Recent NBA Player News

Marcus Smart (thumb) could return for Boston next week

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (thumb) will be re-examined by a doctor next week and could be cleared to return to game action, per Jay King of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Smart has been out since early-March after undergoing surgery to repair a torn tendon in his thumb. If he gets the all clear, he could be ready to play by Game 7 (if necessary) next Saturday. No word on if the guard would assume a starting role or backup current point guard Terry Rozier.

Smart averaged 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.3 steals in 29.9 minutes per game this season.

John Henson (back) doubtful for Bucks' Game 4 on Sunday

Milwaukee Bucks forward/center John Henson (back soreness) is doubtful for Sunday's Game 4 against the Boston Celtics.

What It Means:

He wasn't close for Game 3, having been ruled out two hours before tip-off. Thon Maker stepped up for five blocks and 14 points in his absence, but he'll likely come off the bench behind Tyler Zeller. Neither of them is likely as valuable as Jabari Parker here, since the Bucks will likely just go with smaller lineups more often.

If Henson does play, our models project him for 24.4 FanDuel points at a salary of $5,500 on Sunday. Parker could be a steal at $4,000 with a projected total of 23.4 FanDuel points.

Warriors' Kevin Durant (ankle) pratices, expected to play in Game 4

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (ankle) went through practice on Saturday and is expected to play in Sunday's Game 4 versus the San Antonio Spurs.

What It Means:

Durant rolled his ankle in Game 3 on Thursday but immediately downplayed the injury. The fact he went through a full practice should alleviate any concerns about his availability on Sunday.

Early projections by our models for Durant in Game 4 have him scoring 26.5 points with 7.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists for 46.4 FanDuel points.

George Hill (back) undergoing MRI, questionable for Cavs in Game 4

Per the Akron Beacon Journal's Marla Ridenour, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard George Hill will have an MRI on his back.

What It Means:

Hill is experiencing back spasms and is considered questionable to play on Sunday against the Indiana Pacers. The problem has been hindering him since Game 1 and throughout the series through three games. He played just 20 minutes before fouling out last game. Jose Calderon would likely start with Jordan Clarkson getting more minutes if he's ultimately out for Game 4.

If he plays, our models project Hill for 27.2 minutes and 19.1 FanDuel points in Sunday's Game 4 matchup.

Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler dealing with wrist injury

Minnesota Timberwolves guard/forward Jimmy Butler is dealing with a sore right wrist.

What It Means:

Butler returned from knee surgery earlier this month only to come down with a wrist injury a few games in. His wrist has been wrapped and he doesn't appear to be playing with the same aggression on the offensive end. But he's not making excuses, saying "If you put on that jersey and go out there and play, you've got to produce. You've got to do what they got you here to do. So 40, 50, 95, 100 [percent], I'm out there playing."

Through 2 games, Butler is averaging just 12.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. We give the T'Wolves just a 38.9% chance of taking Game 3 on Saturday night.

Source: ESPN

Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich will remain away from team for Game 4

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich will not coach the team for Sunday's Game 4 matchup against the Golden State Warriors.

What It Means:

According to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News, assistant Ettore Messina will again coach the team. He did so in Game 3 as Pop attended to his family with the passing of his wife, Erin.

Down 3-0 to the Golden State Warriors, our models give the Spurs a 54.3% chance of avoiding the sweep at home.

Evan Turner (toe) is questionable to play in Game 4 for Portland

Portland Trail Blazers guard/forward Evan Turner (toe) is questionable to play on Game 4 versus the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

What It Means:

With Moe Harkless questionable as well, the Blazers could be faced with Shabazz Napier and Pat Connaughton playing heavy minutes as the club tries to extend their season. Turner sat out on Thursday with Harkless starting at small forward.

Our models project Turner for 16.9 FanDuel points if he can play on Saturday.

Blazers' Moe Harkless (knee) is questionable for Game 4

Portland Trail Blazers forward Moe Harkless is questionable for Game 4 against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

What It Means:

He had knee surgery in March, so he could be dealing with complications from that. Evan Turner is also questionable, which would leave the Blazers shorthanded on Saturday. Terry Stotts will have an interesting lineup decision to make.

Harkless started for the injured Evan Turner on Saturday, playing 26 minutes and finishing with only 5 points on 2-of-8 shooting.

Bucks' Tony Snell will head back to the bench on Friday

Milwaukee Bucks guard/forward Tony Snell will come off the bench on Friday night against the Boston Celtics.

What It Means:

Snell started Games 1 and 2, both losses for Milwaukee. Malcolm Brogdon will get the start for Snell tonight as the Bucks look to get a win and stay competitive in the series.

Snell rarely offers much fantasy upside, despite his usual heavy workload. He has averaged just 13.3 FanDuel points in 27.4 minutes per game this season. We project him for 12.2 FanDuel points tonight.

Stephen Curry (knee) out at least one more week for Golden State

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (knee) continues to progress in his rehab from a left MCL sprain and will be re-evaluated in one week, per Marc J. Spears of ESPN.

What It Means:

With the Dubs up 3-0 in their series with the San Antonio Spurs, they would likely not start their second-round series until next weekend. That leaves Curry a good chance of being ready to go in the Western Conference Semifinals against (likely) the New Orleans Pelicans. Andre Iguodala and Quinn Cook will continue to eat up the minutes at the point in Game 4 on Sunday.

Curry averaged 26.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game in an injury-filled season where the guard missed over 30 games.

Malcolm Brogdon joining the Bucks' starting lineup in place of Tony Snell for Game 3

Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon is joining the starting lineup for game 3 versus the Boston Celtics.

What It Means:

The Bucks are looking to avoid falling into a 0-3 hole on Friday and smartly have added the reigning Rookie of the Year to the starting five. Brogdon has shot well in the series, going 11-for-20 for an average of 13.0 points in 25.5 minutes per game. Tony Snell heads to the bench.

Our models project Brogdon for 21.3 FanDuel points in 27.1 minutes in Game 3.

Tyler Zeller will start at center for Bucks in Game 3

Milwaukee Bucks center Tyler Zeller will draw the start in Game 3 against the Boston Celtics.

What It Means:

This had been expected given John Henson's doubtful status leading up to tonight. With Henson out, Zeller will start and should see at least 25 minutes of playing time.

Zeller is only $3,500 on FanDuel tonight. We project him for 21.8 FanDuel points, which would return a value of 6.23 points per $1,000 salary.

John Henson will not play for Bucks on Friday night

Milwaukee Bucks center John Henson will not play on Friday night against the Boston Celtics.

What It Means:

This was expected, but it's nice to get confirmation well before tip-off. Tyler Zeller or Thon Maker will likely get the start.

Henson provided solid value for FanDuel players in Games 1 and 2. He returned an average of 5.31 FanDuel points per $1,000 salary in those games.

Fred VanVleet (shoulder) ruled out for Raptors in Game 3 on Friday

After being listed as questionable leading up to Friday's game against the Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (shoulder) has officially been ruled out by the team.

What It Means:

VanVleet missed Game 1, and was active for Game 2 (both Raptors wins at home) but played just three minutes.

In VanVleet's absence, Delon Wright and C.J. Miles should continue to see increased minutes in Game 3.

Source: Raptors

Rockets' Ryan Anderson (ankle) probable for Saturday

Houston Rockets power forward Ryan Anderson (ankle) is probable for Saturday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, per head coach Mike D'Antoni.

What It Means:

Anderson has missed six games (including the first two games of this series) with his ankle injury, and his return will likely cut into the minutes available for P.J. Tucker, though both stand to see significant run with Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder) on the shelf.

Assuming he does suit up, numberFire's models project Anderson for 18.8 FanDuel points in 26.6 minutes of action in Game 3.

Bucks list John Henson (back) as doubtful for Friday

Milwaukee Bucks center John Henson (back soreness) is doubtful for Friday's game against the Boston Celtics.

What It Means:

Henson played 37 minutes in each of the first two games in this series, and his absence would leave a ton of minutes available in the Bucks' frontcourt. Thon Maker and Tyler Zeller stand to see increased run if Henson can't go.

numberFire's models project Zeller to play 24.6 minutes and Maker to play 11.7 if Henson doesn't suit up.

Raptors list Fred VanVleet (shoulder) as questionable for Game 3

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (shoulder) is being listed as questionable for Friday's game against the Washington Wizards.

What It Means:

VanVleet was active in Game 2 after missing the first game of the postseason with the shoulder injury, but played only three minutes. If he can't play tonight, look for Delon Wright and C.J. Miles to continue seeing some increased minutes.

numberFire's models project VanVleet to play 13.3 minutes and score 12.4 FanDuel points on Friday.

Source: NBA.com

Blazers' Jusuf Nurkic will start on Thursday night

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic will start against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night.

What It Means:

Nurkic suffered a leg bruise in Game 2 and played only 15 minutes, but he'll take the court tonight. Portland needs his inside presence if they want to have any chance of stopping the Brow.

We project the Blazers' center to finish with 32.7 FanDuel points this evening against the Pelicans.

Moe Harkless will start for the Trail Blazers on Thursday

Portland Trail Blazers forward Moe Harkless will get the start on Thursday night in place of injured Evan Turner.

What It Means:

This was expected when Turner was listed as out, but it's good to get confirmation.

Harkless is averaging 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists as a starter this season.

JaVale McGee will play on Thursday night

Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee will play on Thursday night against the San Antonio Spurs.

What It Means:

McGee was questionable heading into tonight's game with a bruise on his left quad, but he will take the court.

McGee has offered tremendous value for DFS players in this series. He has topped 28 FanDuel points in each of the first two games, and he is listed at only $3,600 tonight. We project him for 21.4 FanDuel points tonight.

Blazers' Moe Harkless will not have his minutes restricted in Game 3

Portland Trail Blazers forward Moe Harkless will not have a minutes restriction against the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 3.

What It Means:

Coach Terry Stotts said that he would monitor Harkless, but with Evan Turner out and an 0-2 series hole, it would be shocking to see Harkless play fewer than 30 minutes tonight.

Just having Moe in the lineup is huge for Portland. They average 2.7 more points per game, and their winning percentage is 4.5% higher when he plays. We project him for 18.4 FanDuel points tonight, a number which should climb if he's confirmed as the starter.

Evan Turner (toe) ruled out for Trail Blazers in Game 3

Portland Trail Blazers guard/forward Evan Turner (toe) is not in Thursday's lineup against the New Orleans Pelicans for Game 3.

What It Means:

Moe Harkless figures to benefit the most from Turner's absence. He suffered the injury on Tuesday in Game 2.

Turner averaged 20.9 FanDuel points in the first two games of the series.

Joel Embiid (face) starting for 76ers in Game 3 on Thursday night

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (face) will start against the Miami Heat on Thursday in Game 3.

What It Means:

Embiid returns after missing the past three weeks of action. He will reportedly wear a mask and goggles but isn't on an official minutes limit. Ersan Ilyasova will return to the bench and Amir Johnson's minutes are going take a hit.

numberFire's models project Embiid to score 43.3 FanDuel points at a cost of $9,200 on Thursday.

Joel Embiid upgraded to probable for 76ers on Thursday in Game 3

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (face) has been upgraded to probable for Game 3 on Thursday against the Miami Heat.

What It Means:

Embiid will likely be a game-time decision but this is a promising sign for the 76ers' star big man, who hasn't played since injuring his face on March 28. Amir Johnson and Ersan Ilyasova have each drawn a start at center for Philadelphia in the first two games of the series.

If he plays, numberFire's models project Embiid to score 43.3 FanDuel points at a cost of $9,200 on Thursday.

Knicks' Kyle O'Quinn undecided on 2018 player option

New York Knicks power forward/center Kyle O'Quinn hasn't decided if he will pick up his player option for the 2018-19 season.

What It Means:

O'Quinn's player option is for $4.5 million, but a strong finish could allow him to get more in the open market this summer. He said, "Whether it be trade talks or things like that, I think I handled it well by putting myself in a solid position where I could display what I could do." There's also a chance that his inconsistency puts him in a tough spot, depending on the other options out there. Enes Kanter also carries a player option, with Joakim Noah as the only center under contract this coming season.

O'Quinn's 3.7 nERD ranked second on the team behind Kanter. He finished with averages of 7.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 blocks.

Source: Newsday

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