Occupational Hazard: Tinsley still not back
The trade deadline has come and gone and the one big deal that went down yesterday left me feeling somewhat underwhelmed. I don't like what the addition of Larry Hughes, another tweener guard, does for the Bulls' backcourt and especially Thabo Sefolosha's value. Drew Gooden is a better rebounder than Joe Smith, but the Bulls are going to be challenged when faced with big centers. The Cavs added a past-his-prime Ben Wallace for "firepower" as one Chicago paper had it. Last time I checked, 5.1 points and 8.8 rebounds do not equal "firepower." Wally Szczerbiak will hit 3-pointers while he's healthy, which should be a little more than half the time. And Seattle? All they did was clear the books in preparation for a move out of town. This was a depressing trade, where no one seemed to improve themselves all that much. After the fireworks of the past few weeks -- Gasol, Shaq, Kidd -- anything was bound to be a letdown, but weren't you hoping for a little more?
After thinking about this trade, looking at the injuries seems positively optimistic. Let's dive in and see how the hardwood kids are feeling this week.
Stephen Jackson SG/SF, Warriors: Captain Jack reinjured his sprained left ankle on Tuesday against the Jazz, forcing him to sit out of the Celtics contest Wednesday. The ankle has been bothering him for at least two weeks and it wouldn't shock me to see him sit out for one more game. This doesn't look like something that will cost him time next week -- none of the Bay Area papers are reporting the injury as anything serious -- but he could sit out against Atlanta on Friday. If he does, look for Mickael Pietrus to start in his place.
Andris Biedrins, C, Warriors: After watching him play in person on Wednesday, I am more than little shocked that Biedrins had his appendix removed yesterday. He was very active, scoring 21 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in 40 minutes against the Celtics. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Biedrins felt a little ill during the game and that it got progressively worse throughout the night. The recovery time for appendectomies is typically about two weeks. However, an older Grant Hill made it back after just 11 days. Knowing Biedrins' drive and toughness, I expect a similarly speedy recovery. While he is out, Chris Webber and Austin Croshere will supposedly see more minutes. Expect some cameos from Brandan Wright and Patrick O'Bryant as well.
Jamaal Tinsley, PG, Pacers: Remember last week when I told you about the video hosted by The Indianapolis Star in which Tinsley told a fan he was about three weeks from returning? Well, it will be two weeks this coming Sunday since that video was shot. Jim O'Brien still thinks Tinsley should be back. He isn't and I wouldn't expect him back until the end of next week at the earliest. Plan accordingly.
Mike Miller, SG/SF, Grizzlies: The Grizzlies swingman is listed as day-to-day with a sore back. He first suffered spasms during Tuesday's game, according The Memphis Commercial-Appeal that caused him to miss the second half. He also sat out Wednesday's contest amid much trade speculation. The paper reported that Miller looked stiff when he left the Staples Center, so it sounded like the injury was behind his absence and not any potential trades. I expect Miller to be back on Sunday in Cleveland, as this would give him four full days of rest. Juan Carlos Navarro will inherit most of Miller's shots while he is out.
Devin Harris, PG, Nets: For weeks, the Mavericks were telling us Harris had a bone bruise. Well, it appears they were wrong. Now Harris is a Net and has been rediagnosed with a Grade 2 ankle sprain and may miss two more weeks, according to the Daily News. Grab Marcus Williams (9.7 percent owned in ESPN leagues), as he makes a nice short-term add while Harris continues to be sidelined. Eric Karabell likes Williams' chances long term as well. His minutes will definitely increase, but I have to think Harris is going to get the majority of minutes at the point when he suits up. Eric's point that we will see more playmaking (and assists) from Vince Carter is certainly true.
Acie Law, PG, Hawks: The right wrist is not broken according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; that's the good news. An MRI revealed that Law suffered a sprain to the wrist and his availability for Friday's game is in serious doubt. With Mike Bibby joining the team, there wasn't much value left here anyhow. The question now is who is going to back Bibby up.
Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers: We all know Kobe has a completely torn ligament in his right pinkie finger. What we don't know is how long he will be able to play through it. So far, so good. His 41-point effort in Phoenix on Wednesday was inspiring for his owners, but I remain worried about any hard blow Kobe might suffer on that hand. Obviously, all you can do is continue to play him. Who knows? Kobe may surprise us.
Andrew Bynum, C, Lakers: The big man continues to progress. The Los Angeles Times reports that the swelling in his left knee is gone and that Bynum will start rehabilitating by this weekend. This put him a bit behind schedule, and owners should expect a late-March return if there are no setbacks.
Mike Bibby, PG, Hawks: The heel continues to bother Bibby and he spent Thursday's practice on the training table, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but he doesn't look likely to miss time.
Caron Butler, SF, Wizards: The left hip is still bothering Butler and he has told The Washington Post that he is not going to go out there unless he is 100 percent. He is doubtful for Friday and his owners should plan on being without him, as he missed both Wednesday's and Thursday's practices according to The Washington Times.
Tony Parker, PG, Spurs: The fleet Frenchman made his return to the hardwood last night, playing 18 minutes. Coach Gregg Popovich told the Associated Press that the team would bring Parker back slowly. He will be a fine start next week.
Anderson Varejao, PF/C: Sideshow Bob is back in practice and should be back next week according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Even with Drew Gooden shipped off to Chicago, I don't see Varejao's minutes increasing that much. Joe Smith will provide much needed offense at the four. Varejao will be the grit and hustle guy much as he was before the ankle sprain.
Guy Lake is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com. He can be reached at GuyLake@TalentedMrRoto.com.
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