Spurs wax Blazers – The Spurs locked up the No. 1 seed in the West with Monday’s easy win. This was their eighth straight win and they’ve gone on a late-season tear despite giving their guys plenty of rest along the way. The only question remaining is whether they’ll face the Jazz or Suns in Round 1. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are all pretty iffy for their final two regular-season games, as the Spurs have nothing left to play for. Gary Neal suffered a shoulder stinger, making him day-to-day, but if he can play he could have a couple nice games as the studs rest. My guess is the Big 3 are done for the regular season, but it’s just a guess. Danny Green (18 points), Boris Diaw (nice line in start at center), Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Jackson, James Anderson, Neal, Matt Bonner, DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter and Patrick Mills are all worth a look in the final two games, but good luck figuring out which ones Gregg Popovich is going to lean on.
The Blazers shocked the world by starting Raymond Felton, who sat out the previous three games, and he had 13 points and seven assists on 5-of-16 shooting. It’s not surprising he was rusty. Wesley Matthews had 24 points, six boards, four steals and three 3-pointers, J.J. Hickson had another double-double, and Luke Babbitt started for Nicolas Batum, but hit just 2-of-6 shots in 31 minutes. Nolan Smith got 34 minutes off the bench, and all of the aforementioned players deserve a look in the finale on Thursday, except for Felton. I’m not sure why he played tonight, and am not sure he’ll play on Thursday. Jamal Crawford and Nicolas Batum also sat out on Monday, and I’m having trouble finding reasons for them to play in the finale.
DeMarcus Cousins is still suspended for Tuesday’s game, as far as I know, as his 13th technical foul has yet to be rescinded. I could certainly use him tonight in my hopes for a championship, but we’ll have to see what Tuesday’s news brings. Jason Thompson is the guy to own if DC is out.
Metta World Peace is still awaiting word of a suspension for his thug move to the side of James Harden’s head, and the news should come down on Tuesday. Expect MWP to get anywhere from a two- to 10-game suspension.
Dwyane Wade and his injured finger could sit out the final two games of the regular season. I don’t think the injury is serious, but a couple more games off would give him some pretty fresh legs for the playoffs.
Harden (concussion) is not expected to play on Tuesday or Wednesday, ruining several fantasy owners’ week. Thanks, Metta.
Matt Barnes is dealing with a sprained ankle, which is actually important with MWP’s suspension looming. If he’s out, Devin Ebanks is going to get minutes, but hasn’t done much with his many opportunities this season.
Al Horford is hoping to play about 15 minutes per game in the first round of the playoffs, in case you’re going to head over to Fantasypostseason.com and draft a playoff fantasy team.
It sounds like the Celtics will play the healthy starters in the final two games, so Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce should play. Ray Allen’s already ruled out for Tuesday with his ankle injury, and Rajon Rondo is very iffy with his sore back. Keyon Dooling and Avery Bradley could easily be the starting backcourt on Tuesday.
Channing Frye is iffy for Tuesday with a shoulder injury, and either Hakim Warrick or Markieff Morris will start in his place if he’s out.
Dorell Wright is iffy for Tuesday with an ankle injury. I’d be a little surprised to see Wright or Nate Robinson in this one, as the tank is on for GSW in hopes of keeping their first-round pick.
The Bulls are expected to play the starters in the final two games, which is good news for Derrick Rose’s owners.
Dwight Howard will ask for a trade out of Orlando according to Stephen A. Smith, and I’ll just say it now. I’m not looking forward to the ‘Summer of Dwight’ – at all.
Marcus Thornton is still iffy for the Kings with a quad injury and has missed two straight games. He could be out for the final two games of the season, making Terrence Williams relevant, and providing potential good news for the owners of Tyreke Evans.
Nikola Pekovic has powered through painful ankles all season, so it makes sense that he’ll play in Thursday’s finale. It’s not guaranteed, but if we had to guess, it looks like he’ll play.
Jameer Nelson could be out for the Magic’s final two games and even iffy for the playoffs with his calf injury. Chris Duhon would be the pickup if Nelson is out.