Evans leads amazing comeback

December, 22, 2009

Here are a couple of tips for you east-coast Tyreke Evans owners who turned in early, writing off Monday as a tough night for your fantasy phenom. First, set your coffee down -- and far away from your keyboard. Then check out this game summary. In helping cement the NBA's biggest comeback victory in more than 13 years, Evans scored nine in the final 2:28 to salvage 23 points, eight boards and a pair of steals.

Thrilling as it was, this game didn't offer a whole lot for fantasy owners. Other key performers, like the Kings' Jason Thompson and the Bulls' Luol Deng, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, were plenty solid but nothing special. Meanwhile, just as the fantasy world starts to notice Omri Casspi, he manages just four points in only 15 minutes. Thank journeyman Ime Udoka and his torrid fourth quarter for keeping the King of Israel on the bench. Still, as long as Casspi holds his starting gig, he is a potential fantasy factor.

Looking Back

Andrew Bogut, Bucks: 31 points (14-19 FG), 18 rebounds, 3 blocks against the Pacers.
Dwight Howard, Magic: 21 points (11-15 FT), 9 rebounds, 5 blocks versus the Jazz.
Chris Kaman, Clippers: 23 points, 15 rebounds against the Spurs.
Marcus Camby, Clippers: 6 points, 4 rebounds against the Spurs.
Tim Duncan, Spurs: 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks versus the Clippers.
Mike Dunleavy, Pacers: 4 points (2-17 FG), 8 rebounds, 2 assists against the Bucks.
Roy Hibbert had his hands full with Andrew Bogut (31 points, 18 boards), but the Pacers' second-year big turned in another nice line: 16 points, seven rebounds, one steal and one block. Even with all of his foul troubles, and even with all of the other options at center, Hibbert, at 87 percent availability in ESPN.com leagues, seems way undervalued to me.

• The Clippers are finishing up an absurd stretch of seven games in 10 days, which may explain Marcus Camby's lackluster showing (just four boards in 24 minutes) in San Antonio. Speaking of the Clippers, deep-league owners in search of 3-pointers could get a boost from Rasual Butler, who finally seems to be settling into a reserve role in L.A. Butler knocked down two more treys versus the Spurs, and is averaging 2.4 3s in his past five contests.

Jameer Nelson said he felt fine, but in his first game back after missing more than a month with a knee injury, he was obviously rusty. In 14 minutes, Nelson went 0-of-6 from the field and managed just two points against the Jazz. The Magic have four off days after their Christmas Day showdown with the Celtics, so that should give Nelson time to get back into shape, and into the starting lineup.

Looking Ahead

Whether you're digging out of this weekend's snowstorm out east or you just have some time off at the end of the year, this is shaping up as a good day to sit at home, stay online and figure out if some fantasy cornerstones will be able to get on the court tonight. As of this moment, everything is iffy.

Dirk Nowitzki could play Tuesday when the Mavs host the Blazers, but the decision probably won't come until shootaround. Given that the Mavericks don't play again until Saturday, it wouldn't surprise me to see him sit again. Dirk, as you likely know, sustained a big gash in his elbow from that ugly collision with the Rockets' Carl Landry over the weekend.

• The Bobcats could again be missing Gerald Wallace (headaches) and Stephen Jackson (back spams) when they host the Pistons. Check here for updates.

Even though he's avoiding solid foods at the moment, Landry actually expects to make his return tonight when the Rockets host the Clippers. If toughness was a fantasy category, Landry would be a perennial first-round pick.

Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.



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