Week 19: when champions are born. OK, not really, as your league champs will be determined in the playoff weeks to come, but good preparation in Week 19 could be the difference between gold and bronze for you. That’s why injury storylines, trends, and news are doubly important this week.
Rajon Rondo (knee) – Phenomenal explains the level of play Rondo has provided since his return. But phenomenal isn’t exactly how he’s feeling at the moment. After posting a jaw-dropping 18 assists yesterday, he expressed how most of his lower region is sore the morning after games. That’ll surely keep him out from back-to-back sets for perhaps the remainder of the season. With the playoffs just around the corner, owners should keep in mind that they’ll have to do without Rondo’s wonders for a handful of games.
Eric Bledsoe (knee) – Bledsoe’s recovery news goes from good to great about everyday. The latest talk has the speedy point coming back as soon as today. Conservative outlooks usually prove to be the right ones so owners should rightly expect Bledsoe mid-week. Still, no one would fault the combo guard if he rocked the Clippers tonight, even in limited minutes.
Rudy Gay (ankle) – No need to hold your breath. Gay’s ankle tweak wasn’t enough to keep him out for the rest of yesterday’s game as he still scored in double digits. The Kings have a day of rest which hopefully is enough time for the small forward to get over any swelling. If not, he could at least miss one game in Sacramento’s coming seven-game road trip.
Victor Oladipo (ankle) – The rook had suffered no complications until recently making him a frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award despite MCW’s prowess. His ankle has bothered him a few games now and could keep him out tonight against the Bucks.
Dwyane Wade (back-to-back plus overtime) – Wade was the Heat’s best player yesterday against the empire-thwarting Bulls but his output came at a high price as he played heavy minutes and Miami still lost. With a game today against the Wizards, Wade might do well to sit this one out. Can the Heat ever catch Indiana if D-Wade continues to sit out though?
Jamal Crawford (calf) – Crawford knew right away that he had returned too early from his calf injury. He’ll likely be more cautious this time around by missing today’s game and possibly another one later this week. In his absence, Darren Collison and, as Igor Derysh points out, Matt Barnes become good value plays.
Patrick Patterson (elbow) – Patterson’s stock was on the rise before an elbow hang-up put him out for the foreseeable future. It’s looking like he might not be back for the regular season which makes Amir Johnson‘s worth sky-high. Repeat: sky-high.
Gerald Henderson (calf) – Henderson’s reevaluation comes this week. His calf sprain kept him out all of last week which is never a good sign. Considering the Bobcat’s mediocre playoff schedule perhaps it’s time to make a run at another score-first option.
Nerlens Noel (knee) – Philly’s rook has yet to see a minute of game time. That all could change April 4 as that is when the first-rounder could make his NBA debut. His late season entry won’t help fantasy owners much but his play could dictate his value in years to come. Take note.