• Trevor Ariza(notes) suffered a severely sprained left ankle Wednesday and could miss as much as two weeks. The injury comes at an inopportune time for Ariza, who finally appeared to be getting into a groove - he had averaged 12.8 points on 44-percent shooting, 1.5 threes, 5.9 boards, and 1.7 steals in 37 minutes over the past month. Quincy Pondexter(notes) and Marcus Thornton(notes) figure to absorb most of Ariza's minutes while he's sidelined.
• Marcus Camby(notes) remains on track to return from his knee injury after the All-Star break, despite some recent chatter that he might be playing by the end of the current week. Camby is traveling with the team, but his activities have been very limited and he isn't going to be rushed … Along those same lines, Eric Gordon's(notes) official designated as day-to-day by the Clippers led to some confusion. The designation is rather meaningless and doesn't mean that he's ahead of his timetable, as his wrist hasn't improved dramatically and he's still on track to miss around a month, which would also put his likely return as just after the All-Star break. Randy Foye(notes) has started the past five games for Gordon, averaging 18 points on 46-percent shooting, 2 threes, 3.6 assists, and 1.6 steals in 35 minutes.
"We've sort of changed the role of the point guard in this team's offense, and we're going to get the ball in their hands and they're going to be more responsible than they were in the past for running this team. I'm trying to put this team in their hands. The true sense of the point guard is to be another coach on the floor, and that's what the role of our point guard will be."
Vogel added that objectives will be to push the tempo, set up pick-and-rolls, look for Roy Hibbert(notes) in the post, and set up players on the wing coming off screens. Darren Collison's response to these new developments, which came up during the Pacers' first practice under Vogel on Tuesday was, "I've been waiting to hear that." One word sums up my feelings here: Ditto.
• Something to consider if you are still holding Mo Williams(notes) at this point: he's had no reported setbacks and is due to ramp up his activity level, with a return to the active roster a likely next step after a few successful practices. If there's one time to have some patience with Williams, it's right now, in the event that he actually can get back on the Cavs' active roster in about a week and start providing some numbers for his fantasy owners.
• Luke Ridnour(notes) missed Wednesday's game because of personal reasons and is expected to be out on Friday, as well. Jonny Flynn(notes) filled in as the T-Wolves' starting point guard Wednesday and was reasonably productive (26 minutes, 11 points, 5-9 FG, 5 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals) but the team was stagnant on offense overall, scoring just 84 points in an 18-point loss to the Grizzlies. Flynn will get another chance to at least make things interesting in a favorable matchup with the Raptors on Friday, but fantasy owners need to keep in mind that Ridnour is fairly entrenched and Flynn is not a major fantasy asset just waiting to happen. A timeshare would be the best speculative managers could hope for now and in the future, if only because Ridnour himself is only averaging 30 minutes per game as the consistent starter - Kevin Love(notes) and Michael Beasley(notes) are the only two players on this roster for which true starter's minutes can be expected.
• Chronic pain in Linas Kleiza's(notes) right knee has limited his production all season and now could keep him out of action for as much as a year after he underwent season-ending surgery Wednesday. Kleiza was a popular late-round selection in drafts this season after impressive showings in international play and during the pre-season, but Achilles and knee problems have been with him since the regular season started. His most productive stretch was averages of 16.8 points on 50-percent shooting, 1.9 threes, and 6.4 boards came during the final 10 games of December. Kleiza's loss means that DeMar DeRozan(notes) is that much more secure for the remainder of the season, while Sonny Weems(notes) and Julian Wright(notes) should settle in with consistent roles.
• Ben Wallace(notes) is back with the Pistons after time off to deal with a family matter, but he's coming off the bench behind Greg Monroe(notes) and doesn't appear likely to bump him from the starting five any time soon. For his part, Big Ben said he's okay with a reserve role … Also for the Pistons: Rodney Stuckey(notes) (shoulder) remains questionable for Friday's matchup with the Nets.
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