• Saturday was filled with games that had major playoff implications and the murky playoff picture out West has gotten a bit clearer. The Nuggets face the Clippers in a game that would eliminate the Clippers from playoff contention as the Nuggets are starting to click at the right time. Nikola Jokic is thriving alongside Paul Millsap and Jamal Murray has blossomed from a high potential player to a high impact player. They’re winners of five straight and this is all without Gary Harris, but the Wolves got Jimmy Butler back just in time to cling onto the 8-seed. Here’s a breakdown of the games and their fantasy implications.

    Blazers 106 @ Spurs 116

    The Blazers put up a tough fight in San Antonio, but they’ve been struggling since the injury of Maurice Harkless. Evan Turner filled in nicely tonight, scoring 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting but he’s still inconsistent and the Spurs are now 32-8 at home. Manu Ginobili had an 8-0 run by himself in the fourth quarter to help put the game away, but LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay remain the main fantasy contributors for this team.

    Pelicans 126 @ Warriors 120

    New Orleans came to play as Nikola Mirotic (28 points 6 3PTM) and Anthony Davis (34-12-4-2-4) went big this game while Rajon Rondo had a 17 assist night with the steal from Kevin Durant to seal the game. Jrue Holiday has had a career year and continues to give his owners huge returns. Golden State doesn’t have much to play for, but they’re a completely different team without Stephen Curry. Kevin Durant has been going ballistic, but the team looks great, not unbeatable when Curry sits. Quinn Cook (21 points 7 assists) has established himself as a player who belongs in the league and should make some noise in the playoffs now that he’s got the extra reps.

    Nets 124 @ Bulls 96

    Spencer Dinwiddie’s reign is over, but he delivered a full season’s worth of value so congratulations if you were able to scoop him up. Brooklyn platooned their minutes in this one and the Bulls have shut down their best players in an effort to lose the rest of the way. Bobby Portis and Cristiano Felicio are the engines down low that will bring in the stats for your teams.

    Bucks 115 @ Knicks 102

    Giannis Antetokounmpo took tonight off as a maintenance day which means Jabari Parker drew the start and logged 38 minutes. He double-doubled with 16 points and 12 rebounds and should be a strong fantasy play next season. In New York, Enes Kanter sat which meant Kyle O’Quinn would start and pull down 16 boards. O’Quinn is worth streaming if you’re in need of boards and blocks but is much more attractive when Kanter sits.

    Nuggets 134 @ Clippers 115

    The Nuggets came out to play as all of their starters played well, especially Nikola Jokic. Jokic had a field day with a 23-11-11-2-1 line and eliminated the Clippers from playoff contention tonight. Tyrone Wallace is a guy that could have a couple games of juice now that the Clippers have no chance at the playoffs.

    Thunder 108 @ Rockets 102

    Carmelo Anthony was on fire in the first quarter and his ending line of 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting is his best scoring line in about a month. Westbrook wasn’t efficient tonight, but he clamped down James Harden (26-4-9-1-1) in the fourth quarter. It was a must-win game for the Thunder and they pulled through on the road. Coach D’Antoni stated he wants Harden to play to finish the season, but on a lower minutes count.

Fantasy News

  • JJ Redick - G - Philadelphia Sixers

    J.J. Redick scored 26 points and hit five 3-pointers in Thursday's win over the Nets.

    Redick got to take 17 shots in this one with more space on the floor and Joel Embiid missing. With Embiid gone, the offensive share got spread around. That may continue to be the case unless the Sixers feel the need to push Embiid in Game 4.

  • Ben Simmons - G/F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Ben Simmons set a playoff career-high with 31 points (11-of-13 from the field, 9-of-11 from the line), four rebounds, nine assists, two steals and three blocks in 38 minutes in Thursday's win against the Nets.

    Just like Tobias Harris, Simmons stepped up in the absence of Joel Embiid and put up a monster line. This is the Simmons fans have been waiting to see after a quiet opening game. He put up a strong triple-double in Game 2 and this was just another step forward.

  • Tobias Harris - F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Tobias Harris scored a playoff career-high 29 points and added 16 rebounds as the Sixers pulled away from the Nets in Game 3 on Thursday.

    Without Joel Embiid on the floor, the other pieces on the Sixers had to step up to put the Nets away on the road in Game 3. Harris did just that and had the best game of his playoff career. He was also perfect from deep (6-for-6) but will probably step back into the shadows if Embiid returns for Game 4.

  • Joel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers

    Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) has been ruled out of Thursday's Game 3 against the Nets and Greg Monroe will start in his place.

    Game 3 has quickly become an absolute must-win for the Nets, who can't afford to squander an opportunity with Philadelphia losing their major matchup advantage at center. Monroe, Boban Marjanovic, Jonah Bolden and Mike Scott will take up most of the center minutes tonight, though we may see Ben Simmons log some time at the five considering he'd like to get more post touches. Embiid's health is going to determine the length of Philly's playoff run, but we doubt that the Sixers would put the cart before the horse here with the Nets proving to be a very capable opponent. If he can't get close to full strength in the coming days, this first-round series will get very, very interesting. Embiid was unable to play tonight despite two days off since Game 2, which is not a great sign with Game 4 set for Saturday afternoon.

    Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter

  • James Ennis III - F - Philadelphia Sixers

    James Ennis III has been cleared to play more than 12 minutes in Thursday’s matchup against the Nets but coach Brett Brown didn’t specify an exact number of minutes that he would be limited to.

    The Sixers can use all the help they can get off of their bench and Ennis III is a valuable member of that unit. Expect him to play around the 20 minute limit but with no official word from head coach Brown, it will be hard to predict.

    Source: Tom Moore on Twitter

  • Joel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers

    Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) is a game-time decision ahead of Thursday's tip-off against the Nets.

    Embiid has been a game-time decision throughout this series and the same can be said for Thursday's Game 3. Check for a status update prior to tip-off but expect Joel to be in the starting lineup.

    Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter

  • Jared Dudley - F - Brooklyn Nets

    As expected, the Nets have officially listed Jared Dudley (right calf tightness) as available for Thursday’s matchup against the Sixers.

    Dudley’s defensive contribution off the bench was crucial in their Game 1 victory. The Nets could have used his skill set in Game 2. Look for him to take all of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s playing time as the Nets try to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

    Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter

  • Enes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers

    Enes Kanter (right hand contusion) is not on the official injury report ahead of Friday’s game against the Thunder.

    Kanter has proven to be a valuable piece in this first round series as he faces his former team. The hand injury he suffered in Game 2 will not affect his availability for Friday.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Tim Hardaway Jr. - G - Dallas Mavericks

    Tim Hardaway Jr. had successful surgery for a stress injury to his left tibia and is expected to begin rehabilitation immediately.

    With the surgery now behind Hardaway Jr., he will begin on his road to recovery. The Mavs expect him to be ready for basketball activities prior to the start of training camp. Continue to watch his recovery because there is still a chance that he will not be healthy enough to start next season.

    Source: Isaac Harris on Twitter

  • Kyle Anderson - F - Memphis Grizzlies

    Kyle Anderson underwent successful thoracic outlet decompression surgery on Wednesday and is expected to make a full recovery before the Grizzlies' 2019 training camp.

    Anderson was hampered by injuries throughout the 2018-2019 campaign. Hopefully, this operation will allow Anderson to bounce back from a disappointing season.

    Source: Grizzlies PR on Twitter