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Luol Deng (hamstring) is listed in the starting lineup for Monday's game against the Bobcats.

Deng prepared for the game in warmups and the Bulls might take it easy on him. That's especially true due to the fact his last injury was an aggravation. We wouldn't quite say he's totally safe to put in all lineups since he's missed five games, but it's certainly enough to take Jimmy Butler out as a spot-start.
Mon, Jan 28, 2013 07:20:00 PM

Mike Conley scored 24 points during a 105-94 win over the Spurs on Thursday, adding one rebound, eight assists and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes.

After the game, coach David Fizdale said he wanted to figure out how to get Conley loose, so he did just that with Conley going 7-of-13 from the field and making all eight from the line. The max-contract guard did struggle more on his two-point shots in the first two games, but he put Tony Parker on skates throughout this win. He dominated as an offensive weapon for the final two months of the season, so expect to see another strong game in Game 4 on Saturday as the Grizzlies look to level this series.
Apr 21 - 12:42 AM

Zach Randolph scored 21 points in the starting lineup against the Spurs on Thursday, adding eight rebounds, one block and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes.

Coach David Fizdale loved what he got out of Z-Bo and he called him "fantastic" after the game. "It just matters so much to him," Fizdale said. He added he was very happy he was able to coach Randolph, and he mentioned that Z-Bo never really asked him to start despite how Randolph came off the bench for 68 games during the regular season. It looks like Z-Bo is headed for 30 minutes in Game 4, so he's a viable DFS play.
Apr 21 - 12:37 AM

Kawhi Leonard scored just 18 points during a 105-94 loss to the Grizzlies in Game 3 on Thursday, adding four rebounds, three assists, one block and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes.

He made 6-of-11 from the field and all four free throws, so he was still efficient. The Grizzlies were more aggressive on Kawhi when he was on the perimeter, which somewhat explains the dip in usage. Luckily for coach David Fizdale, they were able to keep Kawhi from getting to the line, so we won't get a "take that for data" rant today. Even the best robots have off days, so expect Kawhi to get a software upgrade for Game 4 on Saturday.
Apr 21 - 12:20 AM

Kyle Lowry scored 13 points during an ugly 104-77 loss to the Bucks in Game 3 on Thursday, adding five rebounds, two assists, one block and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes.

There's just something about the Raptors struggling in the playoffs. This game was over at half with the Raptors trailing 57-30, and the first unit offense was just a lost cause. The starters combined for just two assists in the entire game while the Bucks had seven players with at least two assists. Maybe Lowry's wrist isn't 100 percent or maybe the Bucks trapping him has caused some problems. He'll need to step up on Saturday with the Raptors trailing 1-2.
Apr 20 - 11:00 PM

DeMar DeRozan missed all eight attempts from the field and made all eight from the line for eight points in a brutal loss to the Bucks on Thursday, adding two rebounds and three turnovers in 31 minutes.

Yeah, not great. The Raptors managed just 30 points as a team in the first half thanks to having their nine turnovers top their seven field goals. The extra length on the Bucks has been a problem for DeRozan, so he may have to not count on his difficult shot selection. It'll be back to the drawing board for Game 4 on Saturday.
Apr 20 - 10:52 PM

LeBron James had one of his signature moments during a 119-114 win over the Pacers in Game 3 on Thursday, scoring 41 points with 13 rebounds, 12 assists, one steal, two blocks and six 3-pointers in 45 minutes.

Despite the Cavs giving up 74 points in the first half and trailing by 26 points at one point, LeBron led an incredible comeback with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving both on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. He played the entire fourth quarter to help him get just the seventh 40-point triple-double in NBA playoff history -- it was the 17th triple-double of LeBron's playoff career. The King also has a 20-game winning streak in the first round of the playoffs, so he'll look to make it 21 and sweep the Pacers on Sunday. Sure, there are some major defensive concerns, but is it really that big of a problem when LeBron is locked in?
Apr 20 - 10:45 PM

Paul George scored a team-high 36 points during a 119-114 loss to the Cavs in Game 3 on Thursday, adding 15 rebounds, nine assists, one steal and five 3-pointers in 45 minutes.

This is a bad, bad loss for the Pacers. They scored a whopping 74 points in the first half and had a 26-point lead, but the team just had a complete meltdown in the second half. George did not score at all in the third quarter and he was forcing shots in the fourth, but it's hard to blame him for this loss. It's fair to say the odds of Paul George remaining in Indiana long term have decreased after this game. He and the Pacers will look to avoid a sweep on Sunday.
Apr 20 - 10:21 PM

Cory Joseph started the third quarter for Jonas Valanciunas on Thursday.

When you only score 30 points in the first half, it's time for a change. The Raptors are going to need threes in a hurry, so that likely explains the move.
Apr 20 - 9:34 PM

Zach Randolph and James Ennis will start for JaMychal Green and Wayne Selden in Game 3 on Thursday.

Coach David Fizdale said there could be lineup changes coming, and he's not messing around this time. The Grizzlies did have some luck with their Z-Bo lineups and really any change makes sense after they were thumped in the first two games. Expect Randolph to see minutes in the upper 20s.
Apr 20 - 7:52 PM

C.J. Miles is set to start for Game 3 against the Cavs on Thursday.

This will move Monta Ellis to the bench. The Cavs have been causing the Pacers to switch a lot, so getting Miles out there adds some size to help prevent LeBron James getting a small on him. Miles should be looking at minutes in the 20s, so he could be an interesting option. Of course, he's one of the most inconsistent players as a starter.
Apr 20 - 6:15 PM

J.R. Smith (hamstring) will start against the Pacers for Game 3 on Thursday.

He did not play in the second half in Game 2 due to a hamstring issue. Coach Ty Lue said he wasn't sure on the restriction for Smith, but there's a decent chance he won't be able to get to his 37 minutes from Game 1. If he is limited, that should mean more minutes for Kyle Korver and Iman Shumpert.
Apr 20 - 5:41 PM




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