Evans has dealt with a multitude of injuries this year, but the one that threatens to keep him sidelined for tonight’s game is a rib injury that he suffered February 3 during the Pelicans’ 102-95 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. It was revealed that the former Rookie of the Year has torn cartilage in the rib area, but given that he’s still a game-time decision, it’s clearly something the team is willing to allow him to play through. Injuries or not, Evans has struggled all season long, averaging just 12.5 points on 40.3 percent shooting, so most owners would be wise to bench him until there is a glimpse of a turnaround.
Anthony Morrow (100 percent available in ESPN.com leagues) has filled in admirably for Evans over the past two games, and makes for an interesting add. He scored 20 points in Monday’s contest vs. the Spurs and dropped 16 on the Hawks in Wednesday night’s matchup vs. his former team. As a 3-point specialist, Morrow can fill up the box score in a hurry. He’s averaging 2.3 threes per 36 minutes on the season.
In very deep-league play, second-year pro Austin Rivers is also worth a look. Rivers is owned in just one percent of ESPN.com leagues and comes in Friday’s game averaging 8.2 points in 18.8 minutes over his last five games.
The last game of the night to tip-off (10:30 pm ET) will be played between the Clippers and the Toronto Raptors. The Clippers will likely be without starting shooting guard J.J. Redick, who is still dealing with the same back spasms that kept him out of Wednesday’s contest vs. the Miami Heat.
Jamal Crawford will step into the starting five, but since he is rostered in every ESPN.com league, owners will have to look elsewhere. Matt Barnes (100 percent available) is the logical second option here. His statistics can be rather sporadic, but when he’s having an “on” night, he can be productive in multiple categories. On the season, Barnes is averaging 7.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists, but over his last three games those numbers jump up — scoring 10.3 points, with 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists. His 1.0 3-pointers and 0.7 steals per game can also come in handy for owners looking to make a last-second waiver-wire add.