Michael Beasley proving worth the wait

January, 31, 2012
01/31/12
11:31
AM ET

Michael Beasley is making tons of fantasy hoops owners feel like geniuses at the moment. He's also making plenty of folks sorry for chucking him to the waiver wire.

In just his third game back since missing three weeks with a foot injury, Beasley could hardly miss against the Houston Rockets on Monday. He was 10-of-14 from the field (with a couple of 3-pointers) and 12-of-12 from the line, good for 34 points. And this showing came only a night after he posted 18 points and 12 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Not bad for a guy who was a free agent in about half of ESPN.com leagues a mere seven days ago.

If you recently grabbed Beasley or had the patience to stash him, congratulations. And brace yourself, because the caveats remain: the erratic youngster can hurt you with stretches of lousy shooting and high turnovers. Still, Beasley has every opportunity to continue his success. As the one Minnesota Timberwolves player who can create his own shot, he can fit in swimmingly playing alongside Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Even if he doesn't return to the starting lineup, Beasley should be assured of 30-plus minutes a night. I'll maintain that 18 points, 6-7 boards, a trey, a steal and a block per game aren't out of the question for him.

(And yes, that's coming from a Wolves homer, but cut me some slack. This franchise has been horrific for the past five years.)

By the way, Beasley remains available in about 10 percent of ESPN.com leagues.

Looking back

There's so much injury news I should institute subcategories, because "injury news" is too general to sufficiently narrow things down. How's this for a subcategory? Players hurt just before the final buzzer. And yes, we have more than one.

First is Steve Nash, who sat out against the Dallas Mavericks. The veteran took a knee to his left thigh on the last play of the Phoenix Suns' win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, telling the Arizona Republic that he has soreness, sharp pain and stiffness in his leg. From that description I wouldn't be surprised if Nash misses at least another game.

Meanwhile, Nicolas Batum was driving the lane for a potential game-tying basket in the closing seconds of the Portland Trail Blazers-Utah Jazz tilt when he twisted his left knee. Batum had to be helped to the locker room. An MRI is scheduled for Tuesday.

• Speaking of the Jazz, they were without Al Jefferson (ankle) for the second time in four games. Derrick Favors (eight points, six rebounds) replaced Jefferson, but the player I'm watching is Josh Howard. The absence of Raja Bell (ab strain) allowed Howard (11 points, seven rebounds) to make his first start for the Jazz. While he shot only 5-of-15, Howard played 38 minutes. If he can stay in the lineup, he should have value in leagues of at least 12 teams.

• With Andray Blatche (calf) expected to miss 3-5 weeks, Trevor Booker (14 points, nine rebounds) played 26 minutes off the bench. He's another one to watch in deeper leagues.

Vince Carter (21 points, five 3s) had another nice outing for the Mavs, but I'm wondering if the get here is Delonte West (25 points, six assists, five 3s). West is available in 95 percent of ESPN.com leagues. It'll be interesting to see how the minutes get sorted out between Carter, West and Rodrigue Beaubois (eight points, seven assists) once Jason Kidd returns. Kidd (calf) is expected to miss at least three more games.

Kevin Martin (29 points, four triples, three steals) was fine after missing a pair of games with a heel problem.

Looking ahead

Carmelo Anthony (wrist) didn't practice on Monday, and it's doubtful he'll play against the Detroit Pistons, according to ESPNNewYork.com. It would be the third straight DNP for Melo.

Rajon Rondo (wrist) may not play either, but he did travel with the Boston Celtics, who visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Ty Lawson (ankle) is a game-time decision for the Denver Nuggets, who are at the Grizzlies.

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