Don't hesitate to pick up Eric Bledsoe
Monta Ellis led the Golden State Warriors to victory on Monday, but he wasn't around for the final buzzer. Ellis took a frightening fall late in the game versus the Toronto Raptors, and he remains in Toronto for evaluation and X-rays.
With 1:12 to go, Ellis fell awkwardly on a layup attempt, apparently injuring his back. He laid motionless for nearly two minutes, but was eventually helped up and walked slowly to the locker room. Ellis' status for Wednesday's game at the New York Knicks is uncertain.
• There was better news on the Warriors injury front with Stephen Curry. While the medical staff worked on his right ankle, Curry worked over the Raptors to the tune of 34 points on 12-of-21 shooting. The second-year standout has been dealing with the injury since preseason but decided to ditch the ankle brace after the first quarter. Though Curry had a scare himself when he landed on a courtside photographer minutes later, he returned for the second half.
• Zach Randolph, who missed most of the first five games with a tailbone injury, dominated the Phoenix Suns with a 23-point, 20-rebound performance. In case you're wondering, Z-Bo now has four games of at least 20 boards -- and 21 games of at least 15 boards -- in his season-plus with the Memphis Grizzlies. Not bad for a guy who stands 6-foot-9.
• Andrea Bargnani, while three inches taller than Randolph, is averaging 4.3 boards a game. This is an unimaginable figure for a 7-footer, so perhaps Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano felt it was time to send a message. Bargs played 21 minutes against the Warriors, finishing with 11 points and a single rebound. While this is disturbing news for Bargnani owners, don't do anything rash. Sometimes these spats pass quickly, as in the recent case of Rodney Stuckey and Detroit Pistons head coach John Kuester.
• You'll cling to Tyrus Thomas because only he, Josh Smith, Tim Duncan and Elton Brand are currently averaging at least 1.3 steals and blocks. And while you're clinging, you'll hope T.T. comes through with more stat-filling performances like the 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals he registered against the San Antonio Spurs. After scoring 22 in the season opener, the ever-inconsistent Thomas had averaged just 9.0 points in his previous five games.
• Speaking of welcome help in the hustle cats, Nene returned to the lineup after missing three games with a groin strain. He finished with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal versus the Chicago Bulls.
• Taj Gibson remains severely undervalued, as he's available in about two-thirds of ESPN.com leagues. It could be close to a month before Carlos Boozer is playing again, so grab Gibson and enjoy several more performances like the 16 points and five blocks he put on the Denver Nuggets.
An even more urgent get for fantasy owners is Eric Bledsoe. The 20-year-old rookie (he turns 21 in a month) took over for an injured and out-of-shape Baron Davis and is looking increasingly like a long-term solution for the Los Angeles Clippers. In his first four starts, Bledsoe is averaging 13 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.0 3-pointers and 1.0 blocks. You think that about covers it? Bledsoe is still unrostered in more than 90 percent of ESPN.com leagues. Look for that number to drop by at least half in the next few days. Bledsoe and the Clippers have a tough matchup against the resurgent New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday, but don't sweat that. Bledsoe could be the fantasy find of the season.
Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com. Send him your lineup-related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.