With just two games on the Thursday night NBA docket, it’s important to be aware of some injuries that may impact your fantasy basketball team. Earlier, we covered the New York Knicks-Miami Heat game, but there are some key injuries that will likely affect the game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets, as well.
After missing their last game vs. Utah with flu-like symptoms, the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka is set to return tonight for their crucial
Northwest Division matchup in Denver. He’ll be a welcome sight for the Thunder (who gave up 112 points to the Jazz) as well as to his fantasy owners. Over his last four games he is averaging 14 points, 7.3 rebounds, one steal and 1.8 blocks, while shooting 55.1 percent from the field. The fifth-year power forward is ranked No. 23 on BasketballMonster.com and when healthy, should continue to provide his owners will stellar shot blocking numbers, as well as efficient shooting and rebounding.
If you picked up Nick Collison while Ibaka was out, and you’re hurting for game volume in a head-to-head matchup, he could be worth holding onto for tonight’s game due to the lack of option on a two-game night. If not, he and Steven Adams are now safe to drop in all standard leagues.
While the Thunder seem to be putting out their best product tonight (minus Russell Westbrook, of course), the Nuggets will be missing one of their key players in small forward Wilson Chandler. Chandler left Tuesday’s game with a left groin injury after playing just 23 minutes. An MRI showed no significant damage, but the Nuggets will play it safe and hold him out for tonight’s game. Once deemed a “groin strain”, his injury is now being called a “strained left hip”, which is something for his owners to monitor. Chandler had left hip surgery back in 2012.
If Randy Foye is still available in your league, he’s worth a pickup regardless of whether you’re a Chandler owner or not. Foye is averaging 15 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists over his last five games. He’s also making 2.2 three-pointers per game in that span, including seven treys vs. the Celtics on Tuesday night. If it’s a quick fix you’re looking for, there may be a few waiver wire options to fill the void left by Chandler. Jordan Hamilton will likely get the start tonight, and he has shown he can perform well when given decent minutes before. In games where he’s played 20+ minutes, he’s averaging 11.5 points and 2.3 three-pointers.
Nate Robinson is another player who came into today very questionable, but as of this morning he looks to be a full go. The Nuggets’ backup point guard had his his ankle stepped on in their last game, but told coach Brian Shaw “he’s good to go”. Unless we hear anything different before their 10:30 EST tip-off, we expect him to play. If Robinson’s condition were to change, or if you’re looking for another guy to stream, Evan Fournier would be a sneaky add off the waiver wire. The 21-year-old Frenchman is averaging 9.3 points and four rebounds in the month of January.
Other injury notes for the Thunder: Russell Westbrook (knee)- out until after All-Star Break