Houston

  • James Harden had 22 points (6-17 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 9-11 FT), five assists, three rebounds, one steal, and one block in 40 minutes during Houston’s tight loss to Miami.
    • After scoring a ridiculous 92 points in his first two games as a Rocket, Harden appears to have settled into a groove. Over his last five contests, he’s averaging 19.8 points, 4.2 boards, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.0 three-pointers in 39.0 minutes. Yes, he’s shooting just 33.0 percent on 17.6 attempts per game during this span, but his output should balance out over time.
  • Omer Asik recorded a double-double, scoring a career-best 19 points to go with 14 boards in 32 minutes, as Houston lost a close one against Miami. He also had three assists and one block.
    • His scoring night was powered by 11-of-14 at the free-throw line and 4-for-8 from the field. The high number of freebies is definitely an outlier, as he was averaging just 2.5 attempts from the foul line entering Monday’s game (up from 1.8 and 1.6 in his first two seasons).
  • Chandler Parsons also posted a career high, pouring in 25 points (8-17 FG, 5-10 3Pt, 4-4 FT) in 40 minutes, during Houston’s defeat against Miami. He also contributed four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
    • Monday’s contest marked his first 20-plus point outing in seven games this season, after he had five in 63 appearances last season. He obviously has the potential to score but had shooting splits of 38/31/71 entering the game. He’s still not consistent enough to rely upon him in that arena, though he continues to provide rebounds, treys, steals, and modest assists for a 6-9 forward.

Minnesota vs. Dallas

  • Luke Ridnour received 41 minutes and approached a triple-double, posting 15 points (3-9 FG, 7-8 FT), eight rebounds, and seven assists (versus three turnovers), in Minnesota’s road win at Dallas. He tossed in four steals and two three-pointers for good measure.
  • Andrei Kirilenko notched a double-double with 16 points (7-12 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT) and 11 rebounds in 44 minutes as Minnesota outlasted Dallas. He added two assists (versus four turnovers), two steals, and two blocks on the evening.
  • Alexey Shved scored 16 points (3-12 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 9-11 FT) to go with five assists, four rebounds, and three blocks in 33 reserve minutes during Minnesota’s victory in Dallas.
  • Dante Cunningham tallied 14 points (6-9 FG, 2-2 FT), eight rebounds, and two assists in 33 minutes as Minnesota defeated Dallas.
    • Increased minutes for each player are a result of injuries to J.J. Barea (foot), Chase Budinger (knee), and Brandon Roy (knee). Here are their typical minute loads this season: Ridnour (29), Kirilenko (33), Shved (20), and Cunningham (22). While Monday’s bumps are unlikely to continue going forward, it’s nice to see how each player will produce if just one of the injured players misses more time and PT must be doled out among starters and reserves alike.
    • Now, with Budinger out one-to-two months, Shved appears as if he’ll pick up more time at the two…
    • Meanwhile, Malcolm Lee started at SG for Roy but produced little in 23 min (from his typical eight): four points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal.

Denver vs. Phoenix

  • Kenneth Faried posted his fifth double-double in six games with 14 points (6-7 FG, 2-4 FT) and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes during Denver’s loss at Phoenix. He also has at least one block in five of six outings, but he committed a season-high four turnovers en route to the second-worst +/-  (-10) on the Nuggets tonight.
  • JaVale McGee again produced in limited minutes, scoring 16 points on 8-of-12 from the field in a season-high 24 minutes as Denver fell in Phoenix. He also had three rebounds, two blocks, and one assist.
    • He has at least one block in seven of eight contests, but his points and boards have been up-and-down. Range for points (4 – 16), rebounds (2 – 12), and minutes in 7-of-8 (18 – 24). It’s difficult to count on him for much in fantasy at the moment, other than blocks, of course.
  • Goran Dragic knocked down a season-high four three-pointers on his way to 21 points (7-12 FG, 3-4 FT) in 31 minutes in Phoenix’s victory over Denver. In addition, he produced seven assists, four rebounds, and two steals on the night.
    • He’s now hit better than 50 percent of his shots in three of his past four games, averaging 19.0 points, 6.3 assists, 2.0 three-pointers, and 1.5 steals in 34.6 minutes. As he’s become less of a facilitator and more of a scorer, the Suns have won three of those four outings. It’ll be interesting to see how coach Alvin Gentry utilizes him going forward.
  • Shannon Brown put up yet another nice performance off the bench, scoring 19 points on 7-of-16 from the field and 5-for-5 at the foul line during Phoenix’s win against Denver. He also provided four assists and two rebounds in 29 minutes.
    • For the first time this season, Brown did not attempt a three-pointer, this after draining 3.0 per game in his previous four contests. We expect him to continue to provide instant offense off the bench, spurred on by the three-ball, so consider Monday’s performance on aberration on that front.
  • Markieff Morris contributed across the board, recording 13 points (5-11 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six rebounds, five assists, and three steals in 25 minutes.
    • His points, assists, and steals are all season highs, while he hit his first trey of the season (on eight attempts). We don’t expect to see this production often, unless injuries were to supply him with more consistent playing time.

Atlanta vs. Portland

  • Smith put up a decent line with 19 points (9-22 FG, 1-1 FT), 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block in a foul-plagued 28 minutes. He had five fouls in the game.
    • Smith played with flu-like symptoms in this one and has also dealt with an ankle concern this season. As we’ll preach on this show throughout the season, be patient if he’s on your roster, and potentially target him in trades if his owner is grumbling about his first-round pick.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge matched his season-low with 14 points (4-13 FG, 6-9 FT) in 36 minutes as Portland’s comeback bid failed against Atlanta. He had some nice counting stats (eight assists, six rebounds, two steals), but he also turned the ball over five times.
    • Personally, this is a line I expected from Damian Lillard going into his rookie season, not the Blazers’ All-Star forward, who continues to falter as he lingers on the perimeter and not on the low block or the elbow, which was his maximum range in previous seasons.
    • Here are some quotes from an article I read today:
    • As recently as two seasons ago, Aldridge attempted 10 shots a game inside of 10 feet and, not surprisingly, he notched a career-best 21.8 points a game that season. But that number fell to 7.7 shots inside of 10 feet last season, and it continues to fall (5.4) in the early going this year.
    • Consider this for a moment: in none of Aldridge’s first six NBA seasons has he taken, on average, more than 6.4 shots a game outside of 15 feet away from the basket. This year, 11.6 shots a game are coming from 16 feet and out, hurting his shooting percentage (43.6) and preventing him from getting to the free throw line (3.0 attempts a game), where he’s a career 77.8 percent shooter. The guy is transforming from a post presence with range to a glorified wing shooter right in front of our eyes. That could be a bad thing for the Blazers.

I think that wraps us up here. If you would like to get in touch with us, you can e-mail us at NBApodcast@rotowire.com.

NBA Blogcast: Monday Production Notes

Blogcast notes by Eric Caturia (@ETCat30), James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson), and Kyle McKeown @RotoWireKyleNBA.

If you’d like to listen to the actual podcast, you can use the RSS feed or just copy and paste the link below.

RSS feed: http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/roto|UNDER|podcast.asp

Monday Podcast: http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/NBA|UNDER|Podcast|UNDER|11|UNDER|11|UNDER|12.mp3

Before we get too deep into all the specifics of the games, we’re going to go through . . .

OMB Don’t Panic: And Beware the Rankings

  • Russell Westbrook’s average-rank on Yahoo so far this season is 112. I think a lot of people will see that and panic. We just want to caution any new fantasy basketball players that they should not panic. There are several top players who have terrible per game ranks according to the Yahoo player ranker. They won’t stay there. In most cases, you should trust the preseason ranks and hold onto these. players. Looking at just the top-25 guys, the guys I’m about to list all have terrible per game ranks.
  • Deron Williams 154, Josh Smith 286, Dwight Howard 238, Ty Lawson 171.
  • James, Eric, are either of you worried about any of these guys?
    • E – I’m definitely concerned with Howard, mostly due to the fact that he’s not nearly the rebounder with the Lakers (9.3 boards) that he was with Orlando (14-plus per game in each of the last three seasons). Yes, the sample size is small — six games — but he has failed to surpass 10 rebounds in four of those contests.
  • Now, to bring this conversation full circle, there are also several players who have very high player ranks, who aren’t necessarily as valuable as they appear. Of the following players, who is genuine, and who is fool’s gold?
  • J.R. Smith 2, Jeff Teague 8, Chris Bosh 10, Joakim Noah 13, Anderson Varejao 14, O.J. Mayo 17, Jamal Crawford 20, Jason Kidd 22, Andrei Kirilenko 24?
  • In general, what can we take from the rankings on Yahoo?

Top News of the Day

Injuries

  • Chase Budinger will undergo surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear, and he’s expected to miss several weeks. However, we won’t know a firm timetable until after the surgery.
  • Brandon Roy has a sore knee. The Timberwolves don’t expect him to miss an extended period of time, but coupling this with his questionable production and you’ve got a player I’m not anxious to roster in anything but the deepest of leagues.
  • With Budinger and Roy sidelined, who can we expect to step up for the Timberwolves?
    • Who benefits most from taking on Budinger’s 23.5 and Roy’s 24.4 minutes per game? AK47 is at 33.0, Derrick Williams at 23.8.
    • Alexey Shved played 21 minutes Friday and 26 minutes Saturday. He averaged 9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 6.5 assists in those games. Would you consider playing him in a weekly league this week? The Timberwolves have three games.

  • Kyle Lowry is going to continue to sit out until he’s 100 percent. I feel like we’ve been down this road with Lowry in the past. He also admitted that the ankle issue is a recurrence of an issue he had in the Summer. I don’t want to panic anyone, but are we going to see the Stephen Curry curse travel to Canada this season?
  • Tyler Zeller remains out with concussion symptoms. It’s silly to guess at his return, because we won’t know if he’s coming back until after all the symptoms cease. If you have him in a deep league, keep him benched this week.
  • Alan Anderson took over the starting small forward spot from Landry Fields this weekend, but he also suffered a sprained left foot Saturday. If any of you Michigan State fans were getting excited, I’d hold off on adding the Spartan until we see if he’s healthy enough to play this week. Even if healthy, Anderson is only a very deep league option right now.
  • Landry Fields will see a specialist this week to examine the extent of his wrist injury. He did not play Saturday, and based on his injury and production, it’s hard to say when he’ll be relevant in most fantasy leagues again this season.
  • Linas Kleiza missed two games to attend to a family matter, but he returned to the Raptors on Saturday and played 12 minutes. If Anderson and Fields are sidelined, Kleiza could get the look as the starting small forward, giving him some modest value in deep leagues.
  • Hasheem Thabeet sat out Friday and Sunday’s games. He has a sprained left ankle. Daniel Orton was activated, but he only played two minutes Sunday.
    • As you said earlier, Ibaka, Perkins, and Collison will likely split Thabeet’s 12 min evenly.
  • Dwyane Wade sat out Friday’s game with an illness, but he played Sunday and appears ready to go for the week ahead. He played 33 minutes Sunday.

  • LeBron James has been experiencing some stiffness in his knee, but he’s not expected to miss anytime. The stiffness started after he banged knees with Josh Smith on Friday.
  • Jameer Nelson has missed five straight games with a groin strain. Orlando has three games this week. I’m not taking the risk by starting Nelson this week, and I think that makes E’Twaun Moore relevant for at least another week in standard leagues.
  • DeQuan Jones has missed the last three games for the Magic. He was interesting for about one night as a spot starter, but he’s really not rosterable in anything but the absolute deepest of leagues. The Magic have three games this week.
  • Wesley Matthews suffered a minor lower back injury Saturday, but he doesn’t expect to miss any time. As of Saturday night, Matthews said he was going to practice Sunday. Keep him active.
    • If he were to be limited at all, Sasha Pavlovic is the likely beneficiary, with Will Barton taking on any remaining minutes. It’s difficult to see any more going to Nicolas Batum as he is already averaging 39.5 minutes per game.
  • Kirk Hinrich is day-to-day with a hip strain. He underwent an MRI on Sunday. The Bulls have three games this week, and with him questionable for Monday, we’re going to consider Hinrich a three-game player for this week.
  • Anthony Davis returned from missing two games due to a concussion, posting a nice double-double (23 points and 11 rebounds), while tallying five blocks, two steals, and two assists in 37 minutes in a victory over Charlotte. There’s little to worry about here.
  • Wilson Chandler has sat out the last three games to rest his surgically repaired hip. The Nuggets are just being cautious with him, but until Chandler is healthy enough to be playing every night, I’m not going to roster him in anything but the deepest of leagues.
  • MarShon Brooks has missed the last two games with a sprained ankle. He’s probably questionable for Tuesday’s game. Gerald Wallace has also missed the last several games with a sprained ankle, and we’re looking at Thursday being a more likely return date for Brooks and Wallace than Tuesday.
  • Mo Williams missed Saturday’s game with a groin injury. Jamaal Tinsley started in his place and had 14 assists and zero points. There is no timetable for Williams’ return and he should be considered day-to-day.
  • DeJuan Blair sat out Saturday’s game with a knee contusion. He had been inserted into the starting lineup at center in place of Boris Diaw on Friday, but even then he played less minutes than Diaw. It doesn’t seem to be a significant injury, but Blair’s playing time is too erratic to rely on right now.
  • Tony Parker sat out Saturday’s game with the flu, but he should be ready to return to the lineup by Tuesday. The Spurs only have three games this week. If you were planning on using Parker, it’s probably safe to play him, but if you have a comparable healthy player with three or four games on your bench, I’d probably start the other guy.
  • Royce White is still dealing with migraine headaches and has yet to play in a game. He’s owned in two percent of Yahoo! leagues (I’m calling you out Josh). Is that too high right now?
  • Brendan Haywood was away from the Bobcats on Friday to deal with a personal matter, but he returned Saturday and reclaimed his spot as the starting center. He’s averaging 8.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 28 mpg right now. I know you wrote about Haywood in your Category Strategy article Sunday James. Can he be of use in fantasy right now?
  • Jermaine O’Neal has returned to the Suns, but he stayed in Phoenix on Saturday instead of traveling with the team to their game in Utah. He’s a bit player on this team, but their lack of depth in the frontcourt could create situations later this season that make him valuable on a given night. Other than that, O’Neal won’t be rosterable in most leagues this season.

Game Notes and Other Rigamarole

  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tossed up his first career double-double Saturday with 25 points (8-12 FG, 9-10 FT) and 12 rebounds in 41 minutes in Charlotte’s victory over Dallas.
    • E – It’s safe to say this likely wouldn’t have gone down if Shawn Marion had been healthy. However, it’s great to see MKG be able to exploit matchups a little more than a month past his 19th birthday. We expected his defense to be there immediately — he’s averaging 2.2 blocks and 1.6 steals in 30 minutes over five games — but believed it would take some time for his offense to catch up.
  • DeMarcus Cousins suspended two games for an altercation with announcer Sean Elliot after Friday’s game against the Spurs.

Planning for the Week Ahead

FIVE GAMES

Boston

  • Jared Sullinger started in Friday’s game but played limited minutes, and then Brandon Bass got the start on Saturday, with Sullinger playing just seven minutes off the bench. It appears Sullinger might be losing his spot in the rotation, and certainly in the starting lineup. Does this change how we view Bass?
    • Bass should see the same minutes he was seeing before the switch, 28 minutes per game. Sullinger can be dropped in most leagues at this point.
  • Meanwhile, there was also a shakeup in the starting lineup at shooting guard, with Jason Terry replacing Courtney Lee as a starter on Saturday. Lee still played more minutes than Terry, though he failed to score in 28 minutes, while Terry dropped 15 points in 22 minutes as a starter. Does anyone benefit from a fantasy perspective from this change?
    • This weakens Boston’s bench, so I’m not sure how long they stay with Terry in the starting lineup, but it doesn’t really change either of these guys’ value.

FOUR GAMES

Mavericks

  • After two more 20-point outings this weekend, O.J. Mayo has now scored 20-plus points in five consecutive contests. During that span, he’s averaging 25.8 points and 4.6 treys in 36 minutes per game.
  • Darren Collison scored just four points (1-8 FG, 2-2 FT) with eight assists Friday against the Knicks, but bounced back Saturday as he posted 14 points and six assists.
    • E – He continues to average 33.6 minutes per game, which is a career-best. Throughout his career, we’ve seen him be quite effective when he’s allotted big minutes, like in his rookie season with the Hornets – 37 starts, 19.1 points and 8.8 assists in 40.3 minutes.
  • Vince Carter had a season-best 19 points on 5-of-8 from 3-point range against Charlotte on Sat. He added five rebounds, three steals, two assists, and one block in a season-high 30 minutes.
    • E – Throughout five November tilts, he’s averaging 15.4 points, 2.8 three-pointers, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 25.2 minutes.
  • Jae Crowder continues to start in place of Shawn Marion (MCL) but has managed just 6.3 points (on 47 percent shooting), 2.7 boards, one assist, and one trey in 24.3 minutes.
    • E – The last few notes tell us that coach Rick Carlisle trusts his veteran more than the rookie to start the season, a fact that will likely hold for some time. Remember that Marion will be evaluated this week to determine whether he can return, which if delayed should favor Carter’s fantasy prospects over Crowder’s.

Sixers

  • Dorell Wright had 15 points in each of the Sixers’ games over the weekend. He also had a total of six threes and five steals in the two games. Could his solid play have any effect on Jason Richardson’s status as a starter when he returns from his ankle injury?

Thunder

  • Over his last five games, Serge Ibaka has been a monster, averaging 18.2 points, 6.4 boards, and 3.8 swats in 33.2 minutes, while shooting 63.2 percent from the field and 94.7 percent from the foul line.
    • E – Ibaka has not yet pulled down double-digit rebounds, but he has at least two blocks in every game this season. Furthermore, during the aforementioned stretch, he’s scored at least 14 points in each outing, which is well above his career-high scoring average of 9.9 from the 2010-11 season. For fantasy purposes, are we cool with him exchanging rebounds and some blocks for points and slightly more turnovers?

Heat

  • Nothing too notable.

Rockets

  • Parsons is in the top-20 in the NBA in minutes per game (37.7 mpg) and yet he’s still unowned in a lot of leagues.

Suns

  • Shannon Brown is owned in 15 percent of Yahoo! leagues, he had 22 points Friday and four points Saturday, living up to his reputation as a streaky shooter off the bench.

Trail Blazers

  • Nicolas Batum drilled 5-of-7 three-pointers on his way to a career-high 33 points (11-18 FG, 6-6 FT) in 39 minutes as Portland lost to San Antonio on Saturday. He contributed across the board, notching seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block.
    • Batum is earning his contract, averaging 2.7 three-pointers and 2.7 steals in 39.5 minutes per game so far this season.
  • J.J. Hickson again posted a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds Saturday. Of utmost importance is the fact he received the majority of minutes at center (34), which surpasses his playing time from the past two contests (25 and 23 min). Meyers Leonard recently ate into those minutes (23 and 24, respectively), but gathered just 13 on Saturday.
    • A Blazers beat writer has proposed moving Hickson to the bench to provide a punch to the NBA’s most futile bench (12.9 points per game). Really. That’s how much they’re producing at the moment. The primary reason is due to the fact that coach Terry Stotts prefers to keep two starters in the game at all time, which alleviates pressure on the reserves but ensures that the starters will handle a large minutes load this season. Obviously, this is great for fantasy purposes until said load begins to place wear and tear on the starters. I don’t want to say that fantasy owners should sell high on Blazers starters later in the season, but the lack of depth may haunt Stotts’ strategy eventually.

Pacers

Bulls

  • Nate Robinson had 18 points Saturday. If Kirk Hinrich’s hip injury becomes a bigger issue, Robinson could be a guy to consider picking up. Daily league players could particularly capitalize on Robinson’s value if Hinrich sits Monday.  
  • Taj Gibson is averaging 2.2 blocks in just 21 mpg right now. I know he’s a guy you wrote about this weekend James. Is this trend going to continue?

Knicks

  • Carmelo Anthony recorded 31 points (10-22 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 9-14 FT), seven rebounds, two blocks, and one assist in 34 minutes as the Knicks beat the Mavericks on Friday.
  • J.R. Smith racked up 22 points (8-16 FG, 3-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT), four steals, one rebound, and one block in 33 reserve minutes Friday as the Knicks outlasted the Mavericks.
    • E – We were somewhat dubious of his minutes load in the preseason, but that was likely due to concerns with his Achilles issue, which appears to have been a non-issue in the end.
  • Ronnie Brewer posted 13 points (4-10 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 3-5 FT), eight boards, two assists, two steals and one block in 37 minutes during the Knicks’ victory Friday over the Mavericks.
    • E – Brewer has drained seven treys in four games to date, which is far above his career mark of 25.7 percent, as well as last season’s 19-of-69 (27.5 percent) from 3-point land.

Raptors

  • Jonas Valanciunas is averaging 20 minutes per game and he is owned in just under 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Is there light at the end of the tunnel here? In Saturday’s game he had eight points and eight rebounds, he was efficient, but his playing time limited his production, and it wasn’t foul trouble-related.
  • Jose Calderon had his first great game as the starting point guard, scoring 14 points, with four three-pointers and 11 assists. He is owned in 60 percent of leagues, should that number be higher?

Jazz

  • Randy Foye is available in the majority of leagues, and is among the league leaders in three-pointers made, so he is definitely of use in roto leagues. He only played 15 minutes in Saturday’s game, which Mo Williams missed, so it’s a little concerning that they don’t view Foye as a replacement option at the point.

Pistons

  • Andre Drummond was allowed to play a little bit extra Friday and also played next to Greg Monroe for the first time this season. He put up 22 points and eight rebounds Friday and followed that up with seven and seven Saturday. The Pistons continue to limit his minutes, but whenever Drummond gets cut loose, he should be a pretty surefire double-double. Make sure you’re tracking him from game-to-game, and as soon as he starts cracking the 26 minute threshold, I would consider adding him in 12 team leagues.
  • Rodney Stuckey is averaging 7.9 points (24|PERCENT| shooting), 2.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.7 three-pointers (28|PERCENT| shooting), and 0.3 steals in 32 mpg. Are we still being patient with him, or are we dropping him in 12-team leagues?

THREE GAMES

Hawks

  • The Hawks appear content to play the matchup game with their starting lineup, but the one role player they’ve left in the starting lineup each game is Kyle Korver. He’s played 30 minutes in each of their last three games. Korver is taking about six three-point attempts per game right now and only hitting around 30 percent of them. If he continues to get the minutes and starts hitting his threes at his career 41-percent clip, Korver get could be a legit option in deep leagues based solely on his contributions from three-point land.

Timberwolves

  • Already got them covered in injuries.

Nets

  • Kris Humphries didn’t play 25 minutes in any of the Nets first four games, and then he finally saw big time run on Sunday, hauling in 21 boards, compared to Brook Lopez’s three rebounds. Hump was dropped in some leagues after his slow start. Is this a sign of things to come?

Wizards

  • Kevin Seraphin, a guy we had been pretty high on heading into the weekend, played 13 minutes on Friday and 15 minutes on Saturday, which is not a good sign going forward.
  • Trevor Ariza had seven steals while averaging 29 minutes in two games this weekend. He is owned in about 50 percent of leagues, and is worth a pickup if you need help with steals, now that he seems to have a firm playing time advantage over Martell Webster.

Spurs

  • The Spurs seem to be settling into their deeper rotation, and the only player we saw get over thirty minutes in each of their games Friday and Saturday was Tim Duncan. I don’t like what this means for Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard’s value from week-to-week this season.

Kings

Grizzlies

  • Somehow Wayne Ellington had 25 points and seven three-pointers Sunday, we’re not reading much into this, right?

Bobcats

  • What a well-rounded stat line from Kemba Walker on Saturday against Dallas – 26 points (10-22 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 6-8 FT), eight steals, seven assists, and six rebounds in a season-high 41 minutes.
  • On Friday, Ben Gordon poured in 34 points (14-21 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 3-4 FT) in 35 minutes during Friday’s defeat at New Orleans.
    • E – Through five games, Walker is averaging 10 more minutes per contest than Gordon (34.2 versus 24.2). This has resulted in some obvious production; Walker has a more well-rounded stat line (18.8 points, 5.8 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 85.2 FT|PERCENT|), while Gordon is thriving in the usual place (1.8 treys per).
  • Bismack Biyombo started in place of Brendan Haywood and showed his vast potential to contribute great defensive stats. He put up 13 rebounds, three blocks, and six points. But when Haywood returned Saturday, Biyombo moved back to the bench and played just 10 minutes. I feel like there’s a lesson that can be learned about fantasy here, and it starts with the typical line we spit about minutes being the most important? It ends with making sure that you look into why a player was given extra minutes before you overreact and pick him up based on one night’s production.

Warriors

  • Festus Ezeli played 20 minutes Friday but only 10 minutes Saturday, and it appears Carl Landry is going to see the only consistent extended minutes in the frontcourt while Andrew Bogut is sidelined. Andris Biedrins played a surprising 19 minutes Saturday, but that was in a double-overtime game, so I’m not reading into that just yet.

Lakers

  • Phil Jackson is the overwhelming favorite to become the Lakers’ new head coach. At this point it seems like the two sides are talking about money and other things like Phil possibly being able to skip some small road trips throughout the season. We know how players like Kobe, Pau and Metta will respond to Jackson and the triangle, but how does this help or hurt Dwight Howard and Steve Nash?
    • Nash should be fine, he’s incredibly smart and should have no trouble picking up the triangle offense. He won’t have the ball in his hands as much as when he was in Phoenix, but he should be the beneficiary of some open threes. He is a nice buy-low candidate right now with him on the shelf for another week or so. Howard should have no problem figuring out the triangle. The center position is by far the easiest position to learn in the triangle. It’s a lot of moving from one side of the paint to the other. There’s a chance that Jackson could really bring out the absolute best in Howard. There are no start players who you would point to and say, “they didn’t play their best under Phil Jackson.” Dwight doesn’t have the reputation for being someone who is constantly working on his game, constantly driven by wanting to win a championship, Jackson could change that, and I think he will see it as his number one challenge if he becomes the Lakers new coach.

Cavaliers

  • Alonzo Gee has posted double-digit points in four of his last six games; in six November tilts, he’s averaging 12 points, four rebounds, 2.6 assists, two steals, and 0.8 three-pointers in 30.2 minutes.
  • Daniel Gibson has picked up his game of late, recording 10-plus points in three consecutive contests; he’s recorded 15.7 points, 3.3 three-pointers, and 1.3 steals in 24.3 minutes per game (off the bench, of course).

Hornets

  • Ryan Anderson harkened back to last year with Orlando, notching a season-high 25 points (10-16 FG, 5-10 3Pt) in 28 minutes in Friday’s win over Charlotte. He also grabbed seven boards and dished out two assists.

Magic

  • J. J. Redick was moved into the starting lineup Sunday as the Magic desperately try to reclaim the wizardry that allowed them to start the season 2-0. They’ve since lost four straight and have rotated in DeQuan Jones, Josh McRoberts, and now Redick into the starting lineup. Who’s next? Do we like any of their wing players to step up and claim extra value right now?

Nuggets

  • It seems like we’re talking about this guy every week, but JaVale McGee is owned in 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues, but he continues to see limited minutes off the bench. He had 12 boards in 21 minutes Saturday. What are you doing with McGee if he’s on your team, or if you see someone drop him in a league?

Bucks

  • Some people were talking about Tobias Harris having a breakout season this year. Scott Skiles appears to have other plans, he played Harris 15 minutes on Friday and 10 minutes on Saturday.
    • This is really frustrating, as someone who drafted Harris this season, I’ve seen him produce when he’s been given opportunities. We knew Skiles was going to have a tough time managing this rotation coming into the season, but what’s the point of starting a guy if you’re only going to play him 10 minutes?

TWO GAMES

Clippers

  • DeAndre Jordan scored at least 20 points in back-to-back games and then went out Sunday and had just eight points and five rebounds in 24 minutes Sunday. He’s still a volatile and inconsistent player, but it’s great to see him capitalizing on his potential and developing more of the offensive side of his game.

Pickups:

James – I grabbed Alonzo Gee in a Roto league for steals. I also have claims in on Dorrell Wright, Chris Kaman and Metta World Peace in a points league.

Kyle – I paid $27 for Larry Sanders in a 12-team, 18-player roster league. E’Twaun Moore, Carl Landry, A.J. Price, and Jae Crowder were also added by teams in that league.

E-mails

From Mark:

  • What are your thoughts on A.J. Price’s value? Rotisserie league(11 teams, 19 players each). I have Billups and Rubio on my bench, waiting for them to come back from injury. What do you guys think?

From Bill:

I think that wraps us up here. If you would like to get in touch with us, you can e-mail us at NBApodcast@rotowire.com.

NBA Blogcast: Friday Production Notes

Blogcast notes by Eric Caturia (@ETCat30) and Kyle McKeown @RotoWireKyleNBA.

If you’d like to listen to the actual podcast, you can use the RSS feed or just copy and paste the link below.
RSS feed: http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/roto|UNDER|podcast.asp
Thursday Podcast:
http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/NBA|UNDER|Podcast|UNDER|11|UNDER|08|UNDER|12.mp3

Before we get too deep into all the specifics of the games, we’re going to go through the . . .

Top News of the Day

Injuries

  • Andrew Bogut will be rested for the next 7-10 days as the Warriors try to get his ankle issues under control. What does this mean for Bogut’s status in fantasy going forward, and who should we be adding in fantasy, Festus Ezeli (who will start at center with Bogut out) or Carl Landry (who has been a very effective scorer off the bench so far this season)?
  • Hey look! It’s a John Wall update! Wall was given positive news on the progress of his return from the knee injury that has sidelined him thus far. We still don’t have a firm return date, but the team said the near stress injury in Wall’s knee has shown progress in its healing. I guess we’re still looking at him being ready to return around the end of November.
  • Al Jefferson missed Thursday’s practice with a stomach virus. He’s traveling with the team, but he may be a game-time decision for Friday.
  • Kyle Lowry is no longer wearing the walking boot that he was given to support his sprained ankle, but he remains day-to-day going toward Saturday’s game.
  • Marcus Camby will play in Friday’s game. Coach Mike Woodson has decided that Camby is finally healthy enough to be a part of the rotation.
    • Now, with a frontcourt rotation of Tyson Chandler, Kurt Thomas, Rasheed Wallace, and Camby, how does this affect Carmelo Anthony’s minutes at the four? Do you think he’ll remain the starting power forward? And if he does, will coach Mike Woodson rotate players in so Carmelo is manning the perimeter a bit more?
  • Gerald Wallace will miss Friday’s game, and Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears reported that his source believes Wallace won’t return until next Tuesday or Thursday, with Thursday being the expected date.
    • Wallace is working his way back from an ankle injury. Hopefully we’ll know more about his status before Sunday’s podcast, but right now, you’re looking at him missing at least two more games Friday and Sunday. And then with the Nets having three games next week, you’re looking at the probability that he’ll miss at least Tuesday’s game. If you have to set your weekly lineups early Sunday or before, it might be a good idea to leave Wallace on your bench.
  • Jason Richardson is doubtful for Friday’s game. His ankle is getting better, but this will be the third game Richardson will miss if he can’t go. With another game on Saturday, it’s possible the Sixers will simply look to have him sit Friday with an eye toward playing Saturday, but that’s speculation at this point.
    • Dorell Wright (who has started in J-Rich’s place) has impressed, but Nick Young hasn’t not grown into his reserve role with the Sixers yet. DW – 10.7 points, 8 rebounds, 1.7 three-pointers, 1.3 steals, 1 block in 30.7 minutes ; NY – 6.3 points, 1 trey, 1 rebound in 26.3 minutes.
  • Jermaine O’Neal had not returned to the Suns in time for Thursday’s practice. He’s been away from the team for a personal matter, and it’s unknown if O’Neal will be available to play Friday.
  • Anthony Davis hasn’t had any concussion symptoms the last couple days, and it appears he’ll be able to return to the Hornets’ lineup Friday. We should get official word on the situation sometime Friday morning.
  • Austin Rivers has a sprained left index finger. He’s considered a game-time decision for Friday.
  • Kyrie Irving played through food poisoning Wednesday. He sat out Thursday’s practice, but it appears he’ll be ready to play Friday. Consider him probable.
  • C.J. Miles is also dealing with a bout of food poisoning, but he’s being considered questionable for Friday.
  • Dion Waiters sustained a bruise to his thigh in Wednesday’s game. He’s considered questionable for Friday.
  • Anderson Varejao sat out Wednesday’s game with a bruised knee, but he’s considered probable for Friday.
  • J.J. Barea suffered a mid-foot sprain Wednesday when he was chasing down a ball going out of bounds. He’s questionable for Friday’s game.
  • Jordan Crawford’s ankle injury is still sore, and the team is considering him a game-time decision. One of the Wizards beat writers said he asked Crawford how his ankle was, and Crawford said, “Gravy. Gravy.”
  • Kobe Bryant’s bruised foot is getting better, and he’ll continue to play on it, so no worries here.
  • Mickael Pietrus has said that his knee is 100 percent recovered from offseason surgery, but he still needs to sign with a team and prove he’s healthy before he’ll generate authentic fantasy value.
    • Thoughts on him potentially joining Indiana with Danny Granger (knee) out for at least three months? Would he start over Sam Young as a defensive presence in the starting lineup? How would this affect Gerald Green’s bench role? Finally, are there any other teams that could utilize his services?
  • Josh Childress participated in practice Thursday, but he’s still questionable to be available Friday. He’s working his way back from an ankle injury.
  • Chauncey Billups is working his way back from surgery to repair a torn Achilles. He hopes to be back in about a month.
  • Beno Udrih missed the Bucks’ last game with a thigh contusion. He returned to practice Thursday and is probable for Friday’s game.
  • Jameer Nelson is questionable for Friday’s game. He’s dealing with groin and hamstring issues that have kept him out of the Magic’s last three games.
    • In three starts, E’Twaun Moore is averaging 13 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 three-pointers, and 1.3 steals in 35.7 minutes. Meanwhile, J.J. Redick is recording 16.7 points, 4.7 assists, 2 treys, and 1.7 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game off the bench.

Game Notes and Other Rigamarole

Thursday’s Games

Thunder vs Bulls

  • Kevin Durant posted 24 points (11-19 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), four rebounds, three steals, three blocks, and one assist (versus six turnovers) in 38 minutes in Oklahoma City’s victory at Chicago.
    • He has just 10 boards over his past two games, as the rebounds have become distributed among his teammates. Still, he’s tallied at least two steals in four of five outings, with at least two blocks in three contests, but failed to knock down a three-pointer for the first time this season.
  • Russell Westbrook recorded his first double-double of the season with 16 points (7-22 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 1-1 FT) and 12 assists (versus two turnovers) in 36 minutes during Oklahoma City’s win in Chicago.
    • Thursday’s game marked his third game shooting less than 32 percent from the floor, as he now boasts a field-goal percentage of 37.1 percent. While it’s not far off his career mark of 43 percent, we, as fans, always expect more from him. Expect him to write the ship over time. Also to note: Westbrook has just two steals after five games, well below his 1.8 per game over the previous two seasons.
  • Serge Ibaka narrowly missed a double-double, notching a season-high 21 points (8-15 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 4-4 FT) and nine rebounds in 37 minutes, as Oklahoma City held off Chicago.
    • He added a steal and four blocks, and now has at least two swats in every game this season. He also knocked down his first three-pointer of the year. After hitting four during the preseason, we thought this trend may continue into the regular season, esp after he hit just 2-of-6 from beyond the arc over his first three seasons. No matter, it’s encouraging to see him increase his scoring in each game this season (4 – 7 – 14 – 17 – 21).
  • Kevin Martin contributed 15 points (3-5 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 8-9 FT), six rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 31 reserve minutes during Oklahoma City’s win in Chicago.
    • He continues to be one of the early season’s most efficient shooters, posting 52.1/63.6/93.8 splits through five contests. He also has at least 15 points and one steal in every game, while playing 29 minutes per.
  • Luol Deng poured in a season-best 27 points (11-21 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT) in 42 minutes as Chicago lost to Oklahoma City.
    • Outside of the offensive end, he notched just two assists, a season-low one rebound, one block, and one steal. After a 3-for-13 performance in the season opener, he’s hit 31-of-60 (51.7 percent).
  • Richard Hamilton scored 20 points (7-14 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 6-6 FT) to go with eight rebounds, two steals, and one block in 34 minutes as Chicago fell to Oklahoma City.
    • His point and rebound totals were both season highs, as he shot 50 percent or better for the second time in five contests this season. Don’t expect this output from the 34-year-old shooting guard going forward, but it’s encouraging to see him help ease the offensive burden that has mostly fallen on Luol Deng’s shoulders this season.

Clippers vs Trail Blazers

  • DeAndre Jordan scored 21 points to go with eight rebounds and a block Thursday.
    • This is the second straight game Jordan has scored 20 or more points. He was a surprising 5-of-7 from the line Thursday, and this increased production on the offensive end could make him the consistent fantasy option we’ve been hoping he’d become. It’s unlikely to continue, but it we have to admit that Jordan looked a lot more competent trying to score the ball Thursday than we’ve ever seen him before.
  • Blake Griffin put up seven points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and three steal in 26 minutes.
    • His stiff neck and sore elbow held down his output as he recorded seven points (3-9 FG, 1-4 FT), 10 rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 26 minutes as he sat much of the second half.
  • Jamal Crawford reclaimed the scoring narrative that has been his story this season, putting up 25 points in 28 minutes off the bench Thursday.
    • While he wasn’t crisp from three-point range (1-for-6), he scored in an array of ways Thursday. Without the pressure of having to facilitate this season — you know, having Chris Paul as a teammate and all — he is concentrating on scoring and thriving, averaging 20.4 points with 48.5/41.9/92.6 splits in 28.6 minutes per game.
  • J.J. Hickson put up five points and five rebounds in 23 minutes Thursday.
    • Hickson has now played 26 minutes or less in four of the Trail Blazers’ five games. Coming into Thursday, he was averaging 10.8 points and 11.2 rebounds in 25 minutes per game. It’s unlikely he’ll continue to put up that level of production if he can’t get more than 25 mpg.

I think that wraps us up here. If you would like to get in touch with us, you can e-mail us at NBApodcast@rotowire.com.

NBA Blogcast: Thursday Production Notes

Blogcast notes by James Anderson @RealJRAnderson and Kyle McKeown @RotoWireKyleNBA.

If you’d like to listen to the actual podcast, you can use the RSS feed or just copy and paste the link below.
RSS feed: http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/roto|UNDER|podcast.asp
Thursday Podcast:
http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/NBA|UNDER|Podcast|UNDER|11|UNDER|07|UNDER|12.mp3

Before we get too deep into all the specifics of the games, we’re going to go through the . . .

Top News of the Day

Injuries

  • Danny Granger will miss the next three months after receiving an injection for the patellar tendinosis that has kept him sidelined this season. Whose value has been increased with Granger out already this season, or who could you see getting more value following this announcement?
    • This moves Paul George firmly inside the top 40 fantasy players for the season, we’d always talked about how the Pacers should trade Granger to make way for George, now we’ll get to see what that would look like. Not super high on Green in standard leagues, Stephenson could have just as much value.
  • Anthony Davis sat out Wednesday’s game as he continues to work to return from the concussion he suffered last weekend. The Hornets’ next game is Friday against the Bobcats.
    • Slightly concerned, we’ve seen players in other sports be affected differently with concussions (Crosby, Best), hopefully Davis isn’t a special case.
  • Kyle Lowry sat out Wednesday’s game. He has a sprained right ankle that he suffered in Tuesday’s game. They called him doubtful Wednesday morning, and Lowry himself called it a minor twist. Realistically, we’d expect him to be back in short order. so the best bet is to just put him on your bench and wait until we hear that he’s ready to return.
    • Yeah, the Raptors only have one more game this week, on Saturday against the Sixers. With another two days off there’s a good chance he could be ready to play by then.
  • Austin Rivers missed Wednesday’s game with a sprained left index finger. I don’t think we know the extent of this injury, yet. It came out as a surprise note Wednesday morning.
    • The Hornets are really hurting, they scored a franchise-low 62 points Wednesday. Darius Miller doesn’t intrigue muc, wouldn’t expect Rivers to be out long.
  • Steve Nash is traveling with the Lakers and will have the non-displaced fracture in his fibula reassessed Saturday. The Lakers play the Warriors on Friday and the Kings on Sunday. We have to assume he’ll be out Friday, but does this news mean we might see him Sunday?
    • I think Nash wants to be a good teammate and travel with the team and the training staff. You wouldn’t expect the Lakers to need Nash to get past the Kings, but it seems like he’ll probably be close to a game-time decision for that one.
  • Anderson Varejao sat out Wednesday’s game with a bruised knee suffered in the Cavs’ last game. The Cavs also have Tyler Zeller sidelined. They started Tristan Thompson and Samardo Samuels in the frontcourt Wednesday. Do you think this is a serious injury? What fantasy impact does Varejao’s injury create?
    • I doubt it’s very serious, simply because we didn’t find out about it until right before tipoff. It boosts Thompson’s value if he misses significant time, but I wouldn’t want to roll the dice with the Samardo Samuels of the world.
  • Gerald Wallace sat out Wednesday’s game against the Heat with a sprained ankle. This was the second straight game he’s missed. The Nets have two more games this week, both against the Magic on Friday and Saturday. We don’t have any idea if Crash will be ready to go. You’ll have to keep tabs on that going into the weekend.
  • Greg Monroe had the first triple-double of the season, 21 points, 12 boards, 11 assists, the 11 dimes were a career high, Pistons still lost.
  • Andrew Bogut played his limited minutes and put up a rather empty stat line. It’s going to be hard to play this guy in weekly or rotisserie leagues as long as he’s playing under 20 mpg.

Special injury strategy segment: Hold or Fold

We received an e-mail from Jeff in OKC this morning, and he asked,
“When you’re holding two, three or four injured players on your roster, when does it come time to make the decision to drop a player?  I’m specifically thinking about guys like a Danny Granger, Andrew Bynum, John Wall, Amar’e Stoudemire or Kevin Love (season keepers/proven producers when healthy).  In some of those cases, I think the decision is easy that you have to hold (Love, Wall)  but what about when you’re holding multiple injured players and are in danger of losing ground to your league rivals?

  • I’ve got some ideas on this, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this James?
    • Each case is different, depending on how deep your league’s bench is, if there are IR spots, how competitive you think you can be with these guys missing time… Granger and Stoudemire could be dropped in a case where keeping them on your team is going to put you at a potentially costly disadvantage. Bynum, Wall and Love need to be rostered in all leagues at this point, regardless of the situation. However, if you can trade Bynum for 75 cents on the dollar right now, you’d have to consider it.

Game Notes

  • Josh Smith returned to the lineup Wednesday after having missed Sunday’s game with a sprained ankle. Probably the most interesting thing here is that Smith started at small forward Wednesday, and the Hawks ran a big lineup of Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Smith, Al Horford, and Zaza Pachulia. Do you think we’ll continue to see this big lineup? How does playing more at the three potentially affect Smith’s fantasy value.
    • It’s not a dramatically big lineup, I’d consider LeBron and J Smoove to be similar in size and LBJ played the three every year up until this season. Smith has played the three in the past, he might get some favorable matchups around the hoop to go with a few more three-point attempts, but I don’t see a difference in his value overall, because he could just as easily take a slight hit in rebounds and field-goal percentage.
  • Jarret Jack and David Lee missed Wednesday’s shootaround with illnesses, but they were both able to play against the Cavs.
    •  
  • John Henson was active for the first time Wednesday. He injured his knee during the preseason and was sidelined for about three weeks. There’s a lot of depth in the Bucks’ frontcourt, will he be able to get any minutes?
    • He will, but not enough initially to be of much note in fantasy.
  • Jordan Crawford played in Wednesday’s game. He was questionable with a sprained ankle.
    • Just 15 minutes, probably not at 100 percent
  • Wilson Chandler did not play Wednesday. We knew this coming in. The Nuggets are keeping him out of the second game of back-to-back sets until they feel he’s 100 percent recovered from his offseason hip surgery and fully conditioned.
  • Maurice (or Moe) Harkless played his first game of his NBA career Wednesday. The Magic cut him loose at the end of the first quarter, and he got some significant run off the bench. Harkless put up seven points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals, and two blocks. Damn if that doesn’t get me thinking of running out and grabbing him off the waiver wire.
    • Harkless played 22 minutes, which is really encouraging, but it was his first action. We’ll need to see a bigger sample size to recommend him in standard leagues. With Hedo Turkoglu out with a broken hand and Josh McRoberts playing like Josh McRoberts, there’s room for him to elbow in and get a big role. Just realize this kid is a rookie, and Jaque Vaughn has come out and said that he wants to ease the kid into action. Dynasty league players should roster this kid, and fantasy players in leagues with extremely deep rosters should grab him on a flier for the two games this weekend.
  • Elton Brand missed Wednesday’s game for the birth of his child.
  • Dion Waiters injured his thigh in the third quarter of Wednesday’s game. He played through the injury. It’s supposedly just a bruise. He iced it down and should be fine, but it’s also something we’ll monitor going forward.

Wednesday’s Games

Suns vs Bobcats

  • Michael Beasley had a great game Wednesday. He put up 21 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, a steal, three blocks, and a three-pointer in 43 minutes.
    • It looks like Alvin Gentry has shortened up his rotation a little bit. Wesley Johnson didn’t get off the bench. Beasley was only averaging 29 mpg coming into Wednesday. . . . The rebounds may have came with Luis Scola playing a few less minutes and Jermaine O’Neal not being there to backup the center position. . . . Don’t read much into the assists. Beasley only average 1.4 apg over his career.  
  • Shannon Brown put up 24 points and made six three-pointers in 24 minutes.
    • If you have him in a deep league, you love this, but even though he’s come out and posted 18 points and 24 points in his last two games, the fact remains that Brown is only going to get between 20-25 mpg off the bench. Until he jumps into the starting lineup, it’ll be hard to own him in anything other than deep leagues.
  • Tyrus Thomas played 16 minutes. This is significant because he left the Bobcats’ last game with an illness.
    • Yeah, other than that, I don’t see him carving out too large of a role on this team. Tyrus Thomas seems destined to be an energy guy off the bench.
  • Gerald Henderson’s absence gave us our first look at who is going to get extra minutes over the next 2-4 weeks.
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played a season-high 29 minutes and put up nine points, eigth rebounds, three assists, three steals, and three blocks.  He has not taken a three-point attempt yet this season. I’d say we’re seeing what we expected from this kid. He’s getting good defensive stats, but his limitations on offense made his late-70s draft position objectively off base.
  • Byron Mullens came into Wednesday’s game shooting 14 percent from three-point land, and some of his owners were panicking a little bit. I was loving it. Even though he wasn’t hitting his shots, Mullens took an average of 7.0 three-point attempts through his first two games, and that volume shooting paid off Wednesday. He put up 24 points and eight rebounds while converting six of his 10 three-point attempts.
    • He really behaves like he’s a great shooter, and shooter’s gotta shoot.
  • Jeremy Taylor started at shooting guard in Henderson’s place, but Ramon Sessions and Kemba Walker played 35 minutes and 40 minutes respectively. It seems they were the primary beneficiaries of Henderson’s leftover minutes. Could this continue, or were we just seeing the Bobcats and Suns play a lot of small ball that allowed the Cats to play their guards an inordinate amount of minutes?
    • I don’t see Taylor having much value out of this situation, it also seems to have helped MKG, as far as minutes are concerned.

Wizards vs Celtics

  • Jared Sullinger started a second straight game at power forward.
    • Doc is trying to add some firepower with Bass off the bench. Sullinger hasn’t really established himself, he’s more of a placeholder until Bass enters the game.
  • The Wizards have finally started playing the guys we’ve been saying they should. I don’t want to be a complete ass, but there is some vindication here.
  • Bradley Beal was aggressive. He made mistakes, but he also made plays, got minutes, and showed up in the box score. Beal put up 16 points, four rebounds, three assists, a steal, a block, and three three-pointers in 38 minutes.
    • Beal shot poorly, finishing 6-15 from the field, but we expect inefficiency from rookies. What we’re taking out of this is the positive that he took 15 shots.
  • A.J. Price finished with 15 points, five rebounds, and seven assists in 37 minutes. Does this excite you at all?
    • No. Price struggled coming into this game, and Jordan Crawford only played 15 minutes. This kind of production should not be the norm for him. Let someone else take a flier on Price. I’d go see if Beal was dropped.
  • Or if Kevin Seraphin is still available. Seraphin had his second straight good game, even though they still brought him off the bench. He posted 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and a block in 36 minutes. Martell Webster had a good game off the bench as well, finishing with 16 points, six rebounds, and three three-pointers in 35 minutes. We’ve talked a lot about Seraphin. He’s still only owned in 29|PERCENT| of Yahoo leagues. Webster is only owned in 1|PERCENT| of Yahoo leagues. I think we both agree that Seraphin needs picked up asap, but is Webster someone you would take a flier on?
    • Not in standard leagues. I just think there are too many moving pieces with Beal, Crawford, Singleton… I’m not saying Webster doesn’t have the game to be ownable in most leagues, I’m just not betting on him to get the opportunities to make him worth the roster spot.

Pacers vs Hawks

  • There’s not a lot going on in this Hawks’/Pacers box score, so I’ll just fire off some thoughts. Feel free to chime in.
  • We fielded a trade question in yesterday’s podcast asking us about the value of David West and Jeff Teague. I talked about West getting limited minutes, and then the news that Danny Granger is going to miss three months comes out this morning, and West plays 36 minutes. I may have to eat crow here if West actually averages over 29 or 30 mpg this season. In my defense though, the guy only grabbed six rebounds, and I’m starting to think he has that number tattooed somewhere.
  • I also said that Jeff Teague’s lack of three-point attempts made him less valuable than a lot of other guards, and then he comes out and chucks three shots from beyond the arc, hitting one. This is a fickle game.

Nets vs Heat

  • This was a Miami Massacre. The Nets were slaughtered.  
  • I’m guessing a lot of people saw Kris Humphries go out and get a double-double, but that still came in only 24 minutes of action. We’re very concerned about his minutes, and getting a double-double in only 22-24 minutes every night isn’t going to happen.
    • At the same time, don’t cut bait with Hump just yet. Hopefully Avery Johnson sees this production and realizes that there’s no reason not to give him more minutes. It’s not like Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans are made men.

Nuggets vs Rockets

  • The nightly Kenneth Faried report. Faried played 35 minutes and put up 16 points, 16 rebounds, a steal, and a block. The trend I’m seeing here is that the Nuggets are shortening their bench when Wilson Chandler is out, and it’s getting Faried more minutes.
    • Faried has had three straight good games. Make sure he’s in your lineups, and especially make sure he’s in there when Chandler is sitting on the second night of back-to-backs.  
  • James Harden struggled with his shot Wednesday. But who was he playing against James?
    • Iggy, these guys played on the Olympic team together, A.I. knows what Harden wants to do and probably viewed this as a specific game in which he really wanted to shut down the guy on the other side. Harden isn’t going to lead our podcast every night he plays.

Magic vs Timberwolves

  • Josh McRoberts started at small forward, and this mystery will forever go unsolved. I’m not even sure Jacque Vaughn knows the answer.
  • The Magic were outmatched on the second game of a back-to-back set. We watched this game a little bit, and there isn’t much to take from the Magic side of this game other than the promising games we saw out of Harkless and Andrew Nicholson. This is a team in flux, and I’m sure we’ll see things continue to flux this weekend.
  • The Timberwolves had this game in hand most of the way, so we aren’t going to read too much into their stats either. Stats matter when teams are playing their regular rotations and fighting to win, not thrashing their opponent like Eddie Murphy thrashed Samuel L. Jackson in Coming to America.

Grizzlies vs Bucks

  • Larry Sanders continues to be the most-used big man in the Bucks’ frontcourt rotation. He played 26 minutes Wednesday, putting up 10 points, 11 boards, three assists, a steal, and three blocks. Is this legit? Will it last?
    • One of my friends asked me if he should start Larry Sanders over Nikola Pekovic in a weekly league next week, I said no, just because I want to see a little more out of Larry, but it’s very close, which sounds crazy, and that gives you an idea of where his stock is at right now.

Sixers vs Hornets

  • LaVoy Allen returned to the starting center spot with Kwame Brown sidelined indefinitely with a calf injury. He put up 12 points and four rebounds in 27 minutes, but he’s really only a deep league option and won’t maintain value whenever Andrew Bynum comes back.
  • Evan Turner had 14 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. This is two straight good games from Turner. I think expectations for him were too high this preseason. There are a lot of holes in his game for fantasy. Where he probably has the most value is in points leagues, but he’ll need to be consistent to be relevant there, too.
  • Spencer Hawes had 11 points, six rebounds, and three blocks in 23 minutes. This is a good game, but it’s a far cry from his potential.
  • The Hornets scored just 62 points. There’s not much to say when a team shoots 33 percent from the field.
    • Yeah. Congrats to Al-Farouq Aminu for grabbing 16 boards, but that’s also something Andrea Bargnani could probably do if he were playing in a game where the teams combined to shoot under 40 percent from the field.

Raptors vs Mavericks

  • With Kyle Lowry out of the picture, DeMar DeRozan came out looking to shock the world, apparently. He put up 24 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. Unfortunately, he needed a night like this to make up for eight-point/one-rebound stinker he put up Tuesday.
  • Landry Fields continues to be terrible, and I hope no one owns him in any leagues. He has the opportunity to be a contributor in Toronto, but he’s not capitalizing on it.
  • Amir Johnson got a lot of run with Jonas Valanciunas playing only 10 minutes due to foul trouble. Johnson put up 18 points and 11 rebounds. He’s averaging just seven and five on the season, so chalk this up to a good night.
  • Chris Kaman moved back into the starting lineup with Elton Brand away from the team. He put up 22 points and eight rebounds. When he’s healthy, Kaman has to be owned in pretty much all standard leagues.
  • Jae Crowder got his first start, playing in place of Shawn Marion. He put up eight points, four boards, and two three-pointers.
  • Bernard James, 28-year-old rookie center, put up six points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. Not much to take from this other than to give the old rookie kudos.

Lakers vs Jazz

  • The Jazz looked like the better team as the Lakers still look out of sync, and Kobe was starting look like pissed off Kobe, circa the Smush Parker years. The Jazz are incredibly balanced and deep, nobody scored 20 points and they still beat the Lakers convincingly. Foye is just one in a long list of super-sub combo guards in the mold of Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford or Lou Williams, who can carry their teams on any given night, which Foye did against the Lakers, hitting five three-pointers.

Pistons vs Kings

  • Unless you were a fan of either of these teams, or maybe unless you were a Kings fan, this game was pretty hard on the eyes. Greg Monroe, we already touched on. Brandon Knight finally shot the ball well, 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting, five three-pointers. Isaiah Thomas had a nice night, but still played just 21 minutes, notched his sixth and seventh assists of the season. Rodney Stuckey played 34 minutes but only took six shots.

Cavs vs Warriors

  • David Lee and Carl Landry each had monster nights, but it should be noted that the Cavs started Tristan Thompson and Samardo Samuels in the frontcourt Wednesday, so the competition wasn’t stiff.
  • Even with Varejao sidelined, Thompson only put up 11 points, 10 boards, and an assist in 36 minutes. I’m starting to wonder if this kid is going to put it together this season.
  • Harrison Barnes played 30 minutes for the second-straight game, would you grab him in standard leagues if someone dropped him?
  • Dion Waiters came back down to earth. He was 5-of-15 from the field. . . .  It appears clear that he’s going to get his shots.

Spurs vs Clippers

  • The Spurs got waxed in this one, and Popovich made the decision to call off the dogs, so the minutes are pretty skewed here on that side, although Danny Green continues to be an assassin from deep. He was 3-of-5 from long range.
  • Lamar Odom is still owned in 8|PERCENT| of Yahoo leagues. That number should be lower. He’s become close to a non-factor for them, and Grant Hill still isn’t back.
  • Eric Bledsoe has had back-to-back games with 20-plus minutes and solid production in multiple categories. He had 15 points, five assists, a block, a steal, a three, and shot 50 percent from the field. Are you at the point where you’re keeping an eye on him, or even targeting him in deeper leagues?

Deep Injury Notes

  • Corey Maggette is expected to remain sidelined until the Pistons return home from their current West Coast road trip. The Pistons don’t return home until next Monday, so he’ll be out the rest of the week.
  • Tyler Zeller will be out indefinitely with a non-displaced fracture of his orbital cheekbone. He’ll also be put through the NBA’s concussion protocol. Zeller suffered this injury when he took an elbow from DeAndre Jordan on Tuesday.
  • Earl Watson has recovered from the knee surgery he underwent last season, but he’s still working to get his endurance up to NBA levels. Whenever he returns, he could further confuse the deep bench in Utah. Likely, though, he’ll be more of just an insurance policy.
  • John Salmons has been held out of game action after being away from the Kings for the birth of his child. The team wants him to go through a few practices before they get him any minutes in the rotation.
  • Greg Smith missed the Rockets’ last couple games with a left foot injury. He was available Wednesday, but he did not play. In the limited minutes he played before sustaining the injury, Smith played well. With Patrick Patterson healthy, though, Smith is unlikely to get significant minutes.
  • Rodrigue Beaubois sat out his third straight game with an ankle injury Wednesday. He was a game-time decision, so it appears he’s nearing a return.

I think that wraps us up here. If you would like to get in touch with us, you can e-mail us at NBApodcast@rotowire.com.

NBA Blogcast: Wednesday Production Notes

Blogcast notes by @RotoWireJustin and @RotoWireKyleNBA.

If
you’d like to listen to the podcast, you can do so here:
http://www.rotowire.com/podcast/NBA|UNDER|Podcast|UNDER|11|UNDER|06|UNDER|12.mp3

Before we get too deep into all the specifics of the games, we’re going to go through some key items that you . . .

Need to know:

  • Kyle Lowry left Tuesday’s game with a sprained right ankle. He’ll probably miss Wednesday’s game against the Mavs, but that hasn’t been officially announced, yet. . . . Some late news on his ankle injury came out, and Lowry said it was just a quick twist – nothing scary – nothing to be worried about. He left the arena in a walking boot as a precaution.
    • The Raps have two days off after Wednesday, so he could be back in time for Saturday’s game against the Sixers . . .  if he even sits Wednesday.
  • Shawn Marion will miss at least the next three games with a sprained MCL in his knee.
    • Jae Crowder is the interesting player to add here. Jae Crowder per-36 minute this season: 16.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.5 blocks, 1.8 three-pointers. (46|PERCENT| FG)
  • Anthony Davis (concussion) is unlikely to be ready to play Wednesday.
    • Yeah, the team is planning on starting Ryan Anderson at power forward on Wednesday right now. Things are looking positive for Davis to return soon, but the league likes to be cautious with concussions. The Hornets’ next game is Friday. Hopefully Davis is good to go by then.
  • Josh Smith was limited in practice Tuesday, and his status for Wednesday’s game remains up in the air.
    • Anthony Tolliver will probably start at power forward again if Smith can’t go, and Al Horford will have to carry more of the load in the frontcourt.
  • Gerald Henderson will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a mid-foot sprain.
    • Either Ramon Sessions or Ben Gordon should capitalize on this. Hard to say if they’ll go with Sessions’ size or BG’s shooting in the starting lineup. Could see them wanting to keep Sessions as the backup point off the bench. We could see a surprise guy step into the starting lineup.
  • Jameer Nelson (groin/hamstring) sat out Tuesday’s game against the Bulls, and he’s unlikely to play Wednesday against the Timberwolves.
    • E’Twaun Moore has started the last two games at point guard with Nelson out. With Moore being a more aggressive player, there’s a big part of me that wants to suggest going out and picking him up. Once Nelson is healthy, Moore will be moving back into a bench role and have his minutes cut sharply. The one thing that could keep Moore getting plenty of minutes would be if the Magic decide to run him at the two next to Aaron Afflalo and move DeQuan Jones back to the bench. Through three games, he’s averaging  15 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.3 three-pointers in 32 minutes per game.
  • Rodney Stuckey had a terrible start to the season due to migraine headaches, but he must have gotten over them, because he posted 17 points, four rebounds, four assists, a block, and two three-pointers in 39 minutes Tuesday.
    • He began the season shooting 1-for-23 from the field through three games. That’s 4|PERCENT| shooting. Stuckey is going to be OK. He has developed his outside shot, so that’s something we should see him do more, and he likes to attack the wrack. Where Stuckey struggles is finishing around the rim, and that’s been the one thing that’s really kept him from being a consistent fantasy option. I believe if he continues to hit threes that we’ll see him finish the season as a consistent starter in fantasy lineups.
  • Greg Monroe finally put up the stats everyone thought he’d come charging out of the gate with. He scored 27 points to go with 10 rebounds, and he added a surprising three blocks.
    • This should be typical from Monroe.

Tuesday’s Games:
Raptors vs Thunder

  • This was largely a blowout, so we’re not going to wax over the numbers here too much. But, Kyle, what’d you see that’s just worth mentioning?
    • On the Raptors side, Jonas Valanciunas played 32 minutes, putting up 18 points and six rebounds. That’s a season-high in minutes for the rookie center, which is a little frustrating, because it’s hard to read into what that means. Is Dwane Casey going to limit his minutes in games that actually matter? This is a text book example of why it’s dangerous investing in rookies.
    • The rest of the guys here, DeRozan, etc. Don’t read into their numbers. The Thunder were tacking a lot of flack from the media after starting the season 1-2 behind the James Harden trade. The Thunder were going to make a statement tonight. Not to mention the fact that the Thunder obtained the Raptors’ first-round pick in next year’s draft, and by beating them, they’ve helped make that pick potentially a little better.
  • Speaking of the Thunder, with this being a blowout, we don’t want to take too much out of their numbers, but what did you see from them in this game?
  • Russell Westbrook played through Tuesday’s game with a sore shoulder, scoring 19 points and adding 8 assists.
    • It’s good to have confirmation that he’s healthy and faclitating.

Magic vs Bulls

  • Aaron Afflalo had a great game. He put up 28 points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal, a block, and three triples.
    • Afflalo should average near 20 ppg when the season is over, so people should get used to seeing nights like this. The assists may be a little off, but on a whole, this is in line with what we can see him do on a given night in Orlando.
  • Nikola Vucevic (Nick-oh-la Vu-cha-vich) had another solid game. He put up 16 points, 10 rebounds, a steal, and two blocks.
    • He’s the starting center in Orlando, and he’s going to get big minutes as long as he stays out of foul trouble. After struggling in the season opener, he’s come out and averaged 17.5 points, 12 rebounds, a steal, and a block in 39 minutes. Vucevic is only owned in 48|PERCENT| of Yahoo leagues. Go grab him.
  • Joakim Noah scored 20 points to go with nine rebounds, four assists, and five blocks. He’s scored 20 or more points in two of his four games. Is this legit?
    • Noah has played 40-plus minutes in three of the Bulls’ four games. If he’s getting those kind of minutes, anything is possible on a give night. I think the 11 pts and 10 pts he scored in the other two games is more indicative of what he’ll average this season.

Pistons vs Nuggets

  • We’ve been pretty harsh on the Pistons this season, and justifiably so. However, we saw them play much better on offense Tuesday, and it was reflected in some of their players’ fantasy lines. We already covered Stuckey and Monroe at the top of the show, so what did you see from other guys?
    • Brandon Knight wasn’t looking for his shot. He was being a facilitator. I like this. If he gets that part of his game down, we know he can score. I’ll take slow scoring start to the season to have him develop into a better overall fantasy player for later in the season.
  • And on the Nuggets’ side of the ball?
    • I think the first guy I look at on the Nuggets’ side of a box score every game is JaVale McGee. He put up 16 points for the second straight game and added three rebounds and three blocks in only 18 minutes. Timofey Mozgov
    • Kenneth Faried had 15 and 8 in 23 minutes. I don’t like the limited minutes, but I love the production.

Deep Injury Notes:

  • Beno Udrih will miss Wednesday’s game against Memphis. He suffered a quad in injury in Monday’s practice.
  • Louis Williams left Tuesday’s practice early with a migraine, but he’ll play Wednesday, so no worries there.
  • Rodrigue Beaubois (Bow-Bwaa) has been out with an ankle injury and is a game-time decision for Wednesday.
  • Jordan Crawford has an ankle injury and is a game-time decision for the Wizards on Wednesday. He’ll likely play.
  • Kobe Bryant sat out practice Tuesday, but he’ll play Wednesday.
  • Blake Griffin had Ronny Turiaf crash into him in practice Tuesday, and he sat out the end of practice with a stiff neck. He’ll be fine, but if he seems inefficient at all, just know he’s dealing with a stiff neck and sore elbow right now.
  • Iman (E-mon) Shumpert (knee surgery) is not expected to return until January or February.

I think that wraps us up here. If you would like to get in touch with us, you can e-mail us at NBApodcast@rotowire.com.