Shawn Marion to get more scoring chances

January, 3, 2011
Caron Butler and Danilo Gallinari both suffered injuries this weekend, which could leave serious ripples on the fantasy landscape. Butler suffered a partially torn patella tendon (and maybe worse) in his left knee Saturday, and will surely miss significant time, if not the rest of the season. This will increase Shawn Marion's value, as he'll have to pick up some of the scoring slack that comes from losing Butler's 15.0 points per game. Marion has morphed into a role player who doesn't score much, but he seems to still have the ability, dropping 22 points on the Cleveland Cavaliers without Butler in the lineup on Sunday. Though he's past his prime, Marion has remained a solid source of steals and blocks with low turnovers, and now should be asked to take more shots. That could hurt his percentages slightly but will increase his overall value and almost surely grant him more than the 27.0 minutes per game he's currently averaging. Dominique Jones, the Mavs' first round pick, was recalled from the D-League, and also should become a key rotation player; he's worth a look in deep leagues.

Gallinari's prognosis isn't as severe, although he did reportedly say he felt a "stretch" and a "click" in his knee. He might play through the injury, although his minutes should be limited. Wilson Chandler, Shawne Williams and Toney Douglas should pick up some of the scoring left behind. Both injuries are examples of how player value can be dramatically altered by one "click" or pop, and especially if you're in one of the leagues in which Marion is available (35.9 percent owned), it provides an opportunity for fantasy players to find new contributors to their rotations.

Looking back

Rajon Rondo returned to action Sunday after missing seven games because of an ankle injury, and even though he scored just four points with eight assists, he appeared healthy. He's so critical to the Celtics' offense that he should quickly regain his pre-injury value, especially with Kevin Garnett sidelined, so get him back in your lineup. … DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points Sunday after dropping 37 on Friday, and it appears he's finally living up to his potential. He's now averaging 14.2 points per game on the season, and even though he doesn't provide 3-pointers, he has become a good source of points with steals, and even blocks the occasional shot from the shooting guard position. He was selected ninth overall in 2009 for a very good reason, and the once raw and unpolished slasher is beginning to find his niche, making him worth owning in the fantasy realm. … Robin Lopez is a starter in name only for the Suns, as Marcin Gortat has averaged 33.7 minutes per game over his past three contests, compared to Lopez's 12.3. Gortat's per-minute statistics over his career have been impressive as Dwight Howard's backup, and they indicate he could flirt with 10 boards and 2 blocks per game if he keeps getting playing time in the mid-30 minute range. It will take him some time to adjust to the Suns' offense, although his minutes are a positive sign that he'll have hugely increased fantasy value in Phoenix. … Andrew Bynum started his third consecutive game Sunday, and Phil Jackson says he'll remain in the starting lineup indefinitely. This pushes Lamar Odom to the bench, and even though Odom will still have value as a sixth man, his production will undoubtedly take a hit. He scored a season-high 24 points during his first game in the role Wednesday, proving that he is adaptable, although he dropped just 7 points in 28 minutes Sunday. He'll be hard-pressed to match his season averages of 15.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in a reserve role, and appears to be the player most affected by Bynum's return to the starting lineup. … Roy Hibbert was replaced in the Pacers' starting lineup by Jeff Foster, something that seemed improbable during Hibbert's hot start to the season. It was likely a move meant to be a wake-up call for Hibbert, and I wouldn't be too concerned about his long-term value or jump to add Foster, but monitor Hibbert's production and role in the short term.

Looking ahead

Jonny Flynn is listed as day to day because of a sprained right ankle, so expect more impressive play from Luke Ridnour Monday against the Celtics. Ridnour has held on to his starting job despite Flynn's return, averaging 16.0 points, 7.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 3s per game over his past five contests. … Andre Iguodala should miss the entire week to rest his foot (tendinitis), and Jrue Holiday should continue his recent roll. Holiday is averaging 20.8 points, 7.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 3s per game in his past five contests, and with Iggy sidelined, he has the ball in his hands much more.



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