Derrick Rose returns with mixed results
Josh Whitling, Special to ESPN.com [ARCHIVE]
April 9, 2012
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Derrick Rose returned to action for the Bulls Sunday, playing 39 minutes in an overtime loss to the Knicks and scoring 29 points with six rebounds, four assists and four 3-pointers. He was undoubtedly rusty, shooting 8-for-26 from the floor and accruing eight turnovers, but was immediately the centerpiece of the Bulls' offense and should undoubtedly be reinserted into starting lineups in every fantasy league. His return kills the value of both C.J. Watson, who played just 14 minutes, and John Lucas, who didn't get off the bench. Both had proven to be capable backups, scoring points in bunches with Rose sidelined, but have now become afterthoughts and worth dropping in virtually every format.
Rose's return was overshadowed by Carmelo Anthony's 43 points on 16-for-31 shooting, which marked the third time in five contests that 'Melo has scored at least 36 points. He's been on fire with Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin sidelined, ranking 12th on the Player Rater over the past 15 days, and his late-season surge will make his draft position for next year hotly debated. He still barely cracks the top 50 on the season Player Rater when sorting by averages after being drafted 11th overall on average in fantasy drafts. He'll have a hard time cracking the second round next season, but if he continues dropping 30 on a nightly basis to close out the season, he'll likely be a popular choice for a bounce-back campaign. If Lin and Stoudemire are around next season as expected, however, I'm steering clear of Anthony, as he's been able to put up dominant numbers only in their absence and will have a difficult time meeting expectations with both of them gobbling up a large portion of his touches.
Looking Back
• Gerald Green has somehow surfaced as an excellent fantasy player after being percieved as a bust, and he proved it Sunday by dropping 32 points with five 3s, four rebounds and an assist in 38 minutes off the bench for the Nets. He's still a bit inconsistent, with two single-digit efforts in his past five contests, but is averaging 18.5 points with 1.8 3s in four April contests, and ranks 43rd on the Player Rater for the past 15 days. With this type of play, he's worth starting in virtually all formats now that he's found his place with the Nets, and is capable of producing points, 3s and steals on a consistent basis.
• Terrence Williams, who was featured in Working the Wire on Friday, had another nice game off the bench for the Kings Sunday, scoring 21 points with eight rebounds, a steal and a block in 33 minutes. You can read the article for the full breakdown, but I'm a big fan of his talent and skill set, and if he continues getting 30-plus minutes off the bench he's undoubtedly worth a roster spot in deeper formats.
• Avery Bradley has retained the starting shooting guard spot in Boston despite Ray Allen's return, and scored 18 points with five assists, four rebounds, one 3 and one steal in 35 minutes Sunday night. The Celtics love his hustle and defense, but he's not a great fantasy player, averaging just 9.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.4 blocks and 0.2 3s in 17 starts this season. He's worth a spot only in deeper formats, as he's not above average in any category when comparing him to other starting two-guards in the league.
Looking Ahead
Andrea Bargnani left Sunday's game with calf tightness, and his status for Monday's contest is uncertain. It doesn't appear serious, but be sure to monitor his status before the game when deciding whether to start or sit him. … Ryan Anderson hopes to return Monday and will almost surely return this week, so be sure to get the league leader in 3-pointers made back in your lineup as soon as it's confirmed that he's a go. … Kobe Bryant missed Saturday's game with inflammation in one of his leg tendons, and might be out for another few games as the only way for him to heal is by resting it. His status is up in the air, and knowing Kobe he'll push to play, so check his status before the game, since there's no way you want to miss a game of Kobe in your lineup.

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