2009. The most painful opening to a fantasy basketball season I can remember. I can’t wait until midnight tonight so I can french kiss January. Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? If only.
Things aren’t getting any better as we careen towards a new decade. Troy Murphy is my latest victim, out a week with an ankle injury, and word on the street is that Rajon Rondo is dealing with a potentially serious hamstring problem. Tyreke Evans, another one of my guys, is probably out for a few more games, missing a juicy four-game week when I need it most. And how much longer can Kobe Bryant drop 40 points on people with every limb in danger of falling off at any moment?
There are actually five games on the slate tonight, including a 3 p.m. EST tilt between the Bulls and Pistons that could force people to start drinking early just to get through. The night games are intriguing, such as Jazz at Thunder and Heat at Spurs, but are intruding on a new episode of Jersey Shore. By the time the Sixers and Clippers tip at 9:30, I could be in no shape to handle Chris Kaman in HD, but you best believe I’ll be celebrating at midnight with all of my might if my eyes are still open at that time. I desperately need a fresh start in basketball.
In keeping with this forward thinking, I won’t spend too much time on Wednesday’s shenanigans. Here are the Need to Knows from last night:
LaMarcus Aldridge went down with a sprained ankle, playing just six minutes. Portland’s frontline is now Juwan Howard, Jeff Pendergraph, Dante Cunningham and a newly-signed Shavlik Randolph. The Blazers still beat the Clippers, 103-99.
Chris Douglas-Roberts returned to the Nets lineup and put up an encouraging 17-5-4 in 37 minutes. Even better, Yi Jianlian was still tremendous with 22 points. Are four Nets now must-owns in fantasy?
Luther Head started and scored 30 points in 40 minutes for the Pacers, who have now lost eight in a row. I wouldn’t rush out to pick Head up, but keep an eye on this situation. Indiana is banged up, desperate and willing to try just about anything that works.
Kevin Love had one of the pleasantly surprising lines of ’09 with 17 points, 11 boards, 9 assists, 3 steals and 2 threes. He’s been the best Timberwolf in fantasy lately.
With Tyreke Evans sidelined, Donte Greene and Omri Casspi each scored 21 points for Sacramento and will be the primary beneficiaries should Evans’ injury linger.
A great sign for Lou Williams: 22 points in 40 minutes of action playing with Allen Iverson.
Enjoy the last day of 2009, everyone. We’ll be back next week. Be safe out there. I’m referring, of course, to the players I own.