Devin Harris injured, Tyreke Evans healing

March, 15, 2011

One point guard sat out, and another went down to injury. However, Monday brought word that a third point guard could be poised for a return.

Steve Nash missed a second straight game with pelvic instability but said he plans to play on Wednesday when the Phoenix Suns visit the New Orleans Hornets. Although he's averaged just 9.2 points and shot 37.0 percent since the All-Star break, Nash owners are, of course, crazy-desperate to get those 11-12 assists per game back in their lineups. Meanwhile, after scoring a double-double in his first Suns start, Aaron Brooks (two points on 1-of-9 shooting) struggled against his former team on Monday. Still, don't discard Brooks (45 percent availability in leagues) until you know that Nash is healthy.

In Salt Lake City, Devin Harris left the game against the Philadelphia 76ers with a hamstring strain. He briefly returned late in regulation, but then missed the overtime session of the Utah Jazz's win. Harris is considered day-to-day. Looking at the schedule, though -- the Jazz host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday and then are off until Sunday -- it wouldn't be surprising to see him miss one game and buy several days of rest.

Also on Monday, the Sacramento Kings offered some hopeful news regarding Tyreke Evans. Evans, who's been dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot all season, could be cleared for practice after he sees a specialist in Los Angeles on Tuesday. If he is indeed cleared, Evans could play at some point during the Kings' five-game road trip, which starts Sunday in Minneapolis.

Looking Back

• Is Blake Griffin wearing down? Yes, that season-low eight points against the Memphis Grizzlies was only one game, but the frenetic rookie has now gone four straight games with single-digit rebounds, and he's shooting just 42.5 percent in his past six. But with the Los Angeles Clippers playing at the Staples Center for the rest of March, perhaps Griffin will catch a second wind.

Kendrick Perkins (knee) finally made his debut for the Oklahoma City Thunder, notching six points and nine boards in 20 minutes against the Washington Wizards. Although Perk didn't block any shots against the Wizards (that duty was handled by Serge Ibaka, who racked up eight rejections), in the next two weeks the Thunder play the Charlotte Bobcats, Toronto Raptors, Jazz and Timberwolves. With each of those teams in the NBA's top 11 in shots blocked, Perkins should do some damage in that all-important category. He's worth a look in leagues of at least 12 teams.

Derrick Favors (11 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes) didn't do anything memorable in first start with the Jazz. But with Paul Millsap (knee) missing a fourth straight game, Favors should be in line for more opportunities.

• As usual, Kobe Bryant played through the pain. Two days after badly spraining his left ankle in Dallas, Bryant totaled 16 points (on 7-of-19 shooting), 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 31 minutes on Monday against the Orlando Magic. He'll have three days to rest before the Los Angeles Lakers host the Timberwolves on Friday.

Looking Ahead

• Although Tyler Hansbrough is one of the most-added players in leagues, his availability is still 40 percent. He's a good plugin for Tuesday, when the Indiana Pacers host the New York Knicks. Hansbrough just put up a career-high 29 points against the Knicks on Sunday, though the Pacers were without Danny Granger (flu) for that game.

• With Andray Blatche (shoulder) expected to miss another game, Trevor Booker is another potential fill-in. Booker had a double-double (14 points, 13 rebounds) with two blocks against the Thunder on Monday, but Tuesday brings a very tough matchup against the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, by the way, are expected to again be without Carlos Boozer (ankle), meaning Kurt Thomas will likely start again and Taj Gibson could be in line for additional minutes.

• After missing one game, Al Horford (ankle) says he expects to play against the Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see what the Atlanta Hawks do with Jeff Teague. Teague was inserted into the starting lineup against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday and had a breakout performance: 24 points and five steals in 44 minutes. In his previous five games, Teague played a total of 43 minutes.

Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for



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