Dec 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Chicago Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer (5) reacts to a play during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Boozer a Game-Time Decision; Vucevic, Afflalo Out for Magic



nikola vucevic

Orlando’s Vucevic will miss his fifth-straight game tonight (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

There are 12 games on tap in the NBA tonight, which means fantasy basketball owners should have no problem being able to fill out their lineups.  Of course, it’s always important to make sure you don’t have any players in starting spots if they’re not going to be playing.  The Bulls’ Carlos Boozer is one player to keep tabs on prior to tip-off because he has been listed as a game-time decision with an illness.

If Boozer can’t go for Chicago, Taj Gibson will start in his place.  Gibson is averaging a decent 10.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over his last eight games — but a robust 16.7 points, 10.7 boards and 1.3 blocks in three starts this season.  Their opponent, the Orlando Magic, are the 3rd-worst team in fantasy basketball vs. the power forward position.  Gibson is owned in just 50 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.

»  Speaking of the Magic, they have some injury concerns themselves.  It’s not news that Nikola Vucevic is out again tonight.  He’s yet to pass the league’s concussion protocol and will continue to miss games until he does so.  The Magic have no need to rush their young center back, as they plummet to what looks like the second-straight year with the leagues’s worst record.  There aren’t any possible waiver wire players worth adding in his place.  The Magic have also been without shooting guard Arron Afflalo (foot) for the past two games, and that will be the case again tonight.  Maurice Harkless performed better last game after a complete dud on Sunday.  If you’re looking to fill the void, Harkless (67 percent available) is more of a desperation play.  The 13 point, seveen board performance he had on Monday is probably going to be close to his ceiling.

»  The Jazz will most likely be without leading-scorer Gordon Hayward (hip) for the third-straight game tonight vs. the Spurs.  Right now he’s listed as doubtful, but there’s little chance he will play.  Alec Burks, who’s still available in 85 percent of ESPN.com leagues, is coming off a career-high 34-point game on Monday vs. the Nuggets.  There may not be a better available guy on any waiver wires that is worth an add for tonight than Burks.

Other Injury Notes:

Shawn Marion will return for the Mavs tonight after missing the last four contests with a bruised shoulder and ribs.  He’s a multi-category guy, so make sure he’s in your lineup tonight.  Last time out vs. the Clippers he scored 20 points with six rebounds, two steals and two 3-pointers.  Jae Crowder and Vince Carter will work there way back to the bench. … Expect Jerryd Bayless to receive more playing time tonight following the Jordan Crawford trade to Golden State.  Even when Rajon Rondo returns for the Celtics on Friday, Bayless could continue to see an uptick in minutes. … The Heat’s Mario Chalmers (Achilles) is out tonight.  Norris Cole will continue to man the point and log heavy minutes.  He’s averaging 13 points in 37.6 minutes during the three games Chalmers has been absent.  Cole is available in virtually 100 percent of ESPN.com fantasy basketball leagues.

 

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