The Atlanta Hawks will be without All-Star Paul Millsap for Wednesday’s game vs. the Boston Celtics, and fantasy basketball owners should be sorting out their options.
Millsap, the Hawks’ leading scorer, has been dealing with a knee contusion, an injury that’s caused him to miss the last two games. The eighth-year pro is having a fantastic season, averaging 17.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.1 blocks, and 1.0 3-pointers in 53 games.
He has been extremely durable throughout his career, playing an average of 79 games in non-strike shortened seasons, so the Hawks are just being cautious with their talented big man.
Millsap is expected to return within the next few games, but owners in need of both rebounding and blocked shots should be considering Elton Brand as an option.
Brand (1.2 percent owned in ESPN.com leagues) has been fantastic in the two games Millsap has sat out, scoring just 4.0 points, but grabbing 9.5 boards and swatting 2.5 shots. The 34-year-old has played a whopping 85 minutes in those two contests and it looks like coach Mike Budenholzer plans to ride Brand till the wheels fall off. Pero Antic and Gustavo Ayon are also out tonight, so owners should expect the same kind of usage for Brand.
If Jared Sullinger (concussion) sits for Boston again, Brand’s value goes up even more. The Celtics frontcourt allowed Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter to combine for 32 points and nine rebounds in Monday’s loss to the Utah Jazz.
Scott cooled off a bit on Tuesday, but the second-year pro is averaging 15.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games.
He’s only worth an add while Millsap is hurt, but Mack is a good plug-and-play as long as he’s in the Hawks’ starting lineup. The former Butler Bulldogs’ standout scored 21 points vs. Detroit on Friday and dropped another 17 last night vs. the Bulls.