NBA Blogcast: Wednesday Production NotesBlogcast notes by @RotoWireJustin and @RotoWireKyleNBA.
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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.
- 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.
- Gerald Henderson will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a mid-foot sprain.
- 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% 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.
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?
- Hasheem Thabeet is in a good situation here . . .
- 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% 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.