No Return in Sight For Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo
by Brandon C. Williams
Snap. Crackle. Pop.
Like the first bowl of a fresh box of Rice Krispies, New York Knicks C Tyson Chandler’s non-displaced fracture of his right tibia leaves him sidelined until at least mid-December while also creating a void in what is already a thin position.
Chandler’s basic line of 7.2 points per game (ppg), 9.2 rebounds per game (rpg) and 1.3 assists per game (apg) seems pedestrian on the surface, yet his 2.5 blocks per game (bpg) and 60 field goal percentage enhance his true value to Fantasy owners, who were also getting a steal per game from Chandler. The points will be relatively easy to replace as owners can ride the hot start of the Milwaukee Bucks C Zaza Pachulia (13.2 ppg 8.0 rpg 1.0 spg entering Thursday’s games) or dip into the waiver wire for the likes of Golden State C Andrew Bogut (6.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.4 apg with 2.0 bpg).
Place a flyer on Chandler’s backup, Cole Aldrich, who is expected to see his minutes rise over the next week or two. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Aldrich “is ready to play,” which is good news for a player who has yet to see a minute of action in New York’s first five games.
Don’t expect much scoring from Aldrich, who’ll likely get the bulk of his field goals on put-backs and dunks. He does have good shot-blocking potential, which makes him intriguing to owners in need of an early boost in that category.
Rajon Rondo is still weeks away from rejoining Big Green. Photo Credit: Mike Brown
Let’s go Around the Association and peek out the injuries with the biggest Fantasy impact:
*Boston Celtics PG Rajon Rondo (ligament tear/right knee) gave his owners a flicker of good news Thursday as he dribbled a basketball at full speed. He is still not cleared for 5-on-5 full contact drills; until he is, Rondo remains stashed away.
*The Charlotte Bobcats are optimistic C Al Jefferson will return to the lineup when they play the Knicks Friday. Jefferson put up 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in the season opener at Houston, but has been sidelined with a bone bruise on his right ankle. Jefferson owners would welcome the points and boards that have been missing from their lineups over the past week.
*Neither Denver Nuggets SF/SG Wilson Chandler (hamstring) nor F Danilo Gallinari (partially torn ACL) are expected back anytime soon, and the Nuggets have struggled without the pair. Denver is getting a combined 12.4 points from starting SG Randy Foye and SF Jordan Hamilton; once Chandler and Gallinari are back, both will constitute immediate upgrades.
*Breathe a sigh of relief, Stephen Curry owners. What was thought to be a sprained left ankle turned out to be only a bone bruise, the Warriors announced Thursday. Curry will be day-to-day, which shouldn’t hurt owners who put their lineups out on a weekly basis.
*Nothing new on Indiana Pacers SF Danny Granger (left calf). He remains at least two weeks away and will be slowly installed into the Indiana rotation.
*At the same tune, nothing new on Los Angeles Lakers SG Kobe Bryant (Achilles’), who will need at least 2-3 weeks of practice on top of another week or two of conditioning before being considered ready to return. Make like the Lakers and don’t set a timetable for his return.
*Bucks C Larry Sanders (thumb) has hampered the opening stanza of his season, averaging just 2.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 2.0 bpg. The emergence of Pachulia has also limited Sanders to just over 17 minutes per game. Sanders owners need to be patient and ride out the storm. The team is also hoping to get back SF Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) and PG Brandon Knight(back) in time for Saturday’s game against the Mavericks.
*The sprained left ankle of Orlando Magic SF Tobias Harris (ankle) will keep him sidelined indefinitely. Harris told theOrlando Sentinel that “it would take some time” before he returned.
*Phoenix Suns PG Gorgan Dragic (ankle) is expected to return for Friday’s game against the Nuggets. If he comes back then, Dragic should be a relatively safe play for next week.