The old adage “life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon” is perfectly fitting when analyzing the NBA season. As such, your Fantasy Basketball season is not determined by one play, one game, or even one player. Despite this philosophy, injuries do happen and they can certainly diminish championship aspirations. Even though the season is still in its infancy, here is a list of high impact Fantasy players that may be spending time on the pine with an injury next week.
Derrick Rose: At this juncture, the following is known: Derrick Rose is not 100 percent healthy and has not played since November 13th. The following could be a list of reasons as to why: 1) His reported hamstring injury; 2) A re-aggravation of the ankle injuries that he tweaked during the first week of the season; or 3) He is saving his body for his post-career life. If you’re a Fantasy owner of Rose, all three potential reasons for him missing time have an impact on your Fantasy team’s performance. It has been reported by Chicago Bulls beat writer K.C. Johnson, that Rose could very well not resume playing until next week. Ughhhhh. Even without Rose, the Bulls roster is equipped for a lengthy playoff run. Additionally, there are some clear benefactors to Rose sitting out. Those players include Kirk Hinrichand Jimmy Butler. In Rose’s absence since November 13th, Hinrich has posted vintage statistics (15.5 points per game, six assists per game, two steals per game, and 2.5 3PM) in the two games he has started. I certainly would not rush out and pick up Hinrich this second, but he looks he could be a potential spark-plug off your bench until Rose returns. Butler, on the other hand, has been a flat-out stud, with or without Rose, in the line-up. Butler, who is a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the season, clearly looks like an all-star. In the past two games with Rose out, Butler has attempted 17 shots in both contests. With the amount that Butler gets to the line as well, you should fully expect his scoring output to continue.
Terrence Jones: For those that drafted Jones, you’re simply being robbed of a walking double-double. Rumors are starting to circulate that Jones may be out another couple of weeks or possibly even a month. Ouch. Here’s a name that will surely stick out: Kostas Papanikolaou. Say that 10 times fast. Go for it. For those that have witnessed the fast start for the Houston Rockets, Papnikolaou looks like a seasoned veteran. Papanikolaou is a 6’9’’ smooth and crafty lefty, who can shoot it from outside. He will not provide the consistency or the rebounding that Jones offers, but the potential for a scoring outburst and a barrage from three-point land makes him a potential fill-in for deeper leagues.
Kevin Durant: Yes, Durant is still out and a timetable for his return has not yet been set. As expected, the Thunder has struggled with both him and Russell Westbrook out. Can someone please step up? Jeremy Lamb has done it in spurts, albeit, inconsistent spurts. If anyone on the Thunder roster has the talent to fill the scoring void, it’s Lamb. Lamb has multiple NBA skills, but his most impressive is his ability to create his own scoring opportunity. If you can bear his inconsistency, you may be rewarded with a 24 point, 10 rebound, and 4 3PM night as he did on November 14th against the Detroit Pistons.