• News is still slow around the NBA world.  While we anxiously await the start of the NBA preseason, the city of Los Angeles has found a way to make the time pass faster with a celebration of Kobe Bryant.  After giving his all to the city for twenty years, the Black Mamba was recognized for his achievements and spoke about his future.  Now that basketball is behind him, it appears that his focus will be on his new venture capital fund.  Best of the luck to a man that defined my basketball-viewing upbringing.

    Thursday Highlights

    The offseason is full of speculation and optimism.  With that comes reports of expectations for the season and beyond.  On Thursday, we caught wind of several news blurbs that give hope to some fans of downtrodden franchises.

    For starters, Ryan McDonough explained why the Suns were quiet during the 2016 free agency period. He felt the class was not very deep this offseason and believes they will be major players next offseason.  The Suns should have plenty of money to spend, but landing a marquee free agent has not worked out for this franchise in the past.

    The Grizzlies received some good news regarding injured players.  Mario Chalmers has been cleared to return to the court and Marc Gasol is progressing as expected and it is possible he will be ready for training camp.

    Coach Dave Joerger provided some insights on his vision for the rotation this upcoming season in a podcast today.  It seems that Joerger likes the idea of rolling with Matt Barnes at power forward a decent amount.  He also didn’t fully commit to the starting status of Willie Cauley-Stein but it still seems like it is a good possibility.  Overall, the Kings seem deep at power forward if Cousins, Cauley-Stein, Barnes and maybe even Skal Labissiere are all in the mix.

    In addition, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton released projected season win totals for ESPN Insider readers on Wednesday.  Some pretty surprising results showed up in the article.  The Utah Jazz are showing as the number three team in the west after not making the playoffs last season.  The Pacers are projected to be the eight seed in the east, but many experts seem to believe that they will contend in the conference.  Without giving away too much, there were some other surprising projections for various teams, including the Denver Nuggets.

    Keep checking in to the site for regular NBA news, even during the slow times of the offseason.

Fantasy News

  • Blake Griffin - F - Detroit Pistons

    Blake Griffin (left knee soreness) is feeling "much, much better" according to coach Dwane Casey and is will go through warmups to determine his status for Saturday's game.

    Detroit has not been able to make the first two games of this series competitive and it would make sense for them to let him give it a go for the home crowd. Either way, the Bucks look to be in total control of this series.

    Source: Keith Langlois on Twitter

  • Spencer Dinwiddie - G - Brooklyn Nets

    Spencer Dinwiddie scored 18 points with four boards and one steal in Saturday's 112-108 loss to the Sixers.

    Dinwiddie continues to play well off the bench along with his fellow guards Caris LeVert and D'Angelo Russell. The Nets let this one slip away and will now have to win in Philly to keep their season alive.

  • Jarrett Allen - C - Brooklyn Nets

    Jarrett Allen scored 21 points with seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block in Saturday's Game 4 loss to the Sixers.

    Allen had a nice final stat line, but he was getting worked by Joel Embiid all game. He also had a costly turnover at the end of the game when Tobias Harris, Embiid and Ben Simmons trapped in on the block – Harris may have gotten away with a foul.

  • D'Angelo Russell - G - Brooklyn Nets

    D'Angelo Russell scored 21 points with six assists, seven boards, two steals, one block and four 3-pointers in Saturday's loss to the Sixers.

    Russell played well in this game outside of his 2-for-10 shooting on two-pointers, and even hit a few clutch shots down the stretch. He continues to give the Sixers fits on offense, but the Nets came up just short in this one.

  • Caris LeVert - G - Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert played 42 minutes in Saturday's Game 4 loss scoring 25 points with five rebounds, six assists, one setal and three 3-pointers.

    LeVert was expected to play more in this game after only logging 23.7 minutes per game over the first three. He once again looked healthy and commanded the game at times. After watching today's game you could not have guessed he suffered a gruesome injury earlier this season.

  • Joel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers

    Joel Embiid was unstoppable in the Sixers' Game 4 win posting 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and six blocks on Saturday.

    Jarrett Allen had absolutely no chance against a one-legged Embiid. He's clearly the best player on the floor in this series and the Nets will have to get creative in defending him, or hope for an injury, if they want any chance at coming down from a 3-1 deficit.

  • Tobias Harris - F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Tobias Harris tallied 24 points, eight boards, six dimes, one block and one steal in 43 minutes of work in Saturday's win against the Nets in Game 4.

    Harris seemed fairly quiet in this one but he still managed to come away with a great line, as he does sometimes. We'll see if he's tired for Game 5, but they will get an extra day of rest for travel.

  • Mike Scott - F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Mike Scott logged 27 minutes and hit a go-ahead three with 19.7 seconds left in the game and the Sixers held the lead to take a 3-1 series lead.

    Scott also grabbed eight boards in this one and played a lot down the stretch with Jimmy Butler out due to ejection. The Sixers could not get past the four or six point mark for most of the game but finally closed the gap and took the lead towards the end. This game was surely the most exciting of the playoffs so far.

  • Jimmy Butler - G/F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Jimmy Butler was ejected in Game 4 in the third quarter for escalating a fight started by Jared Dudley, who was also ejected.

    Butler was protecting Joel Embiid after Dudley shoved Embiid following a foul on Jarrett Allen. Butler was 4-for-6 from the field with 11 points, four boards, four assists and two steals and the Sixers will certainly miss him as they try to come back against the Nets in this one.

  • Torrey Craig - F - Denver Nuggets

    Torrey Craig will start Saturday's Game 4 over Will Barton.

    This was somewhat expected as Barton has disappeared so far in the playoffs. Craig will give the Nuggets a lot of defense in the starting lineup and will hopefully let Barton do his thing off the bench.

    Source: Harrison Wind on Twitter