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Saturday Dose

Dose: Davis Durability Dilemma

by Ethan Norof
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The sight of Anthony Davis being carried off the floor—again—is becoming too regular of a thing. Although the New Orleans Pelicans franchise superstar was eventually diagnosed with just a right knee contusion, the Davis durability dilemma provides plenty to ponder for those with the shot-swatting Condor as the anchor of their squad.

 

On a 12-game Friday night, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green clearly weren’t done with their Thanksgiving feasts en route to flaming the Phoenix Suns, Kawhi Leonard has a strong case as a top-five pick next season, Sixers Nation is in love with the RoCo but James Harden has Red Nation calling out his name.

 

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Milwaukee @ Orlando: Magic 114, Bucks 90

 

Studs: Elfrid Payton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Victor Oladipo

Duds: Greg Monroe, Michael Carter-Williams, Nikola Vucevic

 

The Bucks look like a different team from last season, and that’s not meant as a compliment in any way. Struggling to form an identity, Milwaukee’s 6-10 start is not what Greg Monroe (nine points, eight rebounds, 3-of-12 FGs) signed up for when The Moose agreed to walk with the young Bucks.

 

Michael Carter-Williams (three points, three assists, five turnovers, 24 minutes) has not become the player Milwaukee needs him to be, and it’s not a surprise he hasn’t eclipsed 30 minutes of playing time in any of the last six games. He’s got more turnovers than assists in two of his last three, and the Bucks may want to consider moving veteran Jerryd Bayless (17 points, four boards, three dimes, two steals, five 3-pointers, 33 minutes) into the starting five to provide better spacing.

 

Despite getting absolutely romped, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s efficient 17-point effort (17 points, four rebounds, four dimes, two steals, 7-of-10 FGs) and Khris Middleton (15 points, three rebounds, four dimes, three steals, three 3-pointers) both turned in productive evenings. K-Midz is now averaging 17.3 points, 4.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 3.0 3-pointers over his last three games while shooting a blazing 17-of-29 (58.6%) from the field.

 

The Magic won this game in the third quarter with Nikola Vucevic (nine points, six rebounds, one steal, one block, 21.5 minutes) on the floor, but Scott Skiles had no interest in playing him in either the second or fourth quarter. The head coach’s new starting lineup apparently includes new rotations, and Vooch has now exceeded 30 minutes just once in his last five contests…it doesn’t look like big minutes are around the corner anytime soon. Victor Oladipo, who came off the bench for the second straight game, is taking nicely to his new role and contributed 17 points, six rebounds and nine assists in just 24.5 minutes. Separating ‘Dipo and Payton will benefit both players.

 

Tobias Harris (19 points, four triples, one steal, one block, 6-of-10 FGs) loves playing his former team, but it was Elfrid Payton’s monstrous double-double that served as the headliner—and rightfully so as EP was fantastic—in this one: 22 points and 10 dimes on 10-of-12 shooting.

 

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Cleveland @ Charlotte: Cavs 95, Hornets 90

 

Studs: LeBron James, Kevin Love, Kemba Walker

Duds: Al Jefferson, J.R. Smith

 

The Cavs are playing closer games than LeBron James would like, but as long as he keeps pouring in efforts like Friday’s (25 points, 13 rebounds, five assists), it’s still going to be tough to beat Cleveland. It’s a weird dynamic when ‘focal point’ Kevin Love goes for 18 points and 16 rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting (minus-seven) but sits in the fourth quarter in favor of veteran Richard Jefferson (plus-14). The Cavs really struggled for offense outside of James and Love, and despite their 12-4 record, this is a team that can’t get Kyrie Irving back on the court soon enough.

 

Timofey Mozgov’s (shoulder) surprisingly early return pushed Tristan Thompson to the bench, but T.T. remained productive with seven points, 12 rebounds and a steal in 29.5 minutes, while Mozgov had just eight points, three rebounds and a steal in his 18.5 minutes of playing time. J.R. Smith (11 points, 4-of-10 FGs) finally cooled off, and you can expect his stock to trend downward as this team’s health improves. The same can be said for both Mo Williams (six points, three assists, 21 minutes) and Matthew Dellavedova (seven points, five assists, 33.5 minutes), but David Blatt has developed a trust in Delly that may keep him on the fringe of fantasy relevancy as Irving works his way back in.

 

Charlotte continues to get impressive play from Kemba Walker (18 points, four rebounds, four dimes, three blocks, two steals, four turnovers), and Kemba has rewarded anyone who plucked him off the board on draft day. He’s an interesting sell-high candidate unless you believe the career 40% shooter is suddenly going to shoot around 46% from the floor, and it’s worth noting that includes a career-best 38.3% from distance. Prior to this year, Walker has never shot above 33.3% from behind the 3-point line.

 

The Hornets also got another solid effort from Nicolas Batum (17 points, eight rebounds, four assists), but Al Jefferson (11 points, six rebounds, 5-of-12 shooting) struggled against Mozgov and Thompson while Marvin Williams (10 points, two triples, two blocks, five fouls) failed to ride a hot start into a productive game. Jeremy Lamb played more minutes (24) than any other sub, finishing with 11 points, eight rebounds and a block…The breakout is real, and it’s spectacular.

 

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Washington @ Boston: Celtics 111, Wizards 78

 

Studs: Jared Sullinger, Jared Dudley, Jae Crowder

Duds: Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat, John Wall

 

How much longer can Randy Wittman survive?

 

The 6-7 Wizards keep taking demoralizing losses, and one has to wonder about the direction of a previously promising team. John Wall questioned Wittman’s rotations earlier in the week, but the franchise point guard has been doing his team no favors with his inconsistent play. Wall struggled again on Friday with just 10 points and six assists on 4-of-11 shooting, giving him a 17:16 assist-to-turnover ratio over his last three games—all Washington losses.

 

The Wizards had just three players in double figures on Friday, with Bradley Beal (16 points, 7-of-14 FGs) and Jared Dudley (19 points, five boards, two blocks, three 3-pointers) as the sole bright spots. Dudley in particular had a very solid showing, and he should now be in line for more playing time since Nene (left calf strain) aggravated his injury after just two minutes on the floor. Those with a Marcin Gortat investment (four points, nine rebounds, four assists, 1-of-8 shooting) have to hope it gets better, but it hasn’t been a pretty picture all season…I don’t see it changing.  

 

Jared Sullinger would have easily had a 20-20 game with the potential for more, but he played just 24 minutes in a blowout, finishing with 18 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks on a tidy 8-of-12 shooting…Sully has cemented his place as this team’s starting center. Despite not swiping the ball a single time, Jae Crowder (17 points, five rebounds, three assists, three triples, 4-of-8 FGs) continues to be an asset for those who believed in the fast start.

 

Evan Turner left early after getting poked in the eye, but there’s no reason to believe it’s serious. Even with Marcus Smart (leg/knee) out, Turner is too inconsistent to rely on for those in leagues with 12 teams or fewer.

 

Miami @ New York: Heat 97, Knicks 78

 

Studs: Gerald Green

Duds: Carmelo Anthony, Robin Lopez

 

The Knicks scored 29 points in the second half; don’t expect a very fantasy-friendly box score.

 

All of Carmelo Anthony’s 11 points came in the first quarter, and he finished with just three boards, a steal, a block and a triple on 4-of-13 shooting. Kristaps Porzingis dealt with foul trouble, but even a disappointing game (11 points, eight rebounds, two steals, three blocks, three turnovers, 5-of-11 FGs) is a productive one for the rookie as he continues to raise our expectations. The only other New York player to score in double figures was Kevin Seraphin (10 points in 17 minutes), while both Robin Lopez (two points, four rebounds, five fouls, 14 minutes) and Jose Calderon (four points, 25 minutes) went MIA vs. the Heat.

 

Although Miami didn’t have its best game of the season at the offensive end, the Heat limited New York to just 37.6% from the field, including 21.4% from distance, an especially impressive effort considering Luol Deng (left hamstring) remained out of the lineup. Hassan Whiteside (six points, 14 rebounds, six blocks) is going to be relevant so long as he’s on the floor, while Chris Bosh (20 points, five rebounds, three dimes, one block) and Dwyane Wade (17 points, five rebounds, three assists, three turnovers) did just enough to support Gerald Green—yes, you read that correctly—who finished with 25 points and four triples on 8-of-14 from the field. At a bargain basement price, Green really rewarded those who used him in DFS formats. Justise Winslow (nine points, seven rebounds, one steal, 35 minutes) also saw increased action, but Deng could be back as soon as Monday’s game vs. Boston.

 

Philadelphia @ Houston: Rockets 116, Sixers 114

 

Studs: James Harden, Robert Covington, Isaiah Canaan

Duds: Jahlil Okafor, Trevor Ariza

 

I don’t care about the nine turnovers. James Harden’s 50 points, nine rebounds and eight assists on 14-of-28 from the floor—including 6-of-12 3-pointers and 16-of-20 from the charity stripe—is one of the most impressive statistical performances we’ll see this season. You can make the argument that Harden should have been the number one pick in fantasy drafts this season, and he’s now averaging 45.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 5.5 3-pointers (6.5 TOs) over his last two games. The crazy part? Houston is just 1-1.

 

The Rockets decided to start Clint Capela at power forward in place of Terrence Jones, and Capela finished with a nice double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks) in just 25 minutes. It’s not clear if Jones (five points, eight rebounds, 24 minutes) is going to be ticketed for a bench role moving forward, but that’s now two straight disappointing games from the inconsistent Jones...the buy-low opportunity is once again there, but with Donatas Motiejunas’ reevaluation set for December 1, TJ is only going to face more competition for minutes. Patrick Beverley (five points, four assists, one steal, three blocks) also moved into the starting lineup, and Jason Terry played all of three seconds. Ty Lawson (four points, three assists, three turnovers, 16 minutes) will continue to try to figure it out in a reserve role…Beverley is locked in as the starter.

 

So close, Sixers fans.

 

Even with Jahlil Okafor (11 points, six rebounds, 4-of-12 FGs) disappointing on the court and in the news for all of the wrong reasons off of it, the Sixers were in this one until the final seconds. Nerlens Noel (right knee soreness) was a surprise scratch just moments before this game began, and that is incredibly discouraging news after Brett Brown previously told us that Noel was dealing with issues earlier this season. It’s not clear if Noel’s absence will be an extended one, but he’s really been struggling of late and it doesn’t make sense to force Noel out there if he’s anything less than 100% healthy.

 

With Noel out, Jerami Grant (18 points, one steal, one block, three triples, 31.5 minutes) moved into the starting lineup, and Isaiah Canaan (23 points, four triples) also replaced T.J. McConnell (six points, five rebounds, six assists) with the first group. Brown cited Canaan’s fit with Okafor as the reason for the switch, but the point guard position in Philadelphia remains as volatile as ever. The one stable source of production or this team is Robert Covington (28 points, seven rebounds, five assists, six 3-pointers, eight (!) steals), and RoCo is now averaging a ridiculous 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.8 steals and 3.5 3-pointers since the training wheels came off over his last four games…He’s been an absolute DFS stud. Nik Stauskas also returned earlier than expected from his knee contusion, but he played just 14.5 minutes, finishing with four points, three assists and a couple of steals…I’ve never understood the hype. Sauce Castillo is a gimmick until he shows otherwise, and Stauskas failed to seize the moment on a team that’s offered him plenty of opportunity.

 

Chicago @ Indiana: Pacers 104, Bulls 92

 

Studs: Nikola Mirotic, Paul George, Ian Mahinmi, Jimmy Butler

Duds: Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose

 

If it seems like the Pacers got good again overnight, it’s because Paul George (33 points, eight boards, four 3-pointers) is better than ever. After watching the game from the sidelines last season, George is playing with an aggressiveness that we just didn’t see prior. Without Jordan Hill, both Ian Mahinmi (15 points, nine rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block) and Lavoy Allen (12 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks) delivered strong performances, and C.J. Miles (16 points, 6-of-12 FGs, three triples) continues to play a strong brand of basketball. Although neither lit up the box score, the starting backcourt of George Hill (six points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block) and Monta Ellis (14 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals, no turnovers) each offered very usable efforts.

 

After really struggling through a sluggish start to the month, Nikola Mirotic (25 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two triples, one block) has now brought it over his last four games with averages of 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 3-pointers on 43.1% shooting...congratulations to those who bought low. Now is not the time to sell. Jimmy Butler played a big role at both ends in this game, and a subpar shooting performance (4-of-10) didn’t stop a stat-stuffing effort as Buckets went for 16 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, two blocks and two triples with four turnovers. Derrick Rose just didn’t really do enough (10 points, six rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block) to excuse the 4-of-16 shooting performance, and the same can be said for Pau Gasol (nine points, 11 rebounds, four assists) who also managed to make just four of his 16 shots…It’s going to be almost impossible for Chicago to win a game where Gasol and Rose combine for fewer points (19) than shots attempted (32).

 

Detroit @ Oklahoma City: Thunder 103, Pistons 87

 

Studs: Kevin Durant

Duds: Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Russell Westbrook

 

It was being billed as a revenge game for Reggie Jackson against his former team, but it was more like struggle city for Detroit’s new franchise point guard. After his team took a halftime lead, the Pistons were blown out in the second half and Jackson had a night to forget, going for just 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals on 4-of-16 (two 3-pointers) shooting. Teammate Andre Drummond, who came into this one averaging nearly 20 points and 20 rebounds, also struggled mightily with just 15 points, seven rebounds and a steal on 7-of-16 from the floor. Stan Van Gundy is going to need a whole case of Diet Pepsi to digest this loss.

 

Despite Russell Westbrook turning in his worst game of the season with a double-double nobody wants to have (14 points, 11 turnovers, four assists, four rebounds, 5-of-14 FGs), the Thunder pulled away behind Kevin Durant’s dominant performance: 34 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and four 3-pointers. Durant has been an absolute stud when he’s been on the floor this season, and those who picked Chris Paul ahead of K.D. are wondering if that was the right decision. Serge Ibaka (14 points, four blocks, 7-of-8 FGs) also chipped in a productive line as the Thunder moved to 11-6 on the year.

 

Atlanta @ Memphis: Hawks 116, Grizzlies 101

 

Studs: Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague

Duds: Dennis Schroder, Mario Chalmers

 

Zach Randolph (sore right knee) missed his sixth straight game, and this is the same knee that forced him to sit out last season. Currently without a timetable to return, Z-Bo’s role is very much to be determined when he’s healthy enough to play. The Grizzlies have found success playing at a faster pace, and it’s clear this is a roster that’s going to have to change its shape to enjoy future success. I wouldn’t have drafted Randolph this season, and he’s trending downward for reasons that make him a tough sell—even at a discount.

 

Despite having six different players in double figures, the Grizzlies didn’t have a single player pour in more than 16 points. Mike Conley led the way and kicked in nine assists to go along with the scoring, but the starting frontline of Marc Gasol (13 points, eight rebounds), Matt Barnes (14 points) and Jeff Green (11 points) combined for just 38 points. We saw the very real floor of Mario Chalmers (three points, five turnovers, 11 minutes) on Friday, and there is really no reason to roster the former Heatle outside of insanely deep leagues.

 

You can’t stop Paul Millsap (23 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, 6-of-10 shooting, 11-of-13 FTs), but the Grizzlies couldn’t even contain him. It’s not like Memphis should feel bad since Prince Paul has been busting through every perceived limitation this season, and it’s just the latest indication that Millsap’s emergence is here to stay. Unlike Millsap, Jeff Teague’s line (20 points, seven dimes, four triples, 5-of-7 FGs) won’t jump out at you, but it was another very quality night for the unquestioned starting point guard while clear backup Dennis Schroder (seven points, 1-of-8 shooting) stays struggling…Schroder has now made six of his last 31 shots over the last four games. Kent Bazemore (ankle) returned to the starting lineup in the win, scoring 14 points (two triples) to go along with three rebounds, two assists and a steal in 26.5 minutes.

 

San Antonio @ Denver: Spurs 91, Nuggets 80

 

Studs: Kawhi Leonard

Duds: Every Nugget except Will Barton and Danilo Gallinari, LaMarcus Aldridge

 

Kawhi Leonard has taken his game to a level even the Spurs couldn’t have projected. Without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, both sitting out to rest, Leonard continued to serve as the center of the Spurs’ new universe, exploding for 25 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and five blocks on 11-of-18 (2-of-4 3PM) shooting. Sit back and enjoy the production all season long…Leonard is a fantasy basketball dream, and he was just one steal shy of wolfing down a 5x5 line.

 

Even without T.D. and Manu, Danny Green (nine points, 3-of-9 shooting) just can’t seem to get it going. Gregg Popovich continued to introduce LaMarcus Aldridge (eight points, four rebounds, 4-of-11 FGs) to the Spurs way of doing things, while Tony Parker (13 points, five assists, 6-of-7 FGs, 25 minutes) is enjoying the most efficient season of his career.

 

Will Barton and Danilo Gallinari (16 points, 10 rebounds, 5-of-15 FGs) are the only things worth talking about from the Nuggets side, and The Thrill finished with 12 points, nine boards and a couple of steals. Nikola Jokic (six points, four fouls, 12.5 minutes) and Emmanuel Mudiay (nine points, three assists, 3-of-14 FGs) each predictably struggled in a difficult matchup vs. San Antonio. Despite being available to play, Joffrey Lauvergne (back) didn’t get off the bench…that’s a good sign for Jokic. The Nuggets again played this one without Kenneth Faried (ankle), and there is no current timetable for his return.

 

Golden State @ Phoenix: Warriors 135, Suns 116

 

Studs: Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, T.J. Warren, Leandro Barbosa

Duds: Klay Thompson, Markieff Morris

 

The Warriors came out of the gate on fire in this game, shooting an absurd 15-of-20 from behind the arc in the first half. Stephen Curry dropped 19 points and six assists in the first quarter alone, and he finished with a line only he’s capable of producing: 41 points, six rebounds, eight assists and nine (!) triples on 11-of-20 shooting. Curry is almost an autoplay in DFS lineups when he’s in line for an up-tempo affair, and the only thing players have to worry about is a potential blowout considering how much better Golden State is than the rest of the field. The Warriors didn’t need much from Andrew Bogut (seven points, two blocks, 13 minutes) in his return, and the big man isn’t even worth the headache in most standard formats.

 

Golden State also left Draymond Green in long enough so he could pad his stats and earn another triple-double (14 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, one steal, two blocks, two triples, 4-of-4 FGs), and if you can’t see why Green is a superstar in this league, the problem is with your perception. Leandro Barbosa (21 points, five 3-pointers, 8-of-9 FGs) scored more than Klay Thompson (15 points, three triples), and it’s become increasingly clear that Thompson is not going to validate his ADP unless Harrison Barnes, who left Friday’s game with a sprained left ankle (X-rays negative), is forced to miss significant time.

 

Phoenix got Tyson Chandler back from his illness for just four minutes until a right hamstring strain ended his evening, and the Suns went small from that moment forward in a preview of what could come if the veteran center has to miss time. Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe each had 21 points on a combined 18-of-32 from the field, but it was T.J. Warren (28 points, 12-of-16 FGs, two triples, two steals) who made the most of the loss. With his third straight game in double figures, Warren is averaging 20.7 points on 61.4% shooting during that span. He’s also played at least 25 minutes in each of those games, and while the efficiency is nice, Warren isn’t doing anything else in other categories to help fantasy owners…he’s a great guy to have in dynasty formats.

 

Minnesota @ Sacramento: Timberwolves 101, Kings 91

 

Studs: Kosta Koufos, Rajon Rondo

Duds: Rudy Gay

 

Playing their second straight game without DeMarcus Cousins (back), the Kings were fortunate to be this productive in a game where Rudy Gay (1-of-13 FGs) scored just two points. Kosta Koufos (16 points, 13 rebounds, one steal) filled in nicely for Cousins, but in a nod to DMC’s talent, Koufos simply can’t come close to providing what Cousins does when he’s out there. Rajon Rondo’s (16 points, 16 assists, no turnovers) production has remained impressively high no matter who is on the floor with him, and Darren Collison (10 points, three assists) isn’t a threat to Rondo’s role.

 

Karl-Anthony Towns (seven points, eight rebounds, two blocks, 21.5 minutes) is used to the platoon system from college, but I don’t think he anticipated sharing the court with Gorgui Dieng (eight points, eight rebounds, two steals, 26.5 minutes) so evenly. Towns didn’t rack up a single foul in Friday’s game, but the Wolves fared better when Dieng (plus-14) was on the court than they did with the rookie (minus-four). There are going to be more games where Towns’ minutes are managed as the team tries to guide their 20-year-old through his first 82-game season.

 

With Ricky Rubio nursing a sore left ankle once again, Zach LaVine drew another start at point guard, finishing with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists on 7-of-14 shooting. LaVine is worth considering in DFS whenever he draws the nod sans Rubio. Andrew Wiggins (22 points, six rebounds, one block) continues to score the basketball without adding much on the edges, but he’s gaining valuable experience as he steps into the spotlight for a team that needs him to play the lead role.

 

New Orleans @ Los Angeles (C): Clippers 111, Pelicans 90

 

Studs: Ish Smith, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Duds: Jrue Holiday

 

In the third quarter, Anthony Davis and Chris Paul banged knees in an accidental collision, and A.D. had to be carried off the court. The good news is that he was diagnosed with a right knee contusion and even returned to the bench, and although he was able to walk under his own power and appeared fine, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him sit out Saturday’s contest as a precaution. Davis has dealt with a litany of injuries in his brief NBA career, and he did not appreciate Friday’s incident.

 

Tyreke Evans’ season debut could come on Saturday in Utah, but for another night it was the Ish Smith (15 points, 10 assists, four assists, two steals) show for New Orleans with Jrue Holiday (seven points, three assists) logging just 13 minutes. While the original plans called for Holiday to sit out the second of his team’s back-to-back set, that may change considering his brief on-court cameo during Friday’s contest as well as the impact of Davis’ injury. Eric Gordon (16 points) didn’t do much vs. his former team, and it was a collective struggle as the Pels shot just 36.2% overall.

 

The Clippers came out with a purpose in a game they had to win, and it would be great to see Los Angeles hold this focus as the team progresses through its season. A missing jumper didn’t stop Blake Griffin (20 points, six rebounds, six dimes) from delivering for those with him on the roster, and Chris Paul (17 points, five rebounds, eight assists, two steals) is in a mini-zone over his last four with averages of 17.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 9.3 assists and 2.5 steals. Lance Stephenson (10 points, five rebounds, four assists, 26 minutes) had his best game with the team, and he’s a long-term investment that Doc Rivers needs to pay off. Keep an eye on it.

 

Injury Report (Teams that played on 11/27)

 

Atlanta Hawks

 

Thabo Sefolosha (rest): The Hawks play again on Saturday vs. San Antonio, so Sefolosha is sitting out the first of a back-to-back set.

 

Tiago Splitter (rest): See Sefolosha, Thabo.

 

Boston Celtics

 

Marcus Smart (subluxation of proximal tibfib joint, left leg): Smart is expected to be out until at least the first week of December, and a middle of the month return is a much more realistic target date. 

Evan Turner (eye): Questionable for Sunday vs. Orlando.

 

Charlotte Hornets

 

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (torn labrum, right shoulder): MKG is out for the season.

 

Chicago Bulls

 

Aaron Brooks (left hamstring): Day-to-day.

 

Kirk Hinrich (left hip pointer): Hinrich left Friday’s game with the injury without returning, leaving him questionable for Monday vs. San Antonio.

 

Doug McDermott (illness): McDermott left Friday’s game with an illness and was unable to return. He’s not worth a roster spot in any format.

 

Mike Dunleavy (back surgery): Dunleavy is targeting a return around Christmas.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Iman Shumpert (wrist): Shumpert is on track to return in mid-December. When he does, J.R. Smith’s value will take a hit.

 

Kyrie Irving (left knee surgery): Irving is believed to be targeting a season debut right around Christmas. Those with Mo Williams and/or Matthew Dellavedova take note.

 

Denver Nuggets

 

Kenneth Faried (left ankle sprain): Faried missed his third straight game on Friday, and it’s not clear when he’ll be back on the floor. Darrell Arthur drew another start vs. San Antonio, but it’ll be a committee approach to filling the Faried void.

 

Wilson Chandler (hip surgery): Chandler is out for the season.

 

Jusuf Nurkic (left knee surgery): Nurkic has started to take some contact and could return sometime in December with Mike Malone calling him three-to-four weeks away. His outlook is murky at best given potential initial limitations as well as his competition in Nikola Jokic and Joffrey Lauvergne.


Detroit Pistons

 

Jodie Meeks (right foot surgery): Meeks will be fortunate to make it back this season.

 

Brandon Jennings (left Achilles): Jennings is on track to return in late December, but his upside is capped in the Motor City with Reggie Jackson entrenched as the franchise point guard.

 

Golden State Warriors

 

Harrison Barnes (left ankle sprain): Barnes sustained the injury in Friday’s game against Phoenix and is likely to undergo further testing this weekend after he had to be helped to the locker room. The good news: X-rays were negative.

 

Kevon Looney (hip surgery): Looney is hoping to make his debut in early 2016.

 

Houston Rockets

 

Sam Dekker (back surgery): Out indefinitely—possibly for the season.

 

Donatas Motiejunas (back surgery): Motiejunas is set to be reevaluated on December 1, at which point he hopes to be fully cleared to rejoin workouts. Motiejunas’ appeal as a stash candidate is limited at best. 

 

Indiana Pacers

 

Myles Turner (fractured left thumb): Targeting January 2016.

 

Jordan Hill (back): Hill was a surprise Friday scratch, but has dealt with back injuries previously in his career. His absence opens up more minutes for Lavoy Allen.

 

Memphis Grizzlies

 

Zach Randolph (sore right knee): Randolph, who has a history of right knee soreness (see above), missed his sixth straight game on Friday and there is no timetable for his return.

 

Jordan Adams (right knee soreness): Adams missed his 13th straight game, and it’s not a good sign after he previously had surgery on the knee.

 

Brandan Wright (right knee soreness): Wright, who has not played since November 9, has no timetable for his return.

 

Jarell Martin (foot): Targeting January 2016.

 

Miami Heat

 

Luol Deng (tight left hamstring): Deng continues to say the injury is not serious, and he could return on Monday vs. the Celtics. Gerald Green again drew the start on Friday, but Justise Winslow’s role always increases when Deng sits, as well.

 

Amare Stoudemire (illness): STAT is being kept in bubble wrap until the postseason.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves

 

Ricky Rubio (sore left ankle): Rubio wanted to return on Friday, but the Wolves felt it best to hold him out for precautionary reasons. Without any setbacks, expect Rubio to return on Sunday vs. the Clippers.

 

Nemanja Bjelica (left knee contusion): Bjelica remains day-to-day, but he hasn’t played since November 18. With the lack of clarity on his injury, it’s getting harder to keep waiting on him. 

 

Nikola Pekovic (right Achilles): The Timberwolves aren’t relying on anything from Pekovic this season, and there is no reason to stash him unless you’re in a 30-team league with an IR spot.

 

New Orleans Pelicans

 

Anthony Davis (right knee contusion): After Davis was carried off in the third quarter following a knee-to-knee collision with Chris Paul, A.D. was able to return to the bench and walk off under his own power.

 

Kendrick Perkins (right pectoral): Perk is expected to be out until at least February.

 

Tyreke Evans (right knee surgery): Evans is right around the corner from making his season debut, which could come as early as Saturday at Utah. Those with Ish Smith may want to spend the morning working on a sell-high deal.

 

Norris Cole (high left ankle sprain): Targeting mid-December.

 

Quincy Pondexter (left knee surgery): Q-Pon had arthroscopic surgery in May and still isn’t ready to play. That tells you what you need to know.

 

Orlando Magic

 

C.J. Watson (sore left calf): Watson still had to be pulled from recent workouts due to renewed soreness, and there is no timetable for his return. Shabazz Napier will continue to serve as Elfrid Payton’s backup.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

 

Nerlens Noel (right knee soreness): Noel was scratched out of nowhere on Friday, and it doesn’t sound good. Brett Brown recently said the big man was dealing with “knee problems with some tendinitis,” and perhaps this helps to at least partially explain his recent struggles.

 

Kendall Marshall (right knee surgery): Marshall may be back sometime in December, but it’s not a guarantee. You shouldn’t be waiting on him for any reason.

 

Carl Landry (right wrist surgery): The Sixers will probably waive him once the veteran is healthy enough to play. Jokes aside, Landry has no fantasy appeal.

 

Tony Wroten (right knee surgery): Wroten is hopeful to make his season debut on December 11, but the Sixers may have other ideas. His efficiency and uncanny inclination to turn the ball over makes him a non-option outside of points leagues.

 

Joel Embiid (right foot surgery): Embiid will not play this season.

 

Phoenix Suns

 

Tyson Chandler (hamstring): Chandler suffered a right hamstring strain on Friday, and he’ll certainly undergo additional testing this weekend. Alex Len would be the next man up, but the Suns would likely play a lot of small-ball if Chandler requires an extended absence. 

 

Sacramento Kings

 

Caron Butler (left ankle sprain): Butler was always closer to doubtful than questionable for Friday, so it’s not a surprise he again sat out. He’s officially day-to-day.

 

DeMarcus Cousins (back): Cousins was upgraded to questionable prior to the game before ultimately being ruled out, an indication he could return for Saturday’s contest vs. the Golden State Warriors.

 

San Antonio Spurs

 

Tim Duncan (old age): Duncan was rested on Friday. He’s expected back on Saturday vs. Atlanta.

 

Manu Ginobili (still full from Thanksgiving): See Duncan, Tim.

 

Washington Wizards

 

Martell Webster (hip surgery): Out for season.

 

Alan Anderson (left ankle surgery): Out indefinitely.

 

Nene (left calf strain): Nene aggravated a previous left calf injury and didn’t return to Friday’s game after playing just two minutes. He’s likely to miss at least a handful of games, meaning DeJuan Blair and Jared Dudley should each see a larger role. 

Ethan Norof
Follow Ethan Norof on Twitter @Ethan_Norof for more fantasy basketball analysis, advice and all things Los Angeles Lakers.