Games Played For Week 17
4 Games: ATL, CHA, CLE, DEN, DET, NYK, ORL, PHX, TOR, WAS
3 Games: BOS, BRK, CHI, DAL, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, POR, SAC, SAN, UTA
2 Games: OKC, PHI
All-Star Weekend is officially behind us, and while I didn’t actually get to see much of the dunk contest, my Twitter followers let me know that it wasn’t good. In fact, when I told them to let me know who won, I was told that I was the winner for not being subjected to it. In any case, congratulations to Kyrie Irving (MVP), John Wall & the East (dunk champ), Marco Belinelli (3-point champ), Damian Lillard and Trey Burke (skills champs), Andre Drummond (30 points, 25 rebounds in Rising Stars game) and Team Bosh (Shooting Stars).
My six-year-old watched the All-Star Game and the NFL Pro Bowl, and cried after each of them. He wanted Team Deion in football and the West in hoops, and couldn’t handle the defeats in a classy manner, even though I told him there’s no crying in meaningless all-star games.
We’ve got nine games on Tuesday night and 11 on Wednesday, so let’s jump to the injury news as you prepare to set lineups.
ATL – Pero Antic still isn’t ready due to his back injury, while DeMarre Carroll is iffy for tonight’s game against the Pacers with a tweaked hamstring. My guess is he’ll play, but we won’t know until later this afternoon. If Carroll is out, Mike Scott, Gustavo Ayon and Lou Williams all get a boost in minutes.
BOS – Avery Bradley sounds like he could miss more time with his ankle injury, which is good news for Jerryd Bayless.
CLE - Anderson Varejao will not travel to Philly for tonight’s game due to his back, wrist and knee problems, which leads me to believe he won’t play on Wednesday, either. Varejao’s inability to stay healthy has been well documented over the last few seasons, so I’m concerned about him going forward. Tristan Thompson has been incredibly hot recently and this should help him stay that way, while Tyler Zeller will probably get another start tonight. Anthony Bennett could get loose for another decent stat line after a dud in his last one, but he’s far too risky to trust right now.
DAL – Devin Harris missed Wednesday’s game with a knee injury and while he’s shown a little bit of promise, he’s simply never healthy enough to use.
DEN – Randy Foye (personal) and Ty Lawson (ribs) are both showing up on the injury report for the Nuggets. Foye missed Monday’s practice due to personal reasons, but it sounds like he’ll be in uniform tonight against the Suns. The good news is that his tweaked ankle should be back at 100 percent going forward. Lawson’s broken rib remains a pretty big problem and he’s not expected to play in the next couple games. Foye is going to play a lot of point guard while he’s out, while Evan Fournier and Jordan Hamilton should also see a boost, just like they had right before the break.
DET – Rodney Stuckey is dealing still dealing with dizzy spells and left Wednesday’s game with them, just before the break. We’re still waiting for a new update on his status, but given his recent problems, I’m not a fan of using him in most formats right now. Will Bynum gets a small boost, while Kyle Singler should continue to see monster minutes as long as Stuckey isn’t feeling well. Stuckey is also a serious candidate to be traded before the deadline.
GSW – Andrew Bogut received a cortisone shot in his shoulder, as he’s now missed four straight games with the injury, and the news is not good. Bogut tweeted that he had a bad reaction to the injection, and while I’m not sure exactly what that means for him going forward, it’s certainly not good news and he’s listed as day-to-day. My guess is Jermaine O’Neal should be set to return from his wrist injury on Wednesday at Sacramento, but it’s just a guess. If the two big men are out, Marreese Speights, who had a career-high 32 points on Monday, would be a sneaky daily play.
HOU – Patrick Beverley is dealing with an abdominal injury, but it sounds like he is expected to play through it on Wednesday against the Lakers. I’m fine with putting him in lineups right now, based on the information we have.
LAC – J.J. Redick has missed five straight games with hip and back problems and isn’t expected to play again until Friday against the Grizzlies. That means more big things for Jamal Crawford tonight against the Spurs.
LAL – It sounds like Jodie Meeks (ankle) and Pau Gasol (groin) could play on Wednesday against the Rockets, while we’re still awaiting information on Jordan Farmar (hamstring, calf) and Nick Young (knee). I think I’m OK with rolling the dice on Meeks and Gasol if you want to use them this week, but there is risk involved. As for Kobe Bryant, he may or may not play again this season due to his knee injury, but I’m skeptical that we’ll see him on the court again this year.
MEM – Marc Gasol (knee), Mike Conley (ankle) and Tony Allen (wrist) all went through practice on Monday, meaning they could all play tonight against the Knicks. It sounds like Conley is a go, Allen is a game-time decision, and I’m guessing that Gasol will also be a game-time decision. Allen’s return could hurt Courtney Lee’s value, while Conley’s return should render Nick Calathes close to useless going forward.
MIA – Dwyane Wade (foot, knee, migraine, body) actually played in the All-Star Game and all signs point to him playing tonight at Dallas. Of course, when Wade will miss his next game is always a frustrating guessing game and just because I think he’ll play tonight really means nothing. But if he felt well enough to play on Sunday, it would make sense for him to be out there tonight.
MIN – Kevin Martin’s broken thumb will be re-evaluated on Friday, so we know he’s out until at least then, which should mean more good things for Corey Brewer and Chase Budinger. Nikola Pekovic has been out for two weeks with an ankle/foot injury and was in a walking boot on Wednesday. I seriously doubt he plays on Wednesday against the Pacers and he should just be left on benches until we get more information on a target date for his return. Ronny Turiaf will continue to see plenty of minutes at center until he’s back.
MIL – The Bucks play the Magic tonight and Ekpe Udoh sounds like a game-time decision with his ankle injury. John Henson actually practiced on Monday, which leads me to believe he’ll play tonight, while Larry Sanders is out indefinitely after surgery to repair his eye socket. Caron Butler practiced on Monday and is set to return to action from his high ankle sprain, which is bad news for both Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo. O.J. Mayo actually returned to practice from his illness and his return would hurt the value of guys like Luke Ridnour, Nate Wolters and Gary Neal. As usual, the Bucks are a mess, but Brandon Knight, Henson, Ersan Ilyasova and Zaza Pachulia all look like decent plays right now, but I’m not ready to touch Mayo or Butler.
NOP – Shortly after posting the Dose, I found an update on Jrue Holiday (leg), saying he should be back within a week. His news blurb is updated, so go there for details, although i'm taking the report with a grain of salt. Just keep rolling Brian Roberts out there until Holiday is offiically back. Ryan Anderson’s season is in jeopardy with his back injury, and will be evaluated later this month.
NYK – J.R. Smith sounds like a go tonight against the Grizzlies, as he’ll play with a facemask to protect his eye injury. He doesn’t like the mask, but will have to wear it for about a month, which could impact his comfort and scoring levels. Kenyon Martin is out again tonight with his ankle injury, which should mean another solid opportunity for Amare Stoudemire, while Beno Udrih might be ready to return from an illness.
OKC – Russell Westbrook will be re-evaluated on Tuesday and sounds close to returning from knee surgery. He’s targeting Thursday against the Heat, which is great news for those of you stashing him. And it’s not such great news for Reggie Jackson, but I’d recommend holding him until further notice.
SAN – It sounds like both Manu Ginobili (hamstring) and Kawhi Leonard (hand) could play tonight against the Clippers, but I wouldn’t call either player a must-start at this point. However, the latest out of San Antonio is that Leonard is listed as "out" tonight. It's still possible he could play, but for now, I'm working under the assumption that he won't. There’s no word on Tiago Splitter’s status with a calf injury as of right now, but I expect us to get more information on all of them later on Tuesday.
SAC – DeMarcus Cousins missed Monday’s practice and underwent an MRI on his injured hip. That leaves him very iffy for Wednesday against the Warriors and Jason Thompson would likely be the biggest beneficiary if Cousins can’t go in that one.
TOR – Amir Johnson (ankle) sounds like he will play on Tuesday against the Wizards, which should put the 50-50 timeshare back in place for Johnson and Patrick Patterson, making both of them tough starts right now.
UTA – Derrick Favors (hip) is expected to play on Wednesday against the Nets on Wednesday night, which will likely pull Enes Kanter out of the starting lineup and back to the bench. Favors is still not a lock to play, but it sounds like there’s a good chance he’ll be in uniform tomorrow night.