It’s Monday, and that means the start to a brand new week of NBA games and fantasy basketball matchups. There are seven
games being played in The Association tonight, with numerous injuries to keep an eye on, highlighted by the Jazz’s Gordon Hayward, the Rockets’ Chandler Parsons and a couple of Magic players — Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic. Make sure to keep checking their statuses prior to tip-off.
♦ The Jazz have been playing well of late, winning six of their last 11 games, but they can’t keep that up without the services of their leading scorer, Gordon Hayward (hip). Fantasy owners are languishing that thought as well, with Hayward having just started to heat up. The fourth-year pro out of Butler had posted a career-high 37 points (with 11 boards and 7 assists) vs. OKC on Tuesday before being a surprise scratch on Friday night vs. Cleveland. Hayward sat out Monday’s shootaround, so it’s more than likely he’ll sit out tonight, but either way it’ll probably come down to a game-time decision for the Jazz’s 9 pm EST start vs. the Nuggets. I would give Alec Burks a long look if you need a replacement. Burks scored 16 points starting in place of Hayward last game.
♦ Medical tests revealed Spurs’ shooting guard Danny Green has a non-displaced fracture in his left hand. It’s a small blow to owners who were relying on him for his 1.5 threes and 1.1 steals per game, but other than that, his absence isn’t making or breaking any fantasy matchups. While his injury isn’t earth-shattering, what it does do, is open up more playing time for the red-hot Marco Belinelli. I mentioned adding Belinelli in yesterday’s piece, and that’s magnified even more so now. Belinelli has averaged 17.2 points over his last five games and is available in 87.1 percent of ESPN.com fantasy basketball leagues.
♦ As if the Magic weren’t already bad enough (4-18 since Thanksgiving), now they have injuries piling on as well. Starting center Nik Vucevic has endured multiple injuries in the past few weeks, including a bad ankle sprain, and most recently a concussion. The concussion symptoms are still lingering and he’s yet to pass the league’s concussion protocol. Glen Davis is somehow still ripe for the picking in 44.4 percent of ESPN.com leagues, despite averaging 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds over his last six games. If you can grab him, do it, otherwise there aren’t many other in house options. The Magic are also going to be without the services of shooting guard Arron Afflalo tonight. He’s still dealing with tenderness in his foot and will miss his second-consecutive game. Maurice Harkless is the guy you’d want to pick up, although he also popped up on the injury report with a knee issue. Doron Lamb received 32 minutes last game, but didn’t capitalize, shooting 3-of-12 from the field. The good news for Magic fans, and his fantasy owners, is that point guard Jameer Nelson (sprained finger) is expected to play tonight.
♦ Fantasy owners will be glad to get Rockets’ small forward Chandler Parsons back in their lineup, and that looks like it could happen as soon as tonight. He participated fully in Monday’s shootaround and should be good to go vs. the Celtics tonight. Before missing three games with various lower extremity issues, Parsons was averaging 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.6 treys per game.
Other Injury Notes:
Wilson Chandler (hip, groin) will return for the Nuggets tonight, but will come off the bench. This is probably just being done for precautionary measures so he can be eased back into the lineup. He could be on some sort of minutes limit though tonight…Jazz forward Marvin Williams had to leave Monday’s shootaround with an illness and is questionable for tonight’s game vs. the Nuggets. If he were to sit out, expect Derrick Favors‘ and Enes Kanter‘s minutes to go up, as well as some extra playing time for Jeremy Evans…After missing seven games with a sprained ankle, the John Henson will return to the Bucks’ lineup tonight. It remains to see if he’ll come off the bench with Larry Sanders back in tow, but either way, owners need to have him in their lineups. Henson averaged 15.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks during the month of December.