Kevin Love suffered a mild concussion and neck strain when he took an elbow from JaVale McGee on Wednesday night - he spent the night in a Denver hospital as a precautionary measure and is out indefinitely. The NBA's concussion policy:
A player diagnosed with a concussion will have to complete a series of steps to prove he's healthy enough to play. Once a player is symptom free, he is tested through increasing stages of exertion - from a stationary bike to jogging, agility work and non-contact team drills - to make sure he remains symptom free. An NBA-hired neurologist is consulted before the player is cleared to play.
The T-Wolves play only once more during the current week (Sat OKC) and have a league-low three games over the season's final nine days [schedule]. What this means is that Love is a drop in default h2h leagues and his long-term potential is also fairly limited in a best-case, particularly for h2h purposes. It makes sense to wait a day or two for updates in leagues that run through the end of the season, considering that his concussion was deemed mild, but it should not come as a surprise if we don't see Love play again this season. Derrick Williams (38 minutes, 27 points, 3 threes, 8 boards, 1 steal, 1 block) and Anthony Randolph (31 minutes, 28 points, 6 boards, 5 blocks) saw surplus minutes on Wednesday with Love out and Nikola Pekovic used sparingly (19 minutes) against the Nuggets' small lineup. Williams is the obvious upgrade with Love out, but is it also time for another late-season surge for Randolph, aka "Mr. April"? Rick Adelman said "He has an opportunity" after the game.
• LaMarcus Aldridge will undergo right hip surgery, and his season is officially over. J.J. Hickson is set as the Blazers' starting power forward for the remainder of the season.
• Byron Scott said Wednesday that both Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and Anderson Varejao (wrist) will have their statuses reassessed on Sunday, and neither one has been ruled out as an option for appearing in the home game against the Magic. The Cavs will continue to be cautious, but they do play a league-high eight games from Sunday through the end of the regular season (April 26), so both players could end up contributing for fantasy owners outside of default h2h leagues. We aren't going to have another update here before Sunday, however.
• Schedule notes: Two teams with back-to-back-to-backs to end the current week (Fri-Sun, BOS, CLE); Six teams with just one game over the weekend (LAC, PHI, CHI, SAS, MIN, GSW). Two teams with back-to-back-to-backs to begin next week (Mon-Wed, SAS, PHI); Two teams with just one game to start the week (MIL, SAC).
• Status updates: Dwight Howard (back spasms) has declared himself out for Friday and says he's still experiencing a lot of pain .. Derrick Rose (ankle) fully participated in the Bulls' Thursday shootaround and is expected to play. He's officially listed as a game-time decision .. Kobe Bryant's status for Friday won't be established until game day .. Paul Millsap is day-to-day with a sprained right wrist .. Amar'e Stoudemire (back) is targeting next Wednesday as a possible return date .. Ray Allen (ankle) is out again Friday .. Nene Hilario (plantar fasciitis) was a light participant in Wednesday practice and his hoping to return to the active roster next week .. Eric Gordon (back) will be evaluated on Thursday but is currently questionable for Friday .. Jose Calderon (eye) could have returned Wednesday if needed and should be able to play on Friday .. Wilson Chandler (hip) is doubtful for Friday and George Karl doesn't expect him to be 100 percent at any point this season .. Darren Collison (groin) is improving and is expected to be able to play on Friday .. Karl said he'll keep Al Harrington's minutes minimal and save him for the second half in most cases .. Drew Gooden (back) in running on fumes and lasted just five minutes on Wednesday. He's not going to be at full strength at any point over the season's final two weeks.