Friday Night Fantasy Massacre

Fantasy basketball rosters took a hit on Friday night as Memphis center Marc Gasol, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and Bulls guard Derrick Rose suffered knee injuries.

Not only did both players suffer the injuries on the same night, each came off a non-contact play.

Rose suffered the right knee injury during the third quarter of Chicago’s 98-95 loss to the Trail Blazers.

The three-time All-Star guard missed the entirety of last season as his surgically repaired left knee healed.

Rose was back peddling and changed direction after Nicolas Batum stole a pass from Joakim Noah.

Following the steal, the former MVP did run down the court to try and prevent a fast break layup, but after a missed jumper from Wesley Matthews, the Bulls were forced to call timeout.

Rose was examined by one of Portland’s team physicians and is expected to undergo an MRI exam in Los Angeles on Saturday.

The 25-year-old guard left the court on crutches and he was unable to put any weight on his right leg late last night.

Derrick Rose limped off the court after suffering a knee injury in the third quarter against Portland.

Rose has already missed one game this season and in his 10 appearances, has yet to play to his usual lofty standards.

The 6-foot-4 guard has career lows in minutes played (31.1), field goal percentage (35.4 percent), points (15.9), assists (4.3), rebounds (3.2) and has matched the highest amount of turnovers (3.4) this year.

Chicago has won 79.6 percent of its contests since selecting Rose with the first overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

During the 116 games he has missed during his career, the Bulls have won 58.2 percent of the time and their scoring average has dipped nearly four points per game.

Much like Rose’s injury, Gasol limped off the floor after what appeared to be a routine play.

As San Antonio center Jeff Ayers backed Gasol into the post, the 7-foot-1 center clutched his knee and drew the attention of the medical staff.

Memphis described the injury as a sprained knee and will issue an MRI exam for Gasol on Saturday.

Over the past three years, Gasol has missed just four regular season contests.

Memphis center Marc Gasol left early in the second quarter after suffering what the team is calling a sprained knee against San Antonio.

Without its center in the lineup, the Grizzlies surrendered 31 fourth quarter points during a 102-86 loss at home.

The 28-year-old center is vital to Memphis on both sides of the floor.

Aside from leading the team in blocks, Gasol’s ability to cover seemingly any front court player without any help from a teammate allowed the Grizzlies to smother its opponents.

Last season, the team allowed just 89.3 points per game, the second fewest in the NBA.

Gasol ranks second on the team in rebounding (7.6) and assists (4.3) while serving as the third leading scorer at 16 points per game.

As Memphis won four consecutive games in California, defeating the Lakers, Kings, Clippers and Warriors, Gasol thrived, averaging 19.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists.

There is no timetable for Gasol’s return as the severity of his injury is unknown.

In just a few hours, two staples in fantasy basketball went down with knee injuries and no contact.

Now owners must scramble for replacements.

Here are three possible replacements for each player.

Point Guards

Kirk Hinrich– Chicago Bulls

Available in 84% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

In place of Rose, the former Kansas star logged 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal for the Bulls. Hinrich served as the starting point guard in Chicago last season, as he dished out more than seven assists on 15 occasions while averaging 7.7 points, 5.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

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Shaun Livingston– Brooklyn Nets

Available in 89% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

Livingston is an injury replacement for Deron Williams, but since being inserted into the starting lineup, he has been a solid fantasy player, averaging 11.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game for the Nets. Williams has already missed three games this season with persistent ankle issues and his return date remains unknown.

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Luke Ridnour– Milwaukee Bucks

Available in 93% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

Back spasms kept Ridnour out of Milwaukee’s lineup for eight games, but in his four appearances this season, the 10 year veteran was able to dish out 20 assists. For his career, Ridnour is a career 35 percent shooter from 3-point range, is averaging 1.1 steals per game and has made 86.5 percent of his free throws.

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Centers

Kosta Koufos– Memphis Grizzlies

Available in 89% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

Koufos was brought in from Denver to serve as the backup to Gasol, a role that wasn’t supposed to be so prominent. In 27 minutes against San Antonio, the 7-footer totaled six points and seven rebounds. As the starter last season with the Nuggets, Koufos averaged a career-high 6.9 rebounds and totaled 15 games with 10 or more rebounds.

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Samuel Dalembert– Dallas Mavericks

Available in 49% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

Over his past three games, Dalembert is averaging 12 rebounds, and submitted his best outing of the year Friday night against Utah. The 6-foot-11 center totaled 18 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks to help the Mavericks improve to 9-4 on the season.

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Channing Frye– Phoenix Suns

Available in 91% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

An enlarged heart kept Frye away from the team for the entire 2012-13 season, but the 6-foot-11 forward is back on the court. Frye scored a season-high 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range along with three rebounds and two steals during Friday’s victory over Charlotte.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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