Saturday night’s NBA schedule features eight games, so it’s important for owners to keep checking their ailing players’ statuses prior to tip-off. There are a number of injuries that could affect your fantasy basketball team, including a couple of high-profile point guards — the Atlanta Hawks’ Jeff Teague and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio.
» Teague sprained his ankle last night, and while X-rays came back negative, the Hawks’ point guard has already been ruled out for tonight’s game in Milwaukee, as well as Monday’s game in Oklahoma City. Shelvin Mack has been named the starter, and he could be one of the better pickups of the day — and week. Adding Mack even as a speculative move wouldn’t be a bad idea. Despite the X-rays not showing a break, Teague’s injury didn’t look pretty:
Even in a backup role, Mack has averaged 11 points and five assists over his last four games. He will get all the minutes he can handle and judging by the way that Teague injury looked, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him miss more than just the two games. Mack is available in 99 percent of ESPN.com leagues. The Hawks have a nice four-game schedule this coming week, too.
» You wouldn’t have known by his play last night vs. the Warriors (nine points, 12 assists, four steals), but Rubio apparently suffered an ankle injury. He’s being listed as questionable and a game-time decision, but with his injury history, it wouldn’t be a shock if Coach Adelman sat his star point guard tonight in Portland. If Rubio sits, J.J. Barea is likely to get the start. Barea (99 percent available) has been great in a supporting role lately, averaging 10.2 points, 2.8 assists and a three-pointer over his last five games. His per 36 numbers of 16.7 points and 6.8 assists make him an intriguing waiver add if he indeed gets the start. Alexey Shved (100 percent available) would also be in the mix for minutes, but his 32 percent field goal percentage should be too much for anyone to handle, save from the very deepest of leagues.
Other Injury Notes:
Wizards’ small forward and three-point specialist, Martell Webster, is a game-time decision tonight. He missed Friday’s game with the flu. If he can’t go, Otto Porter Jr. and Garrett Temple will move up in the pecking order, but they aren’t on the fantasy radar. In reality, it just means more minutes for Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal. … The Hawks’ DeMarre Carroll (hamstring) was not supposed to play tonight, but evidently he’s feeling a bit better, because he is now being listed as a game-time decision. If he sits out again, Lou Williams will continue to start. Williams scored 12 points and dished out seven assists in last night’s game and is available in 85 percent of ESPN.com leagues. … 19-year-old phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo aggravated a back injury last night and it’s possible he could sit out tonight’s game vs. the Hawks. If he is a no-go, expect Caron Butler (93 percent available), O.J. Mayo (49 percent available) and Khris Middleton (96 percent available) to his appropriated minutes. I personally like Middleton as the best play here.