Injuries change careers.
Imagine the numbers Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady and Penny Hardaway could have put up if they stayed healthy?
For more modern examples, look at the years stolen from Derrick Rose and Stephen Curry. It didn't end their careers per se, but it certainly slowed them down.
There's nothing worse to a Fantasy owner than losing a championship because your best 2 players happen to get injured during the Fantasy playoffs.
But sadly, this is the way it goes...
Injuries are part of the game alright, but a few major ones transpired in the last week. These hits are so significant, I've devoted an entire article to them.
The Black Mamba now resembles a sickly, garden hose.
Remember MJ on the Wizards?
That’s what we’ve got now.
He’s probably out for the year, but there is a bit of ambiguity. Either way, he’s out for a SIGNIFICANT amount of time.
So who steps up in his absence?
No clear answers to that one.
Nick Young seems like a prime candidate to step into the spotlight, but he’s been atrocious in January. I still think he’s a hold generally, but if you need to win right away, purging Nick Young in the name of pragmatism might be the smartest course of action…
Other than Nick, the rotations are completely random. Kobe dominated usage in this offense, so there’s certainly lots of stats to go around. But the numbers seem to be incorporated into the team concept by different mediocre players every night. Tarik Black intrigues me – as does Jordan Clarkson. But they’re not guarantees to perform.
Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer seem like good bets to step up, but they’ve been coming off the bench regularly for weeks.
The smartest thing to do is probably just to keep watching Lakers’ box scores every game. Somebody’s gotta step up in Kobe’s absence…
Jennings was a new man once Josh Smith got waived.
Putting up some of the best PG statistics in the NBA, losing Jennings for the year and beyond is a devastating blow to a team that had finally found its mojo…
D.J. Augustin is the obvious add here. In his first game post-Jennings, Augustin started at point guard.
He didn’t disappoint.
He scored a career-high 35 points against the Raptors Sunday night, on 12/20 shooting with 5 3PM, 6/6 from the line, 8 assists and 4 rebounds.
While I don’t expect 30+ points from D.J. every night, I think he’s a 20 PPG guy the rest of the year. His career 40.3 from the field worries me, but B-Jennings was a career 39.1 from the field – so Augustin is a very similar player.
What could be very exciting for Fantasy owners lucky enough to grab Augustin: he’s a career 87% from the charity stripe.
With an offense that has been built around a slashing point guard, D.J. is going to get to the line a LOT – and he’s going to get piles of assists. Let’s not forget that 2 games ago, Brandon Jennings got 21 assists in a single game. That’s the mind of Stan Van Gundy for you…
Backup PG, 2nd rd 2014 draft pick Spencer Dinwiddie is the speculative add in deep leagues here. But it should be noted that in the first game without Jennings, Spencer played 10 minutes – with 3 fouls and 2 assists.
Kemba MIGHT be out for the year, but he’s currently seeking a 2nd opinion.
I don’t like how this sounds.
Reading between the lines, it seems like Kemba has been told by a doctor he’s out for the year (or several weeks at least). Kemba is seeking a 2nd opinion because he wants a better diagnosis.
Medicine doesn’t really work like that.
If Brian Roberts is still in your FA pool (I managed to find him in a 16-team league late last night), he’s worth the add. With Kemba out of the lineup, Brian will likely get 30+ minutes a game. Last game, Roberts put up 17 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. There is value here…
Continuing our All-Star lineup of cripples, the Curious Case of LaMarcus Aldridge opens in theatres near you.
He MIGHT be injured for the next 6-8 weeks.
He might not.
This is weird, man.
The team already announced he was injured for 2 months, then he played the next day.
While Aldridge is clearly a badass, I think his absence is inevitable.
I just don’t see Portland taking a big risk on the future of their 2nd best player. (Sorry, haters. But Lillard is the man now.)
Speculative adds: Thomas Robinson, Meyers Leonard.
So there are 4 of the best players in the NBA that could completely alter their teams’ Fantasy landscapes.
It definitely sucks to lose the week’s hottest waiver wire pickup because some dude in your league searches "NBA injuries" on Twitter every 8 seconds.
But that’s life for you.
When a giant falls, another springs up in his absence.
That sounds like an actual saying, but it isn’t.
I’m that good.