O.J. Mayo troubled, Andrea Bargnani back
The Memphis Grizzlies said that O.J. Mayo missed Tuesday's game due to bronchitis, but according to a report last night, the real reason may be that Mayo and teammate Tony Allen got into a scuffle Monday evening. According to the report, the two got into an argument on the team flight because Allen wanted money Mayo owed him from a card game. Apparently, Mayo got more and more belligerent about not paying it until things got physical.
Considering he's gone from integral starter last season to afterthought sixth man this season, it's clear the Grizzlies weren't happy with Mayo even before this incident. If the Grizzlies sat Mayo because of the incident and not Allen, then he's clearly in a deep, deep doghouse in Memphis. Allen started and had a nice line: 19 points, 2 3s, 2 dimes, 2 blocks and 3 steals.
Let's hope this is the wake-up call Mayo's needed to get his game on track this season. Otherwise, it'll be surprising if his name isn't cropping up every time you hear a trade rumor out of Memphis as the deadline approaches.
• The Toronto Raptors got Andrea Bargnani and Jerryd Bayless back in the mix Tuesday, but Jose Calderon missed their tilt with the Chicago Bulls due to a sprained ankle. Bargnani looked healthy after sitting out four games with a sore calf. Although he hit just seven of 17 shots from the field, Bargnani banged down all eight of his free throws and finished with 23 points, six boards and two blocks. Bayless shook off the sprained ankle that forced him to miss the previous game and ended up with 11 points, eight dimes and a triple. Calderon dressed but failed to get on the floor, so hopefully we'll see him back in action when the Raps lace up to face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.
• We haven't heard much about Taj Gibson since he sustained a concussion Dec. 18, but he broke out with a big 16 points and 14 rebounds Tuesday night. He's fully capable of posting lines like this regularly, but Tuesday's outburst comes with some caveats. To begin with, the Bulls blew out the Raptors, so Carlos Boozer sat out the fourth quarter. And the Raptors hardly have an imposing frontcourt. Still, Gibson's concussion came right after Joakim Noah underwent surgery, so he hasn't been able to make the most of the available minutes. It's worth grabbing him off waiver wires to see if he's finally ready to make some noise.
• Tyreke Evans exploded for 29 points (on 11-of-19 shooting), eight assists, five steals and two blocks with only one turnover Tuesday against the Atlanta Hawks. It's a little hard to get a read on Evans and his ailing foot because after he scored 32 points Dec. 27, he had games of 21, 12 and six before Tuesday night's performance. Considering the nature of his foot injury (plantar fasciitis), anytime he cranks out a big line like this, his owners should be trying to flip him in a trade.
• Speaking of guys whose trade value is peaking, Marcus Camby pulled down 20 boards for the second time in three games Tuesday and even managed to reach double-digit scoring (10 points) for the first time since Dec. 12. Ship him to someone in need of boards and blocks as a toss-in on a bigger deal before the 36-year-old, injury-prone center goes down again.
The Charlotte Bobcats are dealing with some banged up forwards. Gerald Wallace is expected to miss Wednesday's game because he's still dealing with a sore ankle. The Bobs don't play again until facing the Washington Wizards on Saturday, so hopefully the extra rest will get him mended by then. Tyrus Thomas skipped practice yesterday because of knee tendinitis, though he's expected to be on the floor Wednesday. Meanwhile, Stephen Jackson had fluid drained from his left knee after hyperextending the joint Monday. He'll probably tough it out, but it's worth keeping in mind if his production dips during the next week or so.
Tom Carpenter is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.