Why is Tyreke Evans struggling?

December, 8, 2010

Tyreke Evans had his ailing left foot examined by a specialist Tuesday, and it appears he's just going to continue his rehab and not miss any games at this time. That's the good news. The bad news is that the ailment he's battling is plantar fasciitis, and the only way to get his foot 100 percent healthy is to rest it for a long stretch. You can play though plantar fasciitis, but it's going to limit your ability to cut and jump. Obviously, those are key elements to Evans' athletic game, and you can tell it's affecting his shooting. As a rookie, he hit 45.8 percent of his shots from the floor. This season, he's shooting 39.9 percent.

I still see him as a buy-low candidate in trades because his upside is so huge and his value is relatively low right now. Still, you have to consider the risk involved in having a stud with a nagging injury that's likely to bother him much of the season. Regardless, he should be out on the hardwood to face the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

Looking back

• The Wiz scratched Andray Blatche from Tuesday's lineup due to a bruised hip. Yi Jianlian got the start (seven points, five boards) in Blatche's stead, but it was Nick Young who made the most of the extra touches available. Young torched the Los Angeles Lakers for 30 points, banging down 10 of 18 shots from the field and 6 of 11 free throws. That came on the heels of a 20-point game against the Phoenix Suns. Young doesn't do much else, but he seems to be carving out a role as a quality bench scorer who can knock down 3s.

Tyrus Thomas was working on a decent game Tuesday when he was felled by a strained left quadriceps. Before going down late in the contest, Thomas scored 16 points (6-8 FG, 4-4 FT) and pulled down four boards in 15 minutes. It sounds like it's nothing serious, but owners using him in deep leagues for his blocks will want to check for updates before inserting him into lineups when the Charlotte Bobcats square off against the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

• In his second game back from a strained knee, Devin Harris made up for a poor night of shooting from the field (2-8 FG) by dropping 13 of 16 free throw attempts on his way to 18 points and 13 assists. He turned the ball over five times, but balanced that out with three steals. You know he's going to get hurt again, so take advantage of those big lines and put him on the trade block before he goes down again.

Grant Hill had a beautiful fantasy line against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday: 23 points (11-18 FG), eight boards, two assists, two steals and two blocks. It's amazing that he's still able to have nights like that as a 38-year-old. Unfortunately, while Hill can still score, he rarely even attempts a 3-pointer (nine in 21 games) and doesn't play much defense (0.7 spg, 0.5 bpg). Considering his age and lengthy injury history, he may have a tough time even maintaining his scoring pace (14.4 ppg) the rest of the season. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Looking ahead

Paul Millsap has been relatively quiet lately. He cracked the 20-point mark Friday for the first time since Nov. 15 and hasn't pulled down double-digit rebounds since Nov. 17. The good news is that tonight the Utah Jazz face the Miami Heat, a team he took for 46 points, nine bounds and three triples Nov. 9. Surely, the Heat will focus on keeping him in check this time, but it's a good matchup for his skillset, so expect a quality performance from Millsap.

Tom Carpenter is a fantasy basketball analyst.



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