Hassan Whiteside (calf) will not play against the Hornets on Sunday.
Whiteside hasn't practiced since Tuesday and has missed most of training camp, yet the Heat still don't seem to be concerned. Even if the injury is minor, Whiteside's durability has always been a concern and this is another reason why he will be a risky early-round pick despite some massive upside. Consider him day-to-day for now.
Pelicans head coach praised Eric Gordon before Saturday's game vs. the Pacers.
"I like him," Gentry said regarding Gordon. "I offered him a max contract five years ago. I’ve always been a fan of Eric’s. I just think he’s a terrific player and he’s finally healthy, too. It’s really annoying when you’re a good player and there’s always these little nagging injuries, but I think his body looks great. I think he’s going to have a great year." Gordon looked strong on Saturday with 16 points, three boards, one assist, two steals and two 3-pointers in 22 minutes, and it looks like he is poised for a big year in Gentry's up-tempo offense.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey praised Bismack Biyombo's ability to protect the rim.
"His protecting the rim is off the charts," Casey said of Biyombo. "I told him that we had Tyson Chandler in Dallas. We probably ran one play for him, the first play of the game for him, and that’s it. If you can master and be the MVP in that role, you’ll be a huge benefit to our program. You don’t have to expand your game." Biyombo averaged 1.5 blocks in just 19.4 minutes per game with the Hornets last season, and he could see a similar role in Toronto as the primary backup to Jonas Valanciunas. Biyombo is only worth a look in deeper leagues.
Knicks head coach Derek Fisher hasn't decided if Kristaps Porizngis is ready to start.
"We have to decide what we want to do at the forward positions,’’ Fisher said. "Having versatility is a good thing. It’s too early in his career to say what he can be. We drafted him No. 4. It’s a consideration. He has to earn the right to be a guy we can trust and start games. We can’t give a stamp of approval yet.’’ The Knicks could also decide to go with Kyle O'Quinn or Carmelo Anthony at the four, but hopefully we will get some clarity at the position soon. The Knicks may limit Porzingis early on, but he has more than enough upside to warrant a late-round pick.
Brook Lopez said that he wants to improve as a playmaker this season.
"I think it's again becoming more of a leader on the court, and becoming a playmaker in general," Lopez said. "A lot of times in my career, I've been the end point, the termination point of a lot of plays, just scoring the ball. I'd like to be in a position to have plays run through me and share the ball, make plays. Still score, obviously, but make plays, as well." Lopez averaged just 0.7 assists per game last season, so it would be nice for him to add some versatility to his game. Lopez is also hoping to shoot some 3-pointers, but fantasy owners should temper their expectations until we see proof.
Goran Dragic believes that Gerald Green will succeed in Miami.
"His ability to jump and shoot against anybody is going to be unbelievable, and on defense, he can improve a lot," Dragic said. "He’s long and athletic and he’s gonna listen to the coaches." Green won't be a reliable fantasy option while the Heat are at full strength, but he is going to be an interesting plug-and-play option every time Dwyane Wade sits. For now, Green is more of a deep league asset.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey implied that Jonas Valanciunas could finish out games this season.
"You know, there's been a lot made about [Valanciunas] finishing games," Casey said. "Well, he's getting to the point of his career, with the experience, that he should be able to do that. We plan to use him, especially offensively, down the stretch. Father Time is a great teacher and developer [in] those kinds of situations." Valanciunas saw just 5.1 minutes per game during the fourth quarter last season, so this report could improve his fantasy value a lot. He is an excellent target in the middle rounds.
Carmelo Anthony said that he can play at a high level for another four or five years.
"If I was a guy who kind of played above the rim and played at a fast pace and just running and jumping -- that was my game, very athletic -- then I’d probably be sitting here singing a different tune," Anthony said. "But the way that I play, the way that I know how to pace myself, the way I know how to pick my spots out on the basketball court, I’m not a guy who’s playing above the rim every play so it works in my favor." Anthony's knee has reportedly held up well during training camp, and he could increase his fantasy stock with some strong performances in the preseason.