Nikola Pekovic, J.J. Barea, and Michael Beasley are all out for the Timberwolves on Friday and all are out for at least a few more games. Barea said he also expects to miss the team's Sunday/Monday back-to-back and is aiming to return on Wednesday. That would mean two games for h2h owners, at most, next week, so a drop is in order in most cases. As for Pekovic, beat writer Jerry Zgoda speculated that Pek's season is probably done - "wouldn't be completely surprised" - thanks to the bone spurs in his ankle that will very likely require off-season surgery. The T-Wolves are headed for a three-game week and you'll be getting Pekovic at less than 100 percent in any case, so a drop is also in order here in the majority of formats. Anthony Tolliver is the beneficiary here - he's Rick Adelman's primary/only big off the bench and has averaged 12 points on 60-percent shooting, 1.2 threes, 5.8 boards, and 0.8 blocks in 28 minutes over the past six games. Managers in hyper-deep leagues should take a look at Wayne Ellington for the upcoming back-to-back, as well - he scored 0 points on Wednesday (24 minutes, 0-5 FG, 0-2 3PT) but had averaged 14.8 points on 56-percent shooting, 1.8 threes, and 1 steal in 28 minutes over the previous four games.
• Jeremy Lin is out for at least two more games (Fri/Sat) with knee soreness and is no lock to return on Tuesday, according to Mike Woodson. With the Knicks headed for just a three-game week and previous talk of limited minutes to address his overuse, he's a very poor option for Week 23 and beyond. A timeshare with Baron Davis is to be expected the rest of the way, and that's a best-case scenario. Davis has averaged 12 points on 37-percent shooting, 1 three, 6 boards, 6.5 assists, 5.5 turnovers, and 1 steal in 30 minutes during his two starts thus far, but the potential timeshare will also keep Davis' relevance in check beyond the next few games.
• Grant Hill underwent minor knee surgery on Friday morning and is expected to miss at least most of the remainder of the Suns' regular season. Hill missed the past two games with knee soreness, during which Shannon Brown started and totaled 42 points, six threes, and six boards in 80 minutes. Hill is a universal drop, while Brown looks like an excellent add for Week 22, with the Suns headed for a favorable four-game schedule (@SAC, @UTA, @DEN, LAL).
• Status updates: Derrick Rose (groin) is out Friday and doubtful for Sunday .. Marc Gasol (ankle) did not practice Thursday and is very questionable for Friday. The Grizzlies begin a stretch of five games in six nights and seven games in nine nights [schedule] .. Andre Iguodala (knee) is expected to play on Friday .. Ray Allen (ankle) participated in Friday shootaround and will be a game-time decision .. Reports are that Eric Gordon will "definitely" return to the Hornets' lineup on Wednesday, April 4 .. Bucks on Friday: Ersan Ilyasova (back) will play, Carlos Delfino (groin) is out .. Both Rodney Stuckey (hamstring) and Ben Gordon (groin) are out Friday. Austin Daye will start at shooting guard .. James Johnson (illness) went through Friday shootaround and will be a game-time decision .. D.J. Augustin (knee) is expected to be in the starting lineup on Friday .. Kevin Martin (shoulder) still has yet to practice and remains without a timetable .. Trevor Ariza (ankle) "most likely" is out for the Hornets' Saturday/Sunday back-to-back. Jarrett Jack (ankle), Chris Kaman (illness), and Eric Gordon (knee) are day-to-day .. Anderson Varejao (wrist) was on the court shooting for the first time on Friday. It doesn't necessarily mean his return is imminent, but Varejao has made it abundantly clear that he wants to return before the season ends.
• Scanning the Buzz Index leaders: My preferred adds among widely-available players: Kawhi Leonard (31% owned), Chandler Parsons (35%), Kenneth Faried (34%), Nate Robinson (29%), Shannon Brown (16%), Iman Shumpert (21%), Brandon Rush (34%), Matt Barnes (15%), Courtney Lee (17%), Derrick Favors (32%), Anthony Tolliver (6%), Tristan Thompson (26%),Trevor Booker (25%), Jason Smith (7%), Randy Foye (14%), J.J. Hickson (29%), Gary Forbes (4%) .. Marco Belinelli has exploded over the past two games (combined 77 minutes, 49 points, 11 threes, 9 assists, 3 steals) and will get two more games as the starter in the current week (Sat @LAL, Sun @PHO). Eric Gordon is slated to return to the lineup on Wednesday, April 4 .. I'm glad to see Kawhi Leonard near the top of the adds leaderboard. In eight games since taking over as the Spurs' starting small forward, he's averaged 12.5 points on 54-percent shooting, 1.1 threes, 7.5 boards, 1.5 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 32 minutes. Spurs vets are headed for rest down the stretch, but Leonard is not .. Jamal Crawford's run of usefulness does appear to be done. Since returning to a reserve role, he's averaged 9.2 points on 30-percent shooting and 0.9 threes in 25 minutes, and the Raymond Felton/Wesley Matthews backcourt is getting extended playing time.
• Week 22 Schedule Grid (Apr 2 - Apr 8)
Games remaining, through end of NBA season (April 26):
16 - CHA, CLE, MEM, SAS
15 - GSW, MIA
14 - BOS, DET, IND, LAC, MIL, OKC, PHI, PHO, SAC, WAS
13 - DAL, DEN, HOU, LAL, NOR, NYK, ORL, POR, TOR, UTA
12 - ATL, CHI, MIN, NJN
Games remaining, through end of default h2h playoffs (Week 23, Apr 9 - Apr 15):
10 - MEM
9 - BOS, CHA, CLE, SAC
8 - DAL, DET, GSW, IND, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIL, OKC, PHO, POR, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
7 - DEN, HOU, MIN, NJN, NOR, NYK, ORL, PHI
6 - ATL, CHI