Devin Harris goes down again
Have you ever had a car you really love to drive, but it always breaks down? You know; it's a great drive when it's working, but you have that deep nervousness every time you have to take it for a long haul. That's what it's like for me and the New Jersey Nets' Devin Harris. I know he can crank out great fantasy stats, but he's probably going to break down a couple of times a year.
He's played really well this season, scoring in the upper teens and dishing out 6.6 dimes per game. And his new coach, Avery Johnson, even has the career 44-percent shooter hitting nearly 48 percent of his field-goal attempts. But just when you start to feel comfortable with Harris, he blows a proverbial tire.
Harris went down in the third quarter last night with an injured left knee. He was experiencing swelling after the game and is slated to undergo an MRI on Wednesday. Hopefully it's just a sprain, but with his extensive injury history, it's hard not to expect much worse.
After he missed 18 games last season, I learned my lesson and didn't draft Harris this season unless he fell to the middle rounds. Hopefully, everyone out there is aware of the incredible risk involved in owning Harris and will trade him ASAP if his MRI comes back negative.
In the meantime, if Harris misses game action, Jordan Farmar could have some short-term value running the point. I'd be more interested in Terrence Williams if he can get out of the D-League and coach Johnson's doghouse. Johnson may have no choice but to give Williams a second chance if Harris is out an extended period.
• Tim Duncan feasted on the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, as he put together the third triple-double of his career: 15 points, 11 dimes and 18 boards in 33 minutes of work. You can't tell from game to game whether he's going to have a triple-double, double-double, or single-single. Overall, though, he's still a viable fantasy option this season: 14.1 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.8 bpg. An added bonus of his smaller role on offense is that he's taking a career-low 3.9 free-throw attempts per game, so his 68.2 free-throw percentage doesn't hurt as much.
• Sacramento Kings coach Paul Westphal kicked rookie DeMarcus Cousins out of practice Monday, but the incident didn't curb Cousins' playing time as a reserve Tuesday. In fact, it may have lit a fire under his shorts, because he churned out a career-high 20 points (9-16 FG) and pulled down 8 rebounds. Starting center Samuel Dalembert left the game with patella tendinitis, though it's not clear if he'll miss any more game time. Cousins, along with Jason Thompson, would benefit the most of Dalembert is sidelined. Regardless, I fully expect Cousins to shine during the second half of the season, so if you can stash him on your bench, do so now.
• Wesley Matthews continued to tear things up for the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, as he scored 26 points against the Philadelphis 76ers. The difference Tuesday was that he started over Nicolas Batum. Matthews had been seeing extra game action because of Brandon Roy's sore knees, but he's outplayed Batum lately and may have earned the starting job for the foreseeable future. Most likely, both Matthews and Batum will have good and bad stretches this season, but it's clearly Matthews' turn right now. In four games as a starter this season, he's averaging 23 points, 2.5 3-pointers and 1.5 steals. Meanwhile, Roy played 33 minutes and scored just 10 points with no assists. It's not clear if he'll play on Wednesday.
Baron Davis is close to returning from his sore knee. In fact, it sounds like there's a decent chance he'll be on the hardwood Wednesday. Chris Kaman is nearing a return, too, but he probably won't lace 'em up until the weekend. What little value Eric Bledsoe has had as a starter likely will evaporate upon Davis' return. The same can be said about Al-Farouq Aminu and DeAndre Jordan when Kaman is back in the mix.