Fending off a career-high 48 points from Paul George, Favors’ Jazz went partying in Utah with a huge overtime win. Already among the upper echelon in the game and only getting better, Favors’ evolution—in both fantasy and reality—is undeniable.
Golden State needed every minute of Saturday’s game to outlast Kyle Lowry and stretch it to 21 straight wins, LeBron James led game recaps without even suiting up and James Harden and Dwight Howard formed the kind of power duo Daryl Morey has dreams about when he’s going through the REM cycle.
Denver @ Philadelphia: Nuggets 108, Sixers 105
Studs: Robert Covington
If only the Philadelphia 76ers knew how to close out games. Up big going into the final frame, the Sixers were outscored 31-20 en route to another close loss.
Again playing without Jahlil Okafor (suspension), Robert Covington’s fabulous season continued with 18 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, a block and five 3-pointers on 6-of-13 from the field. Jerami Grant (10 points, four steals, two blocks) remained in the starting lineup, and although he doesn’t score much, Grant is capable of providing real and sustainable value to your roster. Nerlens Noel (14 points, five rebounds, five turnovers, two blocks) is likely to go back to the bench upon Okafor’s return, and the Sixers need Grant on the floor consistently as he’s one of their best players.
Despite sustaining their 20th loss of the season, the Sixers got surprising production from the underwhelming backcourt combination of T.J. McConnell (10 points, eight rebounds, six dimes, three steals) and Isaiah Canaan (15 points, five triples). The two guards overshadowed the return of Tony Wroten (four points, three assists, five turnovers, 13 minutes), but Wroten is going to start eating into their minutes sooner rather than later.
Nikola Jokic has gone from “earning” the starting center job to a DNP-CD in less than two weeks flat, but I’m still holding onto Jokic where I have him. Joffrey Lauvergne (two points, nine minutes) isn’t exactly running away with the job, and Jusuf Nurkic (knee) is still weeks away from potentially getting back on the floor. If you absolutely need production and can’t afford to wait for Nurkic, you better be certain you’re dropping him for a player who will carry both immediate and sustainable value.
Although Danilo Gallinari (knee) said after the game he was dealing with a deep bone bruise that is “painful”, Gallo showed no signs of limitations with 24 points, seven boards, a steal, a block and three triples in 39.5 minutes of action. Darrell Arthur (eight points, three rebounds, two steals, one block, two triples) remained in the starting five, but Kenneth Faried (12 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks, 21.5 minutes) is getting over his ankle injury and will begin to eat into Arthur’s minutes. Coach Mike Malone clearly likes what Arthur brings, but this team needs Faried’s energy in the starting five. Emmanuel Mudiay’s terrible shooting (4-of-12 FGs) continued in the win, and paired with the fact he again had more turnovers (seven) than assists (six), there is really no reason to roster him in standard formats. Oppositely, Will Barton (16 points, nine rebounds, one steal, 5-of-11 FGs, 33.5 minutes) is one of Denver’s best players, and there’s nothing fluky about his production this season. He’s a must-own, must-start player.
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Golden State @ Toronto: Warriors 112, Raptors 109
The Warriors got their biggest test of the season against Toronto on Saturday, and if Kyle Lowry, who exploded for a career-high 41 points to go along with seven assists, four steals and six triples on 14-of-26 FGs, had received any help at all, the Raptors may have handed Golden State its first loss of the season. Stephen Curry (44 points, seven assists, nine 3-pointers, 14-of-24 FGs) was again spectacular and carried his team when they needed him most. Say it with me in your best K.D. voice: That’s the mark of the real MVP.
DeMar DeRozan (16 points, five assists, 5-of-19 shooting) was bottled up by Klay Thompson (26 points, six triples), and Thompson now has 20 or more points in three straight contests after having just three games of 20-plus points all season prior. Toronto’s starting frontcourt of Luis Scola (10 points, four rebounds) and DeMarre Carroll (nine points, six boards, two steals) combined to shoot just 6-of-19 from the floor, and Draymond Green (16 points, nine rebounds, six assists) couldn’t be contained by either player.
Although Andrew Bogut (back spasms) was scratched prior to tipoff, Bismack Biyombo still struggled through foul trouble with just five rebounds in 14.5 minutes of action. Patrick Patterson (four points, 10 rebounds, one steal, one block) played 31.5 minutes, but the real beneficiary was Lucas ‘Bebe’ Nogueira getting a whopping 35 minutes and responding with 14 points, four boards, three assists and a steal on 7-of-9 shooting. Starting in Bogut’s place, Festus Ezeli had eight points, 10 rebounds, one steal and one block in 27 productive minutes…Ezeli is one of the best backup centers in the league.
Cleveland @ Miami: Heat 99, Cavs 84
LeBron James sure picked an interesting night to sit out for rest. Rather than choosing Friday night’s contest vs. New Orleans to watch in street clothes, James was on the sidelines for Saturday’s reunion vs. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat. I’m sure it was just a coincidence.
The Cavs really struggled without their King, and Richard Jefferson—the man who replaced LeBron in the 2015 Cleveland starting lineup—was the Cavs’ leading scorer with 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting, including 0-of-7 from behind the 3-point line. Kevin Love’s (five points, eight rebounds, 2-of-11 shooting) MIA status was appropriate for a game vs. the Heat, and J.R. Smith struggled again with 12 points on just 4-of-12 shooting. Mo Williams (five points, 12 minutes) was an afterthought in this game, and that doesn’t bode well for anyone still clinging to him in the hopes of a turnaround with James out of the lineup and Kyrie Irving’s (knee) return right around the corner…trade him while you still can.
Here’s an alternate Cavs summary for Saturday’s loss: Jefferson and Jared Cunningham (11 points, 32 minutes) led Cleveland in time on the floor.
For the second straight game, Goran Dragic (17 points, three triples, eight assists) looked like the player you drafted him to be. He’s now averaging 15.5 points, 7.5 assists, a steal and 2.5 triples on 13-of-22 shooting over his last two contests. Things are looking up for Dragic in a big way, especially with both Dwyane Wade (19 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal, 8-of-14 FGs) and Tyler Johnson (19 points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, two 3-pointers, 6-of-10 FGs) both playing well in this one, too.
Chris Bosh (14 points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks, 5-of-6 FGs) and Hassan Whiteside (seven points, nine rebounds, one steal, five blocks, no turnovers) also fared well, and Whiteside did his damage in just 21 minutes of action. When a center can block five shots in that amount of time and it not even garner a second glance, things are going exceedingly well for that player. Whiteside will have a number of max contracts to choose from this offseason.
Charlotte @ Chicago: Hornets 102, Bulls 96
Even without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and currently sans Al Jefferson (calf), the Charlotte Hornets are very much for real in an improved Eastern Conference. Nicolas Batum (24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, one block, four triples, 8-of-16 FGs) continues to be the focal point of an offense that has embraced him since his arrival. Kemba Walker’s breakout season continued with 17 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals, a block and two triples in a head-to-head matchup vs. Derrick Rose, and Cody Zeller—yes, that Cody Zeller—came out of nowhere for 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block on 6-of-10 shooting in 32 minutes. The minutes and points were both season-highs for Zeller, but I’d let another person in your league chase that tail.
Marvin Williams (seven points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals), firmly cemented in his role under Steve Clifford, continues to do enough to warrant a spot on a fantasy roster in every league regardless of format, and Jeremy Lamb (10 points, 4-of-10 shooting) had his first truly empty game since November 18. That’s pretty telling for a guy who couldn’t crack a rotation prior to actually being given a chance, and others were incorrectly calling a fluke once he finally was.
Nikola Mirotic (concussion) was in his usual spot in the starting lineup, but with just seven points and seven rebounds on 3-of-11 shooting, there wasn’t much for him to hang his hat on in the six-point loss. The good news for Mirotic is that he saw 27 minutes while Pau Gasol (13 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, four blocks) played 26 and Joakim Noah (two points, 10 rebounds, six assists, one block) saw 22 of his own. Mirotic’s minutes are going to fluctuate if he’s not producing with both Gasol and Noah playing well, so those with him on the roster have to be hopeful he can find the rhythm he was playing with around Thanksgiving.
Both Jimmy Butler (25 points, eight rebounds, two steals, 8-of-18 FGs) and Derrick Rose (19 points, seven rebounds, five dimes, three 3-pointers, 8-of-17 FGs) had productive games for a Bulls team that needs both of them to be rolling in order to fire on all cylinders, but Chicago’s black hole where Mike Dunleavy (back) used to be is really starting to become an issue.
Sacramento @ Houston: Rockets 120, Kings 113
Duds: DeMarcus Cousins
Houston was able to score 120 points in Donatas Motiejunas’ (back) season debut, but it wasn’t because the big man was a part of the equation. Predictably being eased back into action, Motiejunas played just six minutes, registering a single rebound to go along with two turnovers while missing all four of his shots from the field. With Terrence Jones (16 points, five rebounds, 6-of-9 FGs, 26 minutes) and Clint Capela (eight points, three boards, two steals, 21 minutes) both deservedly receiving sizable roles in the rotation, the Rockets won’t throw too much too soon at their talented big man. On top of what this team is getting from Jones and Capela, Dwight Howard (22 points, 18 rebounds, two steals, two blocks, 7-of-9 FGs, 8-of-14 FTs) looked fantastic in this game, and D12 has now collected 34 rebounds over his last two games. Although his scoring his down this season, Howard has been fairly consistent with his game and hasn’t been this productive on the glass since he was a teammate of Kobe Bryant's.
It looked like James Harden was on his way to disappointing on the second night of a back-to-back, but he delivered one of his most efficient shooting nights of the season with 31 points, nine assists and five triples on 6-of-14 from the field and 14-of-16 from the charity stripe. Harden is going to turn the ball over and had five more tonight, but you’re not complaining about this line. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Trevor Ariza needed 14 shots (making four) to score 12 points in this one, but he managed to salvage his evening with six boards, three assists, three steals and three triples without committing a turnover.
It has to be a bitter pill to swallow when a team has seven players in double figures and manages to lose the game. Omri Casspi (15 points, three boards, two blocks) and Rudy Gay (15 points, six boards, two steals, 6-of-12 FGs) had decent nights in the first go-around without Willie Cauley-Stein’s trill available to be deployed, but it was the backcourt combination of Ben McLemore (19 points, nine rebounds, three steals, one block, three triples, 8-of-14 shooting) and Rajon Rondo (13 points, 19 assists, four steals, 6-of-12 FGs) that will headline the discussion. Darren Collison played very well in his 22 minutes with 18 points, four triples and six assists (no turnovers), and as I’ve been writing for weeks, Collison is not a threat to Rondo’s production for this team. As for McLemore, he now has scored in double digits in three of his last four, but you can do better even if only looking for a short-term boost.
Stuck in foul trouble all night long, DeMarcus Cousins finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks on a lousy 4-of-16 shooting. That’s now 8-of-33 shooting for Boogie over his last two contests while battling fouls in both, and it’s certainly fair to wonder if the big man is a little tired after logging such big minutes and carrying such incredible weight on his shoulders all season long so far.
Portland @ Minnesota: Blazers 109, Timberwolves 103
Duds: Nemanja Bjelica
There’s something to be said for Portland’s approach to rebuilding without bottoming out, but that’s a discussion for a different column. A big part of the reason the Blazers are performing above expectations, C.J. McCollum again delivered a versatile line with 17 points, five rebounds, six dimes, two steals, a block and three triples with just a single turnover. When he’s turning in a well-rounded effort like that, it makes the 7-of-17 shooting performance much more palatable for those with C.J. on the roster. Al-Farouq Aminu also had another nice night with 16 points, three boards, three steals and two triples on 5-of-7 shooting, while Damian Lillard again led the team in scoring with 19 points to go along with seven dimes.
Portland got a huge boost from the bench, with Ed Davis (13 points, eight boards, two blocks, 5-of-6 shooting), Meyers Leonard (14 points, two triples, 6-of-10 FGs) and Allen Crabbe (11 points, three boards, 5-of-9 FGs) combining for 38 points, and the Blazers are going to need more of this well-rounded approach if they hope to do more than flirt with a .500 record.
It did come in a loss, but this was Karl-Anthony Towns’ best game since before Thanksgiving. Dropping 27 points, 12 boards, two blocks and a triple on 12-of-21 shooting, Towns reminded everyone what kind of difference-maker he’s very capable of being. The rookie’s big night is especially emphatic with Gorgui Dieng (15 points, five rebounds, 24.5 minutes) still getting plenty of time on the floor, and Nemanja Bjelica (two points, five boards, 13.5 minutes) is now on the outside looking in after an ill-timed knee injury knocked the hustle out of his flow.
Andrew Wiggins started the game blazing hot from the field, but he turned ice cold in a hurry and finished with just 17 points and five rebounds on 6-of-15 shooting. Wiggins’ name is still way more valuable than his (fantasy) game. Ricky Rubio made just one shot from the floor but he finished with nine points, six boards and 15 assists while going a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. It was a rare good game from Rubio, who hasn’t eclipsed 10 points since November 20 and has really struggled with his shot. If he isn’t dishing the rock to his teammates, there isn’t much to see here in terms of fantasy value, and his 1-of-5 shooting performance on Saturday will drive down his career-worst field goal percentage.
New York @ Milwaukee: Bucks 106, Knicks 91
This was a big win for the Bucks, but it was a bigger performance for Michael Carter-Williams. Undoubtedly motivated by Jason Kidd’s decision to start O.J. Mayo (17 points, five assists, 8-of-12 shooting) at point guard, MCW turned in one of his best lines of the season with 20 points, three rebounds, five assists, a block and just two turnovers on 9-of-16 shooting. Perhaps this was just what Carter-Williams needed to get going, but his track record suggests otherwise. He’s worth a flier if he was recently dumped in your league simply because of the situation he finds himself in with the Bucks. The good news: There’s nowhere to go but up.
Forced to start Jabari Parker as the Bucks were without Jerryd Bayless (ankle), Greivis Vasquez (ankle) and Tyler Ennis (shoulder), Parker turned in a season-high 17 points to go along with seven rebounds, two steals and a block on 8-of-13 shooting. It’s the most active we’ve seen Parker all season in terms of minutes, shots made and overall production, but I want to see him do this when Kidd has a healthy backcourt to utilize. The issue with Parker isn’t talent—it’s opportunity. The entire Milwaukee frontcourt was productive with Giannis Antetokounmpo (17 points, six rebounds, six assists, one steal, two blocks) and Greg Monroe (18 points, 14 rebounds, one steal, one block, 8-of-13 FGs) both fueling Milwaukee’s fire. The Greek Freak is now averaging 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 blocks over his last two, and that’s the type of production that can come when he’s allowed to play 33-plus minutes regularly.
After blowing out the Nets on Friday, the Knicks never found the Midwest groove. Carmelo Anthony (18 points, five boards, three assists, one steal, one block, two 3-pointers, 6-of-17 FGs) struggled to connect after bruising his surgically-repaired left knee in the first quarter, and he said after the game that it was “numb” after receiving treatment…Marc Berman of the New York Post noted that Melo’s kneecap looked swollen, so it’s a situation that bears watching. Kristaps Porzingis (12 points, seven points, five turnovers) turned in his first truly disappointing game since November 20, a stretch of eight contests, but nobody’s worrying about KP6. He’s got a nice matchup against Dirk and the Mavericks on Monday at Madison Square Garden.
Somewhere, Kyle O’Quinn (DNP-CD) belongs on the same roster of wasted fantasy potential as Anthony Randolph.
Boston @ San Antonio: Spurs 108, Celtics 105
It’s not often that the San Antonio Spurs get a combined 21 points from Kawhi Leonard (15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, two triples, 4-of-13 FGs) and Tim Duncan (six points, five rebounds, four assists, one block) and come away with the win, but it’s also not regular that Boris Diaw (16 points, three rebounds, four assists) is the team’s second leading scorer. LaMarcus Aldridge (17 points, eight rebounds, one block, 8-of-15 FGs) was at the head of a pack that saw six different Spurs in double figures, including David West (10 points, six boards, one block, 14.5 minutes), Tony Parker (10 points, six assists, four turnovers) and Manu Ginobili (!5 points, seven rebounds, four assists).
Without Marcus Smart (leg/knee) for the next several weeks, the starting backcourt of Isaiah Thomas (23 points, four rebounds, eight assists, two steals) and Avery Bradley (18 points, two steals, four 3-pointers) continues to get the job done. Thomas has really been cooking over his last four contests, averaging 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.5 triples with just 1.5 turnovers. Thomas is also shooting an electric 20-of-22 (90.9%) from the free throw line during that stretch, and it’s pretty easy to see why he’s such a valuable commodity when he’s entrusted with the role he was meant to play.
On a night where Jared Sullinger (four points, eight rebounds, four assists, 1-of-6 shooting) struggled, both Amir Johnson (11 points, 11 rebounds, one steal, one block, one 3-pointer) and Jae Crowder (15 points, three triples, three rebounds, three assists, one steal, 5-of-5 FGs) made up for Sullinger’s tough matchup and off evening. Evan Turner also kicked in 16 points, four boards and a couple of steals off the bench. He’ll continue to have the occasional game like this to tease fantasy value while Smart is out, but Turner really belongs on the waiver wire.
Indiana @ Utah: Jazz 122, Pacers 119 (OT)
A career-high 48 points on 15-of-27 shooting—including an insane Stephen Curry impression with 8-of-11 from behind the 3-point line—from Paul George wasn’t enough for the Pacers to come away with the victory. It’s impossible to have a silver lining when losing a game like this, but George absolutely dominated this contest just two days after posting one of his worst games of the season. Saying you’re second to Curry in the MVP race is like saying you finished second in a foot race against Usain Bolt, but PG-13’s X-Rated film keeps rolling along in the Pacers’ projection room.
Monta Ellis (back) struggled in his start, playing 31 minutes with just six points on 2-of-11 shooting. Rodney Stuckey, who played 32.5 minutes and responded with 23 points, three boards and three dimes on 8-of-14 shooting, is averaging 17.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and a steal over his last four games. Considering he’s played at least 27 minutes in all of those and 30-plus minutes in each of the last three, Stuckey is going to be a hot pickup in leagues where he’s still available.
Utah may be missing Rudy Gobert (knee), but they most certainly aren’t missing the production from the center position. In another start inside—which will be Favors’ new position until Gobert returns—the superstar big man put up a career-high 35 points on 14-of-24 from the field to go along with 13 rebounds, a steal and a block. I purposefully emphasize Favors’ superstardom because he still doesn’t get his due, but he’s the best player on the Jazz roster and I don’t believe it to be particularly close. It’s scary to think what he’s capable of being in the next few years.
Trey Lyles drew the start alongside Favors in this one, but he played just 20 minutes while Trevor Booker logged 23.5 minutes, registering a double-double with 10 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and a block. For the second straight game, Trey Burke (19 points, seven assists, two triples) played more minutes than we’ve traditionally seen this season, and it appears the point guard will be a beneficiary of Gobert’s absence. Both Alec Burks (nine points, five boards, 3-of-11 shooting) and Rodney Hood (six points, 21 minutes) struggled, but Gordon Hayward’s 22 points, five boards, five assists, two steals, three triples and 9-of-10 from the line was the Robin to Favors’ Batman that was necessary to seal the deal.
Orlando @ Los Angeles (C): Clippers 103, Magic 101
The Clippers are lucky to be 11-9 through 20 games, and that is the most telling statement that can be made about their uneven season to date.
Without Chris Paul (ribs) and J.J. Redick (ankle), Blake Griffin posted a near triple-double with 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists (four TOs) on 11-of-22 from the field, and Griffin has continued to elevate his game to a new level while his team struggles to rise toward its own ceiling. Jamal Crawford (32 points, six triples, five dimes, 10-of-19 shooting) got the start in place of Redick, but he’s going to head back to the bench once J.J. returns. Crawford gets a short-term boost whenever Redick or Paul is out of the lineup, and when they’re both watching in street clothes, Crawford has the green light—and serious DFS appeal—like he simply wouldn’t otherwise.
The surprise of the night was definitely Wesley Johnson, the winner of the Clippers’ nightly game of small forward musical chairs with 21 points, seven rebounds, two steals and a block to pair with six triples. Unfortunately, despite his inviting game, there is no reason to chase Johnson unless you’re a fan of headaches and wasted potential.
Marcus Smart (left leg/knee): Smart is targeting a return around Christmas, and he’s likely to wind up missing more than a month with the injury. Upon his return, he’ll come off the bench behind Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley.
David Lee (heel contusion): The veteran hasn’t played the role so many thought he would during what is likely to wind up as his only season in Boston.
Al Jefferson (left calf strain): Jefferson is hoping to return just before Christmas, but that’s not set in stone. There’s no real beneficiary of his absence, and it puts even more on the shoulders of Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (torn labrum, right shoulder): MKG is out for the season.
Mike Dunleavy (back surgery): Dunleavy recently experienced a setback, and the earliest we may see him is in the beginning of 2016.
LeBron James (rest): James carried the Cavs on his back in an overtime loss on Friday, so sitting on the second night of a back-to-back isn’t all that surprising. It won’t be the last time it happens.
Iman Shumpert (right wrist surgery): Shumpert is expected to return as early as next week.
Kyrie Irving (left knee surgery): Irving is going through full practice with an eye toward returning toward the end of the month.
Wilson Chandler (hip surgery): Chandler is out for the season.
Jusuf Nurkic (left knee surgery): Nurkic won’t be back until Christmas at the earliest. He’s not a stash candidate in standard formats.
Golden State Warriors
Andrew Bogut (back spasms): Bogut was a scratch on Saturday and will be listed as day-to-day going forward.
Harrison Barnes (left ankle sprain): Barnes could very well miss the next handful of contests as the Warriors err on the side of caution with his health.
Kevon Looney (hip surgery): Looney could get back on the floor next month, but he won’t be in the rotation.
Montrezl Harrell (face): Day-to-day.
Sam Dekker (back surgery): Not expected to play any kind of role—and may not play again at all—this season.
Shayne Wittington (rib contusion): Wittington is not relevant in fantasyland.
Myles Turner (left thumb surgery): The rookie is hopeful to return right around Christmas, but minutes won’t just be handed to him with the Pacers playing well.
Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul (ribs): Doc Rivers said before the game that CP3 is further away than Redick, so expect CP3 to miss at least one additional game beyond Saturday. Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford and Lance Stephenson will all do more in Paul’s absence.
J.J. Redick (right ankle sprain): Redick’s absence isn’t expected to be an extended one, but he’s not exactly a harbinger of durability. Without him, Crawford and Stephenson get more run.
Luol Deng (tight left hamstring): Deng’s hamstring has now cost him five straight games, and you should have expected this when the veteran hit the shelf. It will be more of Gerald Green and Justise Winslow without Deng.
Tyler Ennis (left shoulder soreness): There is no spot for Ennis on your fantasy team.
Jerryd Bayless (left ankle sprain): A low-end option at best, Bayless can’t help your team if he’s not on the floor.
Nikola Pekovic (right Achilles): Big Pek is hopeful he can do some 5-of-5 work in a few weeks. That should tell you all you need to know.
New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony (bruised left knee): Melo is day-to-day after sustaining the injury in the first quarter of Saturday’s game, and we should get an update on Sunday considering the Knicks next play on Monday vs. Dallas.
C.J. Watson (left calf strain): He’s been out for almost a month and there is no timetable for his return.
Jahlil Okafor (suspension): Okafor is expected to return on Monday.
Kendall Marshall (right knee surgery): K-Butta is hopeful to make his season debut in a week or two, but he’s going to be treated with kid gloves after missing so much time.
Carl Landry (right wrist surgery): Landry has no fantasy relevance.
Joel Embiid (right foot surgery): Maybe next year.
Portland Trail Blazers
Chris Kaman (right ankle sprain): Don’t even worry about it.
Jonas Valanciunas (left hand fracture): J.V. is hoping to be back in mid-January.
Rudy Gobert (left knee sprain): Gobert has an MCL sprain, and he’s not expected to be back before 2016. A more realistic timetable is mid-January. Derrick Favors will be a busy, busy man in his absence.
Dante Exum (left knee surgery): Exum will miss the season.