LaMarcus Aldridge had a specialist take a look at his ailing right hip on Tuesday and "an abnormality" was found. All we know for certain as of right now is that he won't play Wednesday and is set to undergo further evaluation in the coming days, after which next steps will be decided. His being shut down looks highly likely, as the last thing the Blazers will want to do is risk long-term injury, although fantasy owners won't be faulted for waiting for official declarations regarding his status. J.J. Hickson will start for as long as Aldridge is sidelined, and he's averaged 14.2 points on 57-percent shooting, 7.4 boards (3 offensive), and 1 block in 29 minutes over the past nine games .. Also for the Blazers on Wednesday: Nicolas Batum (quad) participated in the team's Wednesday shootaround but remains a game-time decision.
• There's not much to be said about Lester Hudson outside of the obvious. He's been huge over the past three games (32 minutes, 24.7 points, 90% FT, 2.7 threes, 4.7 boards, 5.3 assists, 2 steals) and the Cavs finish the week with a back-to-back-to-back (Fri @IND, Sat @WAS, Sun ORL). Byron Scott is all in with Hudson as his sixth man - the big minutes are going to be there for the rest of the season and, given the rest of the roster, so will the usage. Other Cavs to consider with a Thursday morning add, to get that trio of games to finish out the week: Alonzo Gee, who has settled in with solid-but-unspectacular numbers as a starter; Anthony Parker, who put up 19 points, four threes, and two steals in 27 minutes on Tuesday; Tristan Thompson, who should total around 30 points and 20 boards during the three games; and Donald Sloan, for the deep-leaguers out there. Drop someone from the Sixers, Clippers, Bulls, Spurs, T-Wolves, and Warriors for one of these Cavs and you swap out one weekend game for three.
• The Celtics also play a weekend back-to-back-to-back (Fri @TOR, Sat @NJN, Sun @CHA). Doc Rivers has tightened his rotation to just eight players, with Greg Stiemsma getting regular run as the lone big off the bench. With an average of 24 minutes over the past three games, Stiemsma has totaled 20 points (80% FG), 19 boards, five assists, three steals, and 10 blocks, and he's currently available in 93-percent of leagues.
• Byron Mullens is among the drop leaders over the past 24 hours, and I myself contributed a plus-one to the total. He's followed up Friday's massive output against the Bucks (43 minutes, 31 points, 14-23 FG, 14 boards, 2 blocks) with totals of 26 points on 33-percent shooting, 13 boards, and three blocks in three games. And his five-game week has less prominence now that his favorable matchups are out of the way (WAS, @CLE) and the Bobcats finish the week against two of the league's strongest defenses (@MIA, BOS) .. D.J. Augustin was (surprisingly) back in the starting lineup on Tuesday after missing three games with knee tendinitis, and he posted 16 points and 11 assists in a team-high 40 minutes. It remains difficult to have faith in Augustin moving foward, however, given the uncertainly with his knee and Kemba Walker's presence.
• Changes to the 76ers' starting five (Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes out, Jodie Meeks and Nikola Vucevic in) is the death knell for Turner's fantasy impact, but won't have far-reaching implications otherwise. Hawes posted a good line in 23 minutes (19 points, 8 boards, 1 steal, 3 blocks) and expectations of minutes and production shouldn't change much here with the adjusted role. Meeks and Vucevic are slight upgrades, but they aren't headed for anything approaching starter's minutes.
• Status updates: Derrick Rose (ankle) practiced Wednesday and will be a gametime decision on Thursday .. Kobe Bryant (shin) is out again Wednesday. His status for Friday isn't likely to be known before game day .. Stan Van Gundy said Tuesday that Dwight Howard (back) could have played but the team chose to give him an extended rest. The Magic are off until Friday, and it looks likely that he'll be active .. Eric Gordon (back) did not participate in Wednesday shootaround and remains questionable .. Luke Ridnour (ankle) is out Wednesday .. Jason Kidd (groin) felt great after returning to the lineup on Tuesday (22 minutes, 7 points, 1 three, 6 boards, 7 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks) .. Rodney Stuckey (knee) is questionable for Thursday .. Darren Collison (groin) will be a game-time decision on Wednesday .. Al Harrington plans to play through the torn meniscus in his left knee, starting on Wednesday, but he's almost certainly headed for a reduced role if he does indeed remain active .. Andrea Bargnani (calf) remains out and will undergo further testing .. Jason Thompson was not in the starting five on Tuesday because Keith Smart wanted to match Donte Greene with Dirk Nowitzki, whom he considers a "hybrid four". Thompson should return to the starting five on Wednesday.