News and Notes
- After just recently coming back from the broken foot that kept him out the whole first half of the season Brook Lopez now has a sprained ankle that will keep him out for another three weeks. It’s worrisome to see these foot and ankle injuries becoming a pattern, but hopefully this won’t continue.
- The Mavericks also lost their starting center to a sprained ankle just one minute into the game last night. Brendan Haywood came down wrong and that was it for him. Ian Mahinmi came into the game and did pretty well in reserve. Mahinmi scored 13 points in the game, all of them in the first half. With Haywood hurt and Brendan Wright already missing time Mahinmi might surface as a quality pickup, centers aren’t easy to come by.
- While neither guy played an extensive amount of minutes, both Danilo Gallinari and Nene Hilario did return from their injuries last night. They will likely work their way back into starter minutes in a matter of time, possibly by the next game. Guys coming back from injuries are always good potential buy low options.
Gordon Hayward: Josh Howard may have taken Hayward’s starting spot, and rightly so, but don’t just assume Hayward is a fantasy dead man. Hayward played 28 minutes last night and had a season high 23 points. Hayward also had five assists, four rebounds, a steal and a couple of three’s. Hayward may actually be better coming off the bench that he was starting. Don’t throw in the towel on him yet.
Drew Gordon: It’s hard to argue that Brandon Jennings was the star of the show for the Bucks last night, but Drew Gooden was awfully impressive as well. Gooden had 25 points, 10 rebounds and a blocked shot. Over the last five games Gooden is averaging 19.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 0.6 blocks. On top of all of this Gooden is taking over eight free throw shots per game and is making 90% of them. He doesn’t have a big name, but you might be able to work that to your favor and get Gooden cheaper than you should in a trade.
Kevin Love: The battle between Kevin Love and Blake Griffin was won by Love last night and in fantasy leagues he should be considered the winner overall as well. Love scored 39 points including hitting five three-pointers in the game. Love also had just another rebounding game with 17 of them. Love has now scored 81 points in his last two games as he continues to morph into one of the better scorers in the league to go along with being one of the two best rebounders. This is why I have him surpassing Chris Paul and becoming the number three guy in the league. If he keeps growing at this pace he’ll be pushing Durant and Lebron soon.
Darren Collison: Last night couldn’t have been much worse for Collison who had no points, three assits and a board. Collison has been decent so far this season, but he hasn’t really taken the next step that I, and others, thought he would take. He’s still a low teen scorer and is only getting between five and six assists per game. Now George Hill is back in the picture after recovering from his injury and he will cut into Collison’s playing time and production.
Caron Butler: The cold spell that Caron Butler is going through continued on last night in a very bad way when he didn’t score a single point and pulled in just three rebounds. Butler is averaging just 7.4 points per game over his last seven. He also only had 4.2 rebounds per game, has made just three treys and has only stolen three passes. What once were the strengths of Butler (steals and threes) just aren’t happening right now and neither are the points. I wouldn’t cut him yet, but this cold streak has to have him firmly on your bench.
Vince Carter: So the re-emergence of Vinsanity in Dallas was greatly exaggerated. Carter had some nice moments early in the season, and he may have a few more as the season wears down, but the guy is past his prime and that much is clear again. Last night Carter only played 10 minutes and he didn’t score at all. Carter has only broken double digits in points in two of the last seven games, and three times he has scored four points or less. Rodrigue Beaubois is emerging and demanding more minutes and Carter is going to be at the wrong end of that increase. Drop him if you got him unless you play in a deep league.