Dorell Wright's roller-coaster ride
The top fantasy stories of the season thus far have been -- take your pick -- the emergence of players like Rudy Gay, Paul Millsap and Al Horford, the statistical declines of the Big Three in Miami and Kevin Love's shaky minutes. Or something else. I guess it depends on your individual perspective and the content of your roster.
As a fantasy analyst, I feel I'm a bit behind the curve on Wright. Every so often a player will get on such an absurd hot streak you just have to step back and ask yourself "Is he really that good?" I guess that question should have been raised after Wright swished seven 3-pointers against the defensively challenged Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 3. In seven games since that night, culminating with Monday's 5-for-15 performance versus the Detroit Pistons, Wright is a percentage-killing 27-of-85 from the field (31.8 percent).
But here's where it gets interesting: For the season, Wright is shooting 39.6 percent. However, until very recently, Wright's work behind the arc hasn't been the problem. In spite of going 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) from downtown in his past three games, Wright remains at 44.1 percent from long range for the season. He's actually made more treys (30) than 2-pointers (27).
So does Wright's history tell us anything? During six seasons of intermittent action in Miami, he was a decent shooter. This includes 2009-10, when he shot 46.3 percent in 72 games. Last season also marked the first time Wright took a meaningful number of 3s; averaging 2.2 attempts per game, he connected at a solid rate of 38.9 percent.
So it seems like Wright can shoot, and it seems like he can hit 3s. Just thinking and typing out loud now. I'm guessing that in response to his hot start, opponents have taken notice of Wright -- attention he most likely never received in Miami with Dwyane Wade around. In the past three games, where Wright has really struggled from beyond the arc, the Warriors have been without David Lee. Coincidence? Maybe.
Ultimately, Wright isn't as good as he was through the first four games. But he probably isn't as bad as he's been during the past seven. Don't give up on him yet. On Friday, the Warriors face the Knicks to start a run of six games in nine days. The final five opponents in this stretch -- Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves -- are currently in the top eight in 3-pointers allowed per game. For the short term at least, I actually view Wright as a buy-low candidate.
• Not sure if Kris Humphries (13 points, 12 rebounds) is fantasy mainstream yet, but in leagues of at least 12 teams, you should take notice. At some point Troy Murphy (DNP, foot) should be healthy, but Humphries seems to have the support of new New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson.
• The Los Angeles Clippers have rookie talent beyond Eric Bledsoe. Making his second start, Al-Farouq Aminu contributed 14 points, five boards and a couple of 3s. Again, someone to watch in deeper leagues.
• Is it inappropriate to nitpick Carmelo Anthony's 20-point, 22-rebound showing against the Phoenix Suns? Well, I will anyway: 7-of-19 shooting and six turnovers take some shine off of the 20-20 for me.
• Serge Ibaka's average line in four starts: 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 3.0 blocks. Just saying
• Blake Griffin (11 points, three rebounds) had one of his worst games, but he's apparently OK after taking a scary fall. Devin Harris was ejected (flagrant 2 foul) for bringing down Griffin on a breakaway drive, and Harris owners should watch the headlines for a possible suspension.
• A number of high-profile players could sit Tuesday, starting with John Wall (foot). If Wall doesn't go against the Toronto Raptors, Gilbert Arenas owners should get a boost. Arenas broke out of his early slump with 30 points versus the Bulls on Saturday night.
• The Cleveland Cavaliers could be without both Mo Williams (groin) and Anderson Varejao (ribs) against the Philadelphia 76ers. Ramon Sessions, who has scored in double figures in his past three games (albeit without great percentages), is worth a look in deeper leagues as long as Williams is sidelined.
• Darren Collison injured his ankle in practice Monday. The injury didn't sound serious, but details are sketchy. Check for updates on Collison.
• Brandon Roy (knee) won't play against the Grizzlies. Though Roy says the knee has improved since he took himself out of Saturday's game with the New Orleans Hornets, this is looking like a long-term issue. Wesley Matthews is likely to move into the starting lineup, and could emerge as a realistic fantasy option while Roy is sidelined.
Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com. Send him your lineup-related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.