Tracy McGrady, SG, HOU - As I mentioned last week, the Rockets' season has not officially begun until Tracy McGrady is suffering through a nagging injury that will limit his playing time. Well this time around, he is going to be out for about a week until he is able to resume full contact basketball. McGrady's sore knee showed no ligament or cartilage damage, but the Rockets will not take any chances with him injuring it any further. This means that he will be either out or ineffective for about two weeks. Over that span, Houston has eight games against some pretty tough competition - the Warriors, Celtics, Magic and Hornets, along with a road game against the Wizards.
So, who do you pick up in his absence? Bonzi Wells. Wells has been the Rockets' most effective player outside of their big two. He is third on the team in scoring at 9.7 ppg and has grabbed over 5 rebounds per game. He also has been pretty valuable with 1.14 steals per game. Wells will step in and play the role of T-Mac by being a playmaker out of the post for Rick Adelman. When the two were together in Sacramento, Wells became a go-to player during the Kings' most important times as they pushed towards the playoffs. Expecting 15 points and 8 rebounds per game out of Wells is just about right, and he should be able to steal close 2 balls per contest.
Jamaal Tinsley, PG, IND - Tinsley is not out because of off the court problems this time. He actually aggravated his hamstring this past week against the Detroit Pistons and has been placed on the inactive list for a couple of games. Most likely, he will miss close to 1-2 weeks as he allows the injury to heal. With as well as Tinsley has played, Jim O'Brien needs his playmaking ability in the open court and up-tempo offense so that the Pacers can benefit from the way Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger feed off of Tinsley. The Pacers are in trouble if he misses two weeks, since are going on a west coast trip from January 6 to January 13.
So, who do you pick up in his absence? Marquis Daniels. Daniels has missed a few games this year, and has had trouble finding his way as he has battled tiny nagging injuries. Nevertheless, he is the best ball handler and playmaker off of the bench for Indiana and someone that Jim O'Brien has been dying to unleash in his system. So far this year, Daniels is averaging 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists per game off of the bench. His versatile game will be difficult to handle for opponents as long as his jumper is falling. During Tinsley's time out, expect Daniels to contribute with 15 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. He is definitely worth the pickup and should be more effective than Travis Diener.
Desmond Mason, F, MIL - The former Slam Dunk champion tore his left thumb ligament against the Kings before Christmas and required surgery to repair it. Due to the successful surgery... (Read the full article here: Week 9 Hardwood Injury and Waiver Report)