Dr. A's Fantasy Basketball Weekend Recap: CP3 Goes Down, LaMelo Nearing Return, Wembanyama's Workload + More News and Notes

Dr. A's Fantasy Basketball Weekend Recap: CP3 Goes Down, LaMelo Nearing Return, Wembanyama's Workload + More News and Notes

Here are some key storylines that you might have missed over the weekend as well as a look at what some of the impacts may be as we enter Week 12 of the NBA season. And because there are only 25 weeks, it means we're already nearly to the halfway point of the season!

Beware the one-game week!

The Nets play the Cavaliers in France at 2 p.m. on Thursday. First off, be mindful of setting lineups that day. Secondly, that will be the only game this week for either team, meaning managers of players like Mikal Bridges and Donovan Mitchell will be at a severe disadvantage in head-to-head weeks where the number of games played count. Additionally, the Sixers only play twice, while every other team in the league has three or four games. So plan accordingly. 

Check out RotoWire's customizable schedule page for a full breakdown.

Chris Paul will undergo surgery

As if things weren't bad enough already for the struggling Warriors, Chris Paul broke his left hand on Friday and will have surgery that could sideline him up to six weeks. Brandin Podziemski isn't going to go away anytime soon and should be rostered everywhere, while Moses Moody and Cory Joseph could also sneak into the mix.

Draymond Green (suspension) will be back soon to help and could play against Chicago as soon as Jan. 12 (Friday). The Warriors miss Green's playmaking ability and Stephen Curry just had another game without a three-pointer. It's starting to look

Here are some key storylines that you might have missed over the weekend as well as a look at what some of the impacts may be as we enter Week 12 of the NBA season. And because there are only 25 weeks, it means we're already nearly to the halfway point of the season!

Beware the one-game week!

The Nets play the Cavaliers in France at 2 p.m. on Thursday. First off, be mindful of setting lineups that day. Secondly, that will be the only game this week for either team, meaning managers of players like Mikal Bridges and Donovan Mitchell will be at a severe disadvantage in head-to-head weeks where the number of games played count. Additionally, the Sixers only play twice, while every other team in the league has three or four games. So plan accordingly. 

Check out RotoWire's customizable schedule page for a full breakdown.

Chris Paul will undergo surgery

As if things weren't bad enough already for the struggling Warriors, Chris Paul broke his left hand on Friday and will have surgery that could sideline him up to six weeks. Brandin Podziemski isn't going to go away anytime soon and should be rostered everywhere, while Moses Moody and Cory Joseph could also sneak into the mix.

Draymond Green (suspension) will be back soon to help and could play against Chicago as soon as Jan. 12 (Friday). The Warriors miss Green's playmaking ability and Stephen Curry just had another game without a three-pointer. It's starting to look like Steph can't create his own shots without Draymond's help, but either way, the Warriors are on their last gasp for a playoff push sitting at 17-19 on the season.

Big names sitting on Monday

Milwaukee's Damian Lillard (personal) and Boston's Jayson Tatum (ankle) have both been ruled out for Monday night. 

Cameron Payne (concussion) is also out for the Bucks so they'll truly be without a point guard tonight. While it's possible a player like AJ Green will start at the point for the Bucks, Malik Beasley looks like the best pickup to me at this point. Khris Middleton should also see more scoring opportunities tonight. In other words, almost every Buck should see a bit of a boost with Lillard out of the lineup. 

For the Celtics, Sam Hauser (shoulder) is also out tonight so look for Payton Pritchard and Oshae Brissett to play bigger roles on Monday. Also keep in mind that Kristaps Porzingingis is expected to play and could shift to power forward, which would also open up more minutes for Al Horford at center. 

Kevin Durant returns on minutes restriction on Sunday

Kevin Durant was able to play through his hamstring injury on Sunday and had 23 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and a block on 11-of-23 shooting in 36 minutes. If that's a minutes restriction, you wouldn't know it unless someone told you about it. Grayson Allen played 39 minutes, and Devin Booker and Bradley Beal played 37 minutes a piece.

And yes, the Suns' Big 3 all played together for just the fifth time this season and they blew an 11-point fourth-quarter lead to lose to the Grizzlies, who were without Ja Morant (shoulder). Not good. Eric Gordon (knee) and Bol Bol (ankle) were both out for the Suns and they just haven't been able to get healthy this season. And because of that, Allen should be rostered everywhere in my opinion. 

Ja Morant sits on Sunday with a shoulder injury

Ja Morant was out on Sunday with a sore right shoulder and was wearing a sling, which is not a good look. The team will continue to evaluate the injury but it sounds like the only way it's going to get better is with rest. Even with Morant in a sling the Grizzlies were able to overcome an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and steal a win at Phoenix.

Jaren Jackson Jr. went off for 28 points, 10 rebounds, six dimes, a block and three three-pointers, Marcus Smart came through with 25 points, six rebounds, eight assists, three steals and four triples, and Desmond Bane added 23 points, five boards, five assists, a steal, a block and two triples in the win. Vince Williams Jr. also came through with a season-high 19 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and three triples off the bench and all of these guys could be in line for more opportunity if Morant misses more games. 

The Grizzlies have three games this week: at Dallas on Tuesday, the Clippers at home on Friday and the Knicks at home on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how many of those Morant can play in and managers may have a difficult decision to make this week, especially if you play in an old-school weekly-lineup league. Maybe we'll get an update on Monday afternoon but I'm not holding my breath. 

Zion Williamson (quad) sits on Sunday 

Williamson hurt his quad on Friday and couldn't go on Sunday. He's questionable for Wednesday's game against the Warriors and Trey Murphy got the start in his place but finished with just 11 points, five assists and three three-pointers in 24 minutes. Dyson Daniels scored 14 and Jordan Hawkins had 12 points off the bench but there's no clear winner if Zion misses more games. Naji Marshall played 22 minutes off the bench and had 11 points and six rebounds, and is probably the best bet for success if Zion misses more time. But my guess is he'll be ready to return for Wednesday's game. 

Joel Embiid (knee) sits on Saturday

Joel Embiid missed Saturday's game with a knee injury and Paul Reed got the start in his place. Reed came through with 16 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes, while Tyrese Maxey led the way with 25 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 24 in a loss to the Jazz. The Sixers don't play until Wednesday against the Hawks so fantasy managers will have to hope he's ready to go for that one. Embiid torched the Hawks for 38 points and 14 rebounds the last time they met but the missed games are starting to pile up for the big man. He's played in just 27 of their 35 games thus far. 

LaMelo Ball (ankle) practicing for the Hornets

LaMelo Ball is practicing for the Hornets as he recovers from an ankle injury that has kept him out since Nov. 26. While it doesn't sound like he'll play on Monday against the Bulls, my guess is that he'll be ready to go against the Kings on Wednesday. Terry Rozier could take a bit of a hit once Ball is back and Cody Martin could be heading back to the bench. If you've got Ball on the IL in your league, think about getting him activated in time to play him on Wednesday. 

Luka Doncic sits out on Friday with ankle injury

Luka Doncic missed Friday's game with a sore ankle but was able to go in Sunday's win over the Timberwolves. Jaden Hardy got the start in his place on Friday and went off for 19 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, a steal and three three-pointers in 32 minutes. Any time Doncic is out, Hardy is worth a spot start in fantasy.

Kyrie Irving had 24 points, nine rebounds and five dimes in that one, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 off the bench, Josh Green and A.J. Lawson each scored 14 points, and Derrick Jones Jr. added 12 points and three steals with Doncic in street clothes.

Hopefully, Luka is good to go on Tuesday against the Grizzlies. The Mavs only have three games this week but they're all at home and there are no back-to-backs. The Knicks visit on Thursday and the Pelicans are in town on Saturday. Derek Lively was out on both Friday and Sunday with an ankle injury so make sure he's healthy heading into Tuesday's game. 

Possible two-game week for Victor Wembanyama

The Spurs only have three games in Week 12 and will play on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. They have a chance to win some games this week visiting the lowly Pistons on Wednesday and then hosting the Hornets and Bulls on Friday and Saturday. Gregg Popovich has said that Wemby won't play in back-to-backs as he deals with a sore ankle, so it's easy to see him sitting against the Hornets or Bulls, but hopefully not both of them.

Actually, it would be nice if Pop lets him play in both of the back-to-backs, but I doubt we'll get that lucky. The Spurs play four times next week, but have a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday, so Wemby could be in line to miss another game in Week 13. 

Have a great week!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Alexander
Steve 'Doc' Alexander has been covering hoops for more than 20 years and recently joined Rotowire after spending his entire career at NBC Sports.
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