Happy Presidents' Day! Did everyone watch the All Star Game last night in which crowd favorite Kobe Bryant blew up for 37 points, and LeBron chipped in only the second triple double in All Star history? Quite a finish to the memorable weekend that saw quite possibly the best Dunk Contest ever. Serge Ibaka put together probably the greatest last place finish I've ever seen - the guy was snubbed. I digress. Superstar in the making Blake Griffin had a nice little finish by jumping over an entire car in the finals (Hype man Kenny Smith certainly helped). JaVale McGee's dunks might make him my new favorite player. With the All Star Weekend in the books and another day of 'Melodrama, let's check out the week ahead and any moves you need to make for your teams.
Roster tips after the jump...
Memphis Grizzlies Fantasy Stud Rudy Gay suffered an unfortunate shoulder separation on February 15th and is out for at least 4 weeks. He may not even return this season. Normally this would open up minutes for OJ Mayo, but he is in Coach Lionel Hollins' doghouse. Sam Young and Tony Allen warrant pickups as both are in line for huge minutes and can contribute mightily for your fantasy teams. Get them in your lineups; the Grizzlies play 4 games in the shortened week.
Two important injury notes for the Los Angeles Clippers: As I noted last week in Waiver Wire Wednesdays, Chris Kaman was set to return from injury and played almost ten minutes against the Wolves on February 16th. Despite only playing not even a full quarter's worth of time, Kaman still blocked 3 shots and grabbed 6 boards. Kaman will continue to be eased into full-time minutes, but his stat line shows that even in limited time, he can still contribute across the board. Pick him up if he's still available, and start him if you're in need of rebounds and blocks. Fantasy superstar in the making Eric Gordon is set to have his wrist examined today. If positive reports surface, I'd insert him confidently in weekly and daily lineups. This is also fantastic news for Blake Griffin as his stats have subsided since Gordon's injury. Now defenses will have more to focus on thus alleviating some of the pressure from Griffin. Look for Griffin to return to superstar status.
Pick up Dallas Mavericks Guard Roddy Beaubois as he dished out 6 assists in his long-awaited season debut. He will split minutes with Jason Kidd and JJ Barea off the bat, but should he enter the starting lineup, he will be a nice contributor of points, steals and assists.
Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls is set to return from injury and start on Wednesday. The Bulls play 3 games this week, so start all Bulls with confidence.
Most fantasy squads aren't overloaded with players from the Minnesota Timberwolves, but there are a couple of key injuries to note. Take Michael Beasley out of lineups until further notice as he is not ready to return from his ankle injury. This may be more related to deeper leagues, but Point Guard Jonny Flynn is currently nursing a hip injury. Luke Ridnour turns to benefit as he has no competition for minutes with Flynn out of action.
I failed to mention Rashard Lewis' knee tendinitis in my Injury column last week because I thought it was minor. However I was wrong, and Lewis is still out nursing his knee. Josh Howard has assumed Lewis' starting forward job for the Washington Wizards, but I would ignore him until Lewis returns. Lewis is a nice contributor when healthy, but there's no telling if/when he'll be 100% healthy this season. Outside of John Wall, Andray Blatche and my new favorite player JaVale McGee, I would steer clear of all Washington players.
Keep an eye on any moves leading up to the trading deadline next week, especially teams such as the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, the Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, and Portland Blazers. I wouldn't be against picking up players in lieu of the movement. Perhaps pick up Ty Lawson in the event that the Nuggets start him at PG after a Carmelo Anthony deal.
Any other items to note this week? Let me know in the comments...