NBA Preseason Notes

Amar'e Stoudemire: Cyst in Knee -- The Knicks' power forward will miss the next 2-3 weeks because of a ruptured popliteal cyst behind his left knee. This is the same knee that Stoudemire had microfracture surgery back in 2005, but the joint has generally been healthy since. Stoudemire will miss the season opener on November 1 against the Nets, but will be back on the court by mid-November. This injury may suppress his draft status a bit and fantasy owners may be able to get a relative steal a round or two later. He may not score 20 points, but should be in the high teens again for the Knicks.
Evan Turner: Sprains Ankle -- Turner sprained his ankle in the third quarter of the 76ers preseason win over the Celtics on Sunday night and did not return to the game. The third-year small forward is expected to play a much larger role for Philadelphia, but has not shot the ball well in the preseason thus far (34.1 percent from the field). If Turner is forced to miss time because of the ankle injury, Dorell Wright and/or Thaddeus Young would get more playing time. Both veterans may be able to replace Turner's scoring, but do not have the former Buckeye's passing skills.
Eric Gordon: Still Not in Playing Condition -- Gordon, who may be one of the quiet keys to a quick Hornet revival, has not played in the preseason and may not appear until the regular season as he continues to have problems with his surgically repaired right knee. The shooting guard appeared in just nine games for the Hornets last season and tried to escape to Phoenix over the offseason (where the famed Suns' training staff would likely have had him in peak condition already). If Gordon can return, he could be a source of excellent fantasy production on a team that does not boast many bonafide shooters.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Struggling to Score -- Expectations are high for the second player picked in the 2012 draft, but Kidd-Gilchrist is struggling to put the ball in the hoop of late. In his last three preseason games, the rookie small forward has gone just 2-of-11 from the field and 5-of-10 from the line. Kidd-Gilchrist wasn't a great shooter on the National Champion Kentucky Wildcats last season. He did most of his scoring on energy plays and fast breaks, and converted just 25.5 percent of his threes. Kidd-Gilchrist may eventually be a decent scorer, but he does not seem like the type of player who will be able to put the Bobcats on his back, at least offensively.
Andrew Nicholson: Puts in 18 for Magic -- The rookie from St. Bonaventure scored a personal-best 18 points on Sunday against the Spurs and now has four straight double-digit scoring performances for the Magic. On a team with a lot of questions, Nicholson could provide some answers. The 6-9 Canadian had some dominant offensive performances as a Bonnie last year and scored 30 or more points four times. He has nice range on his jumper (43.4 percent on threes as a collegiate senior) and can block shots (2.0 blocks over his four-year career in the A10).
Corey Maggette: Checking Out the Calf -- The 14-year pro is out for the time being with a left calf strain. He will have an MRI on the muscle and his return is uncertain. With ten days before the regular season starts, Maggette may miss the season opener. He averaged 15.0 points with the Bobcats in 2011-12 and has been a consistent scorer for losing teams throughout his career. If Maggette isn't available to provide bench scoring, players like Kim English, Charlie Villanueva, and Kyle Singler could get more offensive opportunities.


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