What is Toney Douglas' value?
Given how good Toney Douglas has looked of late for the New York Knicks, I'm beginning to wonder what his role will be once Chauncey Billups returns from his bruised thigh. Douglas had 18 points, 10 assists and 4 3-pointers while shooting 50 percent from the floor on Wednesday night, helping the Knicks to an impressive win against a very good Grizzlies team in Memphis.
One would hope that, when Billups returns, Douglas will get all the minutes that guys like Roger Mason and Anthony Carter are getting right now, but it's impossible to be sure. Still, Douglas is averaging 16.6 points, 6.6 assists and 3.0 3s in his past five games, and those numbers are good enough that it's worth holding on to him just in case the Knicks can find 30 minutes per game for him off the bench. I have to think they'll try to do just that, as coach Mike D'Antoni generally keeps his rotation pretty short, and Douglas has distinguished himself as worthy of the chance in recent weeks.
Anthony Morrow looked good in his first game since the Nets were in London beating the Raptors (and since returning from his concussion), scoring 22 points, including four 3-pointers; he should be good to go, and will continue to get good looks once Deron Williams returns to the lineup. Al Jefferson certainly hasn't missed a beat since Devin Harris replaced the aforementioned Williams as the starting point guard for the Jazz; Big Al finished with 36 points on 17-for-24 shooting against Raptors, and considering the way he's been blocking shots (2.4 per game in his past five), he's starting to finally look like the top-25 player he was a few seasons ago. Also for the Jazz, C.J. Miles continues to look impressive in the absence of Paul Millsap and Andrei Kirilenko. He's been a great source of 3s, steals, points and free throw percentage of late, and that should continue for the rest of the season, even after the Jazz get healthy again. Gerald Henderson had his second straight 20-point night for the Bobcats, and he belongs in fantasy lineups until Stephen Jackson recovers from his strained hamstring. Even then, given the Bobcats' dearth of talent, it would seem that Henderson deserves to keep getting playing time. Tracy McGrady returned to the lineup for the Pistons in their loss to the Spurs, and he managed to have a good game, too. T-Mac finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals, and seems to have established himself, shockingly, as a useful fantasy player for the stretch run.
All eyes will be on the game between the Lakers and the Heat in Miami on Thursday night. Last time the two teams met, as you know, the Heat won easily, as the Lakers had no answer for LeBron James. Perhaps just as impressively, Chris Bosh had one of his best games of the season, putting up 24 points and 13 rebounds. This time, though, Lakers center Andrew Bynum is at the top of his game, and it doesn't seem that the Heat will have any answer for him on Thursday. On the Heat side, you may want to look at Mario Chalmers; he knocked down three 3s in the last meeting, but more importantly, he had nine attempts, and the Lakers are notoriously poor at defending point guards. The Knicks, despite their win against the Grizzlies, were shredded by the Grizzlies' guards, as Mike Conley and Tony Allen both had huge nights. New York plays at Dallas on Thursday night, but unfortunately the Mavericks have been distributing backcourt minutes so evenly that only Jason Kidd and Jason Terry are really worthy of starting in fantasy. Rodrigue Beaubois and Jose Juan Barea are each capable of a big night, especially against the Knicks, but it's too hard to say who will get the minutes at the moment. J.R. Smith has struggled in his past two games for the Nuggets, but I'd still keep him in my lineup; he can blow up at any time, and a game against the Suns is a good time to play just about anyone.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.