Sadly, there are only six days of hoops left in the regular season. Therefore, this will be the last Thursday Dose of the season. Thanks for reading and best of luck in crunch time.
THURSDAY GAME RECAPS
KNICKS at BULLS RANDOM THOUGHTS
* With Tyson Chandler (rest) and Kenyon Martin (ankle) both sidelined, the Knicks ran with 6-foot-8 Chris Copeland at center for 29 minutes. He responded with 14 points, five rebounds, two blocks and three treys. With Chandler and Kenyon out again on Friday, Copeland is worth a look as a deep-league stream.
* Carmelo Anthony set a season-high with 19 rebounds and had 36 points. He’s now averaging an insane 39.8 points over his last six games.
* Joakim Noah (foot) doesn’t sound close. But instead of using Nazr Mohammed (DNP-CD), the Bulls were able to roll with Carlos Boozer (13 points, 15 rebounds) at center.
* Nate Robinson caught fire, going for 35 points and five 3-pointers on 10-of-18 shooting. He’s liable to go 3-of-14 next time out, but at this time of year owners won’t be able to do much better than Nate.
* Jimmy Butler might be the MVP of the fantasy playoffs. He was at it again in this one with 22 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks, three steals and two 3-pointers – even though Luol Deng, Marco Belinelli and Richard Hamilton were all active.
* Raymond Felton admitted to slightly hyperextending his knee, but insisted he'll play Friday.
THUNDER at WARRIORS RANDOM THOUGHTS
* Andrew Bogut rolled his left ankle – the same one that has been bothering him for the entire season – and didn’t return. Backup Festus Ezeli had six points, three rebounds and one block after Bogut went down.
* Kendrick Perkins tweaked a hamstring early in the third quarter and didn’t return. It allowed Hasheem Thabeet to step in for four points, three rebounds, one block and five fouls in 18 minutes. I’d rather grab Nick Collison if desperate, but neither one gets me going.
FRIDAY NIGHT GAME-BY-GAME PREVIEW
SIXERS at WIZARDS
Trevor Ariza (knee) is doubtful, Martell Webster (abdomen) could be done for the season and Bradley Beal (leg) is definitely done. Garrett Temple, A.J. Price and Jan Vesely are all decent bets for 30 minutes, but most streamers should be able to do better. … Damien Wilkins has gone ice cold, shooting 36.4 percent over his last five games. It’s probably time to move on. … Expect a bounce-back game out of Spencer Hawes. He saw just 25 minutes on Wednesday because the Hawks played small.
BULLS at RAPTORS
Jonas Valanciunas (neck) is on the bad side of a questionable tag. Although his injury has been deemed not serious, he was rushed to the hospital when he originally went down. Look for a big game out of Amir Johnson. … See above for Bulls notes.
NETS at PACERS
George Hill (groin) sat out Thursday’s practice, but he’s fully expected to play. … Gerald Wallace (heel) hit the wall a while ago and shouldn’t be near lineups even if he suits up. MarShon Brooks is worth monitoring.
CELTICS at HEAT
It’s a rest party. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will both sit out, meaning Jeff Green is a near lock for a big game. It’s worth noting that KG is still wearing a walking boot when he isn’t playing or practicing, meaning more rest could come in the next five days. … Dwyane Wade (knee) says he plans to play Friday. Expect limited minutes. … Coach Erik Spoelstra will reveal if LeBron James or Chris Bosh will play following the morning shootaround.
BUCKS at HAWKS
Ersan Ilyasova (illness) is probable, but the news isn’t all bad for owners that scooped up John Henson after Wednesday’s eruption. Larry Sanders (back) is very questionable, meaning Henson could share some center minutes with Samuel Dalembert. … Brandon Jennings (sore Achilles) is questionable as well. If he can’t go, the Bucks would likely start Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick in the backcourt. … The Hawks played all their guys on Wednesday, sustained no known in-game injuries and still have a shot at the fifth seed. Get ‘em going.
BOBCATS at PISTONS
Byron Mullens (elbow, knee, ankle) may be available, but he probably won’t even get off the bench. He’s just not himself. That means another 35-40 minutes for both Bismack Biyombo and Josh McRoberts. … The Pistons didn’t practice Thursday, instead taking a team trip to Comerica Park to watch the Tigers play. Therefore, we didn’t get an update on Jose Calderon’s triceps injury. But considering how early he was ruled out of Wednesday’s game, I’d be surprised if he played.
KNICKS at CAVS
Kyrie Irving (shoulder) played on both sides of the Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back, so it’s apparently it’s all systems go. … Dion Waiters (knee) made a surprise return Wednesday, playing 15 minutes off the bench. It would take a leap of faith to use him in fantasy right now, however. …. Tyler Zeller is quietly finishing out the season solidly. He’s averaging 11.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks over his last six. … See above for Knicks notes.
GRIZZLIES at ROCKETS
Chandler Parsons (calf) returned to practice Thursday for the first time in more than a week. He’s on the good side of a questionable tag, as is Carlos Delfino (illness). The Francisco Garcia party is over. … The Grizzlies still have a shot at earning home-court advantage in their first-round matchup. Remember that record is the determining factor here, not division winners. … Jerry Bayless (knee) and Darrell Arthur (back) are questionable.
CLIPPERS at HORNETS
Anthony Davis is done for the season with a sprained MCL and bone bruise. Give Robin Lopez, Ryan Anderson and Al-Farouq Aminu all boosts. … Greivis Vasquez (ankle) did not look like himself on Wednesday night. Perhaps he’ll rest, giving Brian Roberts plenty of insurance appeal. … Chauncey Billups (groin) remains doubtful. … The Clippers are in a fight for playoff seeding and home-court advantage (no, winning the division doesn’t guarantee you home-court), so everyone else should play.
NUGGETS at MAVS
Ty Lawson (heel) is questionable at best. And even if he plays, it won’t be for more than 15-20 minutes. … I can’t imagine two “fringe” guys I’d rather have right now than Wilson Chandler and Corey Brewer. Both have extremely roto-friendly games and are locked into 30-35 minutes. … The 38-40 Mavs were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Wednesday night in an ugly home loss to the Suns. However Dirk Nowitzki (ankle) sounds like a man that’s going to keep playing.
“We’ve still got four games and I don’t want to mail it in,” Nowitzki said. “I want to play hard and hopefully win some. I think a winning season would be nice for this up-and-down season, so that’s what we’re going for.”
KINGS at SPURS
Tony Parker (neck) says he’ll play, but coach Gregg Popovich will have the last word. “We’ll see how he feels,” Pop said. … Boris Diaw (back) is out 2-3 weeks. … Note that the Spurs have a back-to-back coming up on Sunday/Monday, so there’s going to be a ton of DNPs there.
WOLVES at JAZZ
The Jazz are one game back of the Lakers for the final playoff spot in the West. … Mo Williams over the last five games: 15.2 points, 6.2 assists, 2.2 treys, 32.2 minutes. … Outside of Kevin Love, the Wolves are sustaining health. It’s a stone miracle.
THUNDER at BLAZERS
J.J. Hickson (back) and Nicolas Batum (shoulder) both went through a light practice and are headed for game-time calls. … Wesley Matthews (ankle) is out. … LaMarcus Aldridge (illness) missed practice, but he played through the ailment Wednesday. He should be fine. … See above for Thunder notes.
WARRIORS at LAKERS
As evidenced by Kobe Bryant’s 48 minutes on Wednesday, the Lakers are all-in to make the playoffs. … However, that push probably won’t include Steve Nash (hamstring) and might not include Antawn Jamison (wrist). … Metta World Peace (knee) will probably see more than the 13 minutes he played Wednesday, but I still wouldn’t trust him. … How about Pau Gasol over the last five games: 18.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 37.5 minutes. … See above for Warriors notes.