Darko Milicic emerging quickly

November, 23, 2010

After scoring 21 points to lead the Timberwolves to a near upset of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, Darko Milicic is averaging 17.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4.0 blocks in his past four games. This explains why Milicic is now the most added player in ESPN.com leagues during the past week.

Milicic remains available in about 60 percent of ESPN.com leagues, but it wouldn't surprise me if that number is halved by Wednesday.

Yes, it's way too easy to make too much of a brief stretch of games. But when you're talking about a fantasy free agent, it's moves like this that can potentially make a season. Grab Milicic now, then contemplate this: Remember when Timberwolves general manager David Kahn was widely mocked for comparing Milicic to Vlade Divac during an interview at an NBA summer league game? The way things look right now, Kahn may have actually sold Milicic short in his analysis.

Looking back

• After an unimaginably poor outing (1-of-13 from the field, 1-of-5 from the line) against the Indiana Pacers, Dwyane Wade insisted that his injured left wrist wasn't the problem. Given that Wade shoots right-handed, it's tough to argue with his point. Clearly, though, something was amiss with the All-Star. Still, through the mounting losses and injuries in Miami, owners who stuck with Chris Bosh are rightly giddy. Bosh (21 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks) registered his third straight 20-10 outing, and with Udonis Haslem down, he'll have to keep after it on the boards.

Chauncey Billups sat out Monday with a wrist injury of his own. A nasty fall in Saturday's game against the New Jersey Nets left him with not only a right wrist sprain but also a lacerated nose that required three stitches. However, with the Denver Nuggets off until Friday, Billups should miss only the one game. Ty Lawson, who continues to come around after a very slow start, filled in with 14 points, five assists and a couple of 3-pointers in 33 minutes.

• Speaking of point guards, Nate Robinson (16 points, 10 assists, 4 3-pointers) excelled again in place of Rajon Rondo. KryptoNate could get another start on Wednesday, as his play gives the Boston Celtics even more incentive to be cautious with Rondo's tender hamstring. But owners seeking a longer-term solution are better off with Kyle Lowry (13 points, 8 assists, 6 steals) and Luke Ridnour (17 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds). Jonny Flynn's return to the Timberwolves keeps getting pushed back, so expect Ridnour to do the bulk of the ballhandling for the time being. Lowry, meanwhile, seems to be finding his groove after dealing with injuries early on. Lowry and Ridnour are available in at least 90 percent of ESPN.com leagues.

• We don't yet have a doctor's word on this, but Vince Carter's assessment of his left knee injury is none too promising. Carter hurt himself making a spin move on a layup and later told the Orlando Sentinel he felt sharp pain through his knee. A sidelined Carter likely would make J.J. Redick a fantasy factor.

Looking ahead

• Not sure whether Brandon Rush will stick in the Pacers' starting lineup. Apparently he got the nod on Monday because head coach Jim O'Brien wanted him guarding D-Wade. (Needless to say, that was a good move.) Regardless of his role for Tuesday, Rush will face a Cleveland Cavaliers team that yields the fifth-most 3-pointers. He seems like a good bet to reach double figures in scoring for the fourth straight game.

• The Philadelphia 76ers-Washington Wizards matchup could have its full complement of marquee talent, as both Andre Iguodala (Achilles) and John Wall (foot) could return for their respective teams.

Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com. Send him your lineup-related questions at editor_njt64@yahoo.com.


You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?