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