Richard Jefferson will start in place of LeBron James (illness) if James is unable to play Saturday night vs. the Bulls.
LeBron missed the team's shootaround this morning and is listed as questionable. Even if he is inserted into the starting lineup, Jefferson is not a reliable fantasy contributor. He has started six games this season but is averaging just 6.8 points and 1.7 rebounds in those six contests. Incredibly, the Cavs are just 4-18 since the start of the 2014 season when James doesn't play.
Patrick Beverley (left groin tightness) is listed as questionable for Saturday's game vs. Minnesota.
Beverly suffered a minor groin injury that forced him out of Houston's final game prior to the All-Star break. However, coach Mike D'Antoni said that Beverley was "fine" before Thursday's game and Beverly finished with two points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals in 30 minutes in that contest. Unfortunately, he may have aggravated the groin, although it's never wise to read too much into the game notes designation. If Beverly does not play, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams would see additional minutes.
Coach Dwane Casey said he is unsure how long Kyle Lowry (wrist) is going to be out, but that "it's not a one-day thing."
Lowry, who sat out Friday's win over Boston, originally hurt his right wrist on Feb. 15. He iced his wrist while on the bench during the All-Star game, but told reporters he wasn’t in any serious pain and that he would be fine. He reportedly even went golfing on Sunday morning. "It was a little sore, paid no attention to it," said Lowry. "But it just constantly stayed bothering me." We will have to wait for an update from the Raptors in order to have a clear idea of what we are looking at going forward. Cory Joseph started and had 11 points and six assists on Friday.
Cody Zeller (quad) is listed as doubtful for Saturday's game vs. the Kings.
Zeller has missed 11 of the Hornets last 12 games due to the quad injury. Frank Kaminsky, who would draw another start if Zeller is unable to go on Saturday, has been the prime beneficiary. Over Charlotte's last eight games, Kaminsky is averaging 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.1 treys, 1.3 steals and just 1.0 turnover.
C.J. Watson (Achilles) will miss at least another a week.
Watson injured the Achilles in the Magic's last game before the All-Star break, but it did not improve as hoped over the last week. As a result, the Magic have discussed signing another point guard to a 10-day contract. With Watson sidelined, Elfrid Payton, D.J. Augustin and Mario Hezonja will divvy up his minutes.
LeBron James (illness) missed shootaround this morning and is questionable for Saturday's game vs. the Bulls.
This is the first we've heard of LeBron being under the weather this week. He certainly looked healthy on Thursday, when he tallied 18 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists in a win over the Knicks. If LeBron does not play, Richard Jefferson would draw the start. However, Jefferson is not a reliable fantasy option even as a starter. If LeBron is sidelined, Kyrie Irving would be asked to carry the offensive load and see a major spike in his usage rate. Kyle Korver would also likely see more minutes and scoring opportunities.
The Rockets hope to slightly reduce James Harden's playing time over the final two months of the season.
Harden is averaging 36.5 minutes per game this season. While that's the seventh most in the NBA, it's actually the fewest minutes Harden has averaged in his five seasons in Houston. And coach Mike D'Antoni would prefer to have that number dip even further. "We can always maybe steal a couple minutes of James if that second unit can lengthen the lead," D'Antoni said. "There's different ways we can save James a bit. Obviously, that would be huge for us." Still, fantasy owners need not worry, as Harden will continue to play at least 35 minutes a night and rack up MVP-type numbers.
Coach Mike D'Antoni said he wants the Rockets to average 50 3-point attempts per game for the rest of the season.
Prior to the season, no team in NBA history had ever attempted 50 3-pointers in a game even once, let alone average that 50 attempts for over 20 games. While not quite realistic, the objective highlights the Rockets unique offensive approach. For instance, the Rockets scored 129 points on Thursday and 125 were on treys, free throws or in the lane. They attempted just three shots that were not in the paint or beyond the 3-point arc. This is all great news for the fantasy stock of Houston players, especially James Harden.