Jerryd Bayless hurt again; Bynum benched

March, 28, 2012
Heading into this campaign, Toronto Raptors point guard Jerryd Bayless appeared poised to have a breakout season; instead, it has turned out to be a broken-down season. Despite showing signs of becoming a tremendous fantasy option, Bayless' body has betrayed him in his fourth NBA campaign, which appears to be over. Just one day after he returned from a hip pointer injury, the Raptors announced Tuesday that Bayless is expected to miss the remainder of the season because of a partially torn left oblique. In the end, Bayless will have played just 31 of the Raptors' 66-game schedule due to various injuries.

He'll need to prove he can withstand the rigors of an 82-game schedule next season, but even more relevant to his fantasy success will be whether the Raptors finally take Jose Calderon off their roster to clear up full starter's minutes for Bayless. Keep in mind that in 14 starts last season, Bayless averaged 18.1 points, 6.7 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.2 3-pointers per game, and 46.7 percent from the field and 81.0 percent from the line. And in 11 starts this season, he averaged 17.8 points, 5.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.2 3s per game, and 45.0 percent from the field and 83.7 percent from the line.

In the meantime, Calderon should continue to be an assists machine for fantasy squads; he has dished out double-digit assists in each of his past three games.

Looking back

• On Sunday, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown benched Kobe Bryant. On Tuesday, it was Andrew Bynum's turn to ride the pine. After Bynum took an ill-advised 3-point shot in the third quarter, Brown yanked Bynum and left him on the bench for the final nine minutes of the game. Kobe and Brown worked things out quickly, as witnessed by the 30 points, 5 assists and 5 boards Kobe racked up in Tuesday's win over the Golden State Warriors. Time will tell how quickly Bynum and Brown can get on the same page, but Bynum said after the game he didn't understand why he was benched. Stay tuned.

Monta Ellis had his first big game for the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday; he piled up 33 points (15-for-24 FG), 8 assists and a steal. As I recently noted, I think we'll see some games like this here and there for Ellis, but he's simply not going to get enough shots in coach Scott Skiles' system to produce like he did with the Warriors. To wit, he took six more shots last night than in any game since the trade.

Ersan Ilyasova was a late scratch Tuesday due to back spasms. With Carlos Delfino also sidelined (groin), Ekpe Udoh and Luc Mbah a Moute started for the Bucks. Mbah a Moute finished with 12 points (6-for-7 FG), 5 boards and 2 steals, while Udoh had 8 points (3-for-8 FG), 10 boards, 2 steals and 3 blocks. At this point, it's not clear if Ilyasova or Delfino will miss more action, but keep Udoh in mind if you need boards and blocks.

Looking ahead

Raymond Felton missed Tuesday's game to be with his mother, who had heart surgery. His situation is obviously an unknown, but at this point he is expected to be back in the mix for Thursday's tilt with the New Orleans Hornets.

Marc Gasol aggravated his sprained ankle during Sunday's game and sat out Tuesday as a result. There were conflicting reports Tuesday about when he might return. An early report said he would be out at least five days, but later it was reported that he aims to return to the hardwood Friday against the Houston Rockets. Reading between the lines, we should see Gasol on Friday only if his ankle has sufficiently improved.

Carmelo Anthony strained his groin during Monday's game, but he said Tuesday that he intends to play Wednesday against the Orlando Magic. That sounds hopeful, but groin injuries can be tricky, so don't be surprised if he's a late scratch or tweaks it during the game if he does play. Amare Stoudemire is out, and Jeremy Lin is listed as questionable because of his sore knee.



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