We’re heading into the shortened All-Star break week, and some leagues do not even include these games. Other leagues do, and it can be a very challenging period, especially for those in cumulative head-to-head Fantasy leagues with a majority of players with just one game in the new week.
Los Angeles Clippers F Blake Griffin (elbow) has a staph infection in his right elbow and he is expected to be sidelined for at least a month, and perhaps as many as six weeks. He will require surgery Monday, crushing Fantasy owners. The good news is that it at least comes with the All-Star break, so one of the weeks he misses will mean just two games missed. The injury makes F/C Spencer Hawes a fantastic pick-up off the waiver wire, and F Hedo Turkoglu might see more minutes, too. F Glen Davis could also have been in line for more minutes, but he left Sunday’s game due to a back injury and he is an uncertainty in the new week.
Sacramento Kings G Darren Collison (hip) missed Sunday’s game due to a hip injury and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him rested in the next two games to combine the All-Star break for a week of rest to get him back to 100 percent. In fact, that might be the recurring theme for those with day-to-day kind of injuries, which is another thing which makes it more challenging for Fantasy owners. Veteran Ramon Sessions filled in admirably for Collison Sunday, posting 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists in 32 minutes against Phoenix, and he might be a valuable short-term pick-up if Collison is indeed sidelined.
Kings swingman Rudy Gay (foot) missed Sunday’s game against the Suns with a foot injury, so swingman Omri Casspi started in his absence. Casspi isn’t a great Fantasy option except in the deepest of leagues and perhaps some Daily Fantasy formats, as he responded with just three points, five rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes.
Charlotte Bobcats G Brian Roberts posted 19 points with three treys, three boards, five dimes and a steal in 40 minutes Sunday against Indiana, perhaps his best game since taking over the starting chores following the six-week injury to Kemba Walker. If he is still on the waiver wire for some reason, grab Roberts immediately. He has at least one more month as the starter, and if he can come close to Sunday’s performance he will certainly earn his keep.
One guy who is no longer on the shelf is Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler. He has been dealing with a right shoulder injury, but you wouldn’t know it after his performance Sunday in Orlando. He bagged three 3-pointers, adding five assists with two rebounds and a season-best six steals while finishing with 27 points. If you were worried about him for the new week, his big stat line should have assuaged your fears.
Phoenix Suns G Eric Bledsoe was not injured Sunday, but he was a late scratch to head to the hospital to be with his wife for the birth of their child. It’s uncertain if he will be able to return for the next game Tuesday, but the Suns have just one game in the upcoming week. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Bledsoe allowed to remain away. Fantasy owners will certainly want to be very careful. If he is out, G Isaiah Thomas will make the start.
Teams with two games (24): Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Sacramento, San Antonio, Utah, Washington
Teams with one game (6): Boston, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto
MON L.A. Clippers at Dallas (8:30pm NBATV)
TUE Houston at Phoenix (8:00pm TNT), Denver at L.A. Lakers (10:30pm TNT)
WED Miami at Cleveland (8:00pm ESPN), Houston at L.A. Clippers (10:30pm ESPN)
THU Cleveland at Chicago (8:00pm TNT)
FRI Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game (7:00pm ESPN), BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge (9:00pm TNT)
SAT State Farm All-Star Saturday Night (8:30pm TNT)
SUN NBA All-Star Game (8:00 pm, TNT)
* All Times Eastern (ET)
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POINTS PER GAME
Wayne Ellington, SG, L.A. Lakers (14.7 PPG past nine games)
Aaron Brooks, PG, Chicago (12.2 PPG past nine games)
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, SF, Philadelphia (12.2 PPG past 10 games)
Marcus Thornton, PG, Boston (11.1 PPG past 12 games)
Patrick Patterson, PF, Toronto (10.9 PPG past 12 games)
REBOUNDS PER GAME
Patrick Patterson, PF, Toronto (7.0 RPG past 12 games)
P.J. Tucker, SF, Phoenix (6.4 RPG past 10 games)
Lou Amundson, PF, New York (6.3 RPG past 10 games)
Marvin Williams, PF, Charlotte (6.3 RPG past seven games)
Chris Andersen, PF, Miami (6.1 RPG past nine games)
ASSISTS PER GAME
Tim Frazier, PG, Philadelphia (9.5 APG past two games)
Dennis Schroder, PG, Atlanta (5.0 APG past 10 games)
John Lucas, PG, Detroit (4.0 APG past three games)
Joe Ingles, SF, Utah (3.9 APG past 10 games)
C.J. Watson, PG, Indiana (3.9 APG past nine games)
STEALS PER GAME
P.J. Tucker, SF, Phoenix (2.0 SPG past 10 games)
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Dallas (1.6 SPG past 11 games)
Tyler Johnson, SG, Miami (1.6 SPG past five games)
Tim Frazier, PG, Philadelphia (1.5 SPG past two games)
Thomas Robinson, PF, Portland (1.3 SPG past seven games)
BLOCKED SHOTS PER GAME
Jason Maxiell, PF, Charlotte (1.9 BPG past seven games)
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Dallas (1.6 BPG past 11 games)
Alexis Ajinca, C, New Orleans (1.5 BPG past 10 games)
Jerami Grant, SF, Philadelphia (1.5 BPG past 12 games)
Lou Amundson, PF, New York (1.4 BPG past 10 games)
3-POINTERS MADE PER GAME
Hollis Thompson, SF, Philadelphia (23 3PT past 12 games)
Marcus Thornton, PG, Boston (23 3PT past 12 games)
Ben McLemore, SG, Sacramento (19 3PT past nine games)
Patrick Patterson, PF, Toronto (18 3PT past 12 games)
Aaron Brooks, PG, Chicago (17 3PT past nine games)
Wayne Ellington, SG, L.A. Lakers (17 3PT past nine games)
(statistics through Feb. 7, 2015)