Hang tight after Mike Miller sighting

January, 24, 2011

It took a Dwyane Wade migraine for him to get the playing time and touches to prove it, but apparently Mike Miller can still play basketball. He demonstrated this through a 32-point, 10-rebound effort in which he went 6-for-11 from downtown and notched 33 minutes Saturday night. This season has been an absolute disaster for Miller, who was supposed to provide 3-pointers and backcourt support for LeBron James and Wade, but has sputtered since returning from a hand injury on Dec. 20. I wouldn't jump to add him after one good game, but the fact Miller showed even the capability to put up these kind of numbers is promising, and there could be fantasy value for him at some point in the season. I'd monitor how he plays when all of the big three are healthy, and grab him if he's getting the playing time to contribute. Perhaps Saturday's breakout was enough to show coach Erik Spoelstra that Miller's still got something in the tank, and breathed some life into his nonexistent fantasy value.

Looking Back

Semih Erden started at center with Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal out Saturday, and snared 11 boards in 25 minutes of play. This was after a 14-point, 7-rebound, 3-block performance Friday in which Shaq played just six minutes, demonstrating the fact Erden has the ability to put up decent numbers when given opportunity. Shaq isn't expected to miss much time, so don't look for many more games like this in the near future, and it doesn't make him worth picking up, although keep it in the back of your mind as the season progresses in case a more serious injury does derail the future Hall of Famer. … Al Horford missed Friday's and Saturday's contests with a sprained ankle, but he isn't expected to miss extended time and should be on track to return for Wednesday's contest. Zaza Pachulia filled in and would be the biggest beneficiary of anything long term, although it doesn't appear that this opportunity will arise, so don't panic if you're a Horford owner or add Pachulia expecting another 8-rebound performance like Saturday's against the Bobcats. … D.J. Augustin dropped another 20 points and seven assists Saturday after his 31-point, 8-assist, 3 3-pointer performance on Thursday. He's been hot as of late, averaging 18.0 points, 7.5 assists and 1.9 3s in January, and should continue to be a big source of points, assists and 3s for the Bobcats, as I expect his season averages of 14.7 points and 6.3 assists to steadily rise. … Marcin Gortat scored 13 points with 14 rebounds on Friday and 11 points with 13 rebounds on Saturday, and is getting significant playing time off the Suns' bench. In his past five games, Gortat is averaging 10.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, and for the season is averaging 0.9 blocks in just 19.2 minutes of play. If his recently increased playing time continues, Gortat has unquestioned value in rebounds and blocks, so if you're looking for help at center, Gortat is a valid option after a slow start in Phoenix. … J.J. Hickson snared 20 boards against the Bulls Saturday night, and has been putting up solid numbers for the hapless Cavs, with averages of 13.0 points and 12.6 rebounds in his past five. He's been starting at center and should produce by default for the Cavs, who have nobody else who can contribute what he does, so look for him to continue posting big games like this even though his season has been a disappointment thus far. … Carlos Boozer is back, and scored 20 points with 10 boards on Saturday. Make sure to get him back into your lineup, as this type of production is what you can expect nightly from Boozer.

Looking Ahead

Charlie Villanueva sprained his ankle on Friday, missed Saturday's game and is unlikely to go on Monday against the Magic. … Linas Kleiza also missed Saturday's contest and is questionable for Monday, which should mean another big night from DeMar DeRozan, who scored 30 points on 13-for-25 shooting on Saturday for the injury-riddled Raptors. … Brandon Jennings is hoping to return soon from his broken foot, although I wouldn't expect him to play Monday. Keep a close eye on him, though, as you'll want to get the Bucks' leading scorer and playmaker back into your lineup as soon as he's ready to go. … Darko Milicic is questionable with a sprained ankle for Monday's game against the Rockets, although the injury doesn't appear to be too serious, so I'd expect him back in the lineup sometime this week.

Josh Whitling is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.



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