To all whom were expecting a column yesterday, I apologize for not submitting a "Make a Move Monday" column; I had a serious personal matter I needed to deal with. There was a ton to cover, so I'm rather upset I couldn't contribute anything. How fitting that I had a serious personal matter when a bunch of superstars are dealing with their own personal matters, particularly serious injuries. Did everyone see Chris Paul bang his head against Ramon Sessions' knee? It looked a lot scarier than it wound up being, but head injuries are a fickle matter. Chris Paul is currently listed as day to day, and Jarrett Jack is replacing him at PG. The list of injured players reads a Who's Who of NBA All Stars: In addition to Paul, Chauncey Billups, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Luis Scola, Stephen Jackson, Paul Millsap, Andrew Bogut, Josh Smith, Channing Frye, etc. The list goes on and on. While fantasy basketball owners of these players are in panic mode, I'll talk you down from the ledge and explain how to handle the situations after the jump...
Without hesitation, let's get to the most important name in the introduction: Chris Paul. Paul only suffered a concussion after banging his head and he's listed as day-to-day, but the bad news is Marquis Daniels suffered a similar injury and was out a month after his concussion. The Hornets will likely not rush Paul back from a serious head injury especially since they have an adequate replacement in Jarrett Jack running the point. With the Hornets calling up Jerel McNeal from the D-League, it looks like Jack will be starting in Paul's absence with McNeal spelling him at the point. Jack makes for an excellent pickup and play in the short-term and will provide solid numbers across the board. Owners of Chris Paul shouldn't panic as Jack scored 23 points and contributed 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals against the Bulls Monday Night.
Chauncey Billups bruised his thigh against Orlando last Tuesday and has been out ever since. He surprisingly missed the Knicks blowout win against the Jazz last night, and Coach Mike D'Antoni wants to play Billups at 100%. It's not like Billups has fresh legs either. I understand the situation and agree with D'Antoni. Toney Douglas has been a marvelous replacement for Billups and should continue to shine until Billups is back.
Eric Gordon, a personal favorite of mine, injured his troublesome wrist again and is out at least 7-10 days; he won't be on the Clippers' current 5-game road trip, so that should tell his owners something. Randy Foye played excellent in Gordon's absence, so he would be his best replacement. Notice a trend here? Don't panic when your stud goes down; just see who his replacement is! Foye put up awesome numbers until Gordon returned and should continue to do so. Provided your league has an IR spot, if Gordon owners picked up Foye immediately and played him, your SG spot hasn't really suffered much, no? Gordon could be out for a while, so play Foye with confidence in the meantime.
Phoenix Suns F/C Channing Frye will miss 2-3 weeks with a dislocated shoulder. It will be tough to replicate Frye's stats as it's extremely rare to find the 3's/blocks combination from a PF or Center position. Marcin Gortat will assume more minutes and step into the starting lineup. Gortat is an excellent source of blocks and rebounds, so I'd grab him if available. Otherwise if you're looking for 3's from the PF/C position, why not take a stab at Troy Murphy who is available in a ton of leagues? Murphy might be in line for some extra burn in Boston with the injury to Shaquille O'Neal.
Luis Scola only played in 17 minutes of Monday's game due to a sore left knee and is questionable to play on Tuesday. The injury does not appear to be overly serious at this point, but owners may want to pick up Chuck Hayes in case the injury lingers.
Speaking of knees, Paul Millsap, who was questionable to play against the Knicks Monday, left the game after playing only 24 minutes due to swelling in his knee. He may or may not play on Wednesday. Owners of C.J. Miles, Andrei Kirilenko and Al Jefferson will benefit if Millsap is out for an extended period of time.
Danilo Gallinari was highlighted in this column last week with a fractured toe. He originally was expected to miss 7-10 days, but the original diagnosis appears to be too optimistic. Gallinari will miss the rest of this week with the injury, and Wilson Chandler will shine in his absence.
Stephen Jackson pissed Monday's game for the Bobcats and possibly miss Wedneday's game. In the Bobcats' 92-87 loss to the Clippers, Gerald Henderson (20 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals) and Boris Diaw (19 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists) picked up the slack and make for excellent plays if Jackson continues to nurse his injured hamstring.
The Bucks' Andrew Bogut continues to nurse his strained ribcage and may miss Tuesday's game against the Wizards. Should Bogut miss more time, Larry Sanders will start in his place. Sanders is not a recommended pickup as he's not reliable.
We'll end the column with some good news: Josh Smith returned from his knee injury on Sunday and had 17 points and 11 rebounds with nary a steal nor block. My guess is he didn't want to put too much pressure on his knee immediately. He will be back to his usual defensive ways in no time. Start him immediately!