Tony Allen enjoys scoring boost
Rudy Gay skipped Tuesday's game due to a sprained toe. The Memphis Grizzlies didn't give out anymore details, so the severity of the injury is unclear. The good news is that the All-Star break is right around the corner, so he can get some extra rest if he needs it. The bad news is that a sprained toe can really limit the production of an athletic player like Gay. Let's hope we don't hear the phrase "turf toe" when the Griz describe the injury on Wednesday.
With Gay out and O.J. Mayo still serving his 10-game suspension, Tony Allen joined the starters. He made the most of his first start in a month by cranking out 27 points (9-12 FG, 9-12 FT) to go with 3 boards, 5 steals and 3 blocks. This was a pretty fluky night in the grand scheme of things. However, if Gay's injury lingers and Mayo remains in the doghouse following his suspension, Allen could make some short-term noise if you need steals and a little scoring.
• Eric Gordon headed back to Los Angeles on Tuesday to get a second opinion on his injured wrist. His status remained unchanged following the doctor's visit, which means he's still on target to return soon after the All-Star break. Gordon is dealing with a sprain and a bone chip in his shooting wrist, so let's hope he's close to 100 percent when he does get back on the hardwood.
• Despite taking part in Tuesday's shootaround, Al Horford was a late scratch for the Atlanta Hawks' matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. The big man is still trying to shake off a bruised back that also forced him to skip Saturday's tilt with the Washington Wizards. This doesn't sound like a long-term issue. In fact, the Hawks may have been taking advantage of the schedule (their next game is Saturday) to get Horford a little extra rest.
• A knee injury knocked Chauncey Billups out of Monday's game, but an MRI on Tuesday revealed nothing of significance. He will travel with the Denver Nuggets for Wednesday's run with the Golden State Warriors, though his status may be up in the air. Everyone should have backup Ty Lawson stashed on their bench already, in case Billups' aging body finally does give out, or in case the Nugs ship Billups out of town before the trade deadline.
• After tweaking his troublesome left ankle again during Monday's game, Michael Beasley was held out of Tuesday's contest against the Houston Rockets. Considering this injury has lingered so long, don't be surprised if the Minnesota Timberwolves take advantage of the All-Star break and hold him out until Feb. 22. In the meantime, Wesley Johnson will get a chance to prove himself worthy of more action down the stretch. He started Tuesday night and came up with 13 points (6-11 FG), a 3-pointer, 6 boards and 4 blocks. He's worth a flier in case coach Kurt Rambis returns Johnson to the starting lineup for good down the stretch.
Clearly, Brandon Roy is itching to get back into game action, because just a few weeks after dual knee surgeries he said he was hoping to play this week. Coach Nate McMillan is taking a more cautious approach, though, saying he doesn't expect to see his star in uniform this weekend. Roy has been cleared to practice, and McMillan wants to see Roy prove himself gradually there before considering putting him back into game action. Expect the Portland Trail Blazers to take it very slowly with Roy when he does return, bringing him off the bench and gradually building his minutes as he proves himself healthy.
Tom Carpenter is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.