• Welcome to This Week This Morning! Normally it’s This Week Tonight but I’m doing this up for Monday morning so we can have the greatest and latest news on the injury front and can sit down and examine what’s likely the final week for many out there in fantasy land. We’re going to go over the games played this week, matchups, back-to-backs, pickups for the week, a tough play, and then we’ll finish up with some of the important injuries to watch.

    This is the it guys, the final few weeks of the NBA regular season are upon us. If you’re still riding with us for the playoffs then you probably followed Hoo-Ball a lot this year and I hope you enjoyed reading some This Week Tonight.

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    3 Games: BOS, CHI, DEN, LAC, MIN, POR

    The Sixers and Hawks both set up well with weak schedules this weak. The Sixers take on the Nets, Hawks, Cavs, and Raptors in what should be a solid week for the likes of Richaun Holmes and other low end guys. Meanwhile the Hawks take on the aforementioned Sixers, the Suns, Bulls, and the Nets in what will be an extremely positive fantasy week for all of their relevant players.

    The Knicks on the other hand get a really bad week, they take on the Pistons, the Heat twice, and finish with the Celtics. Carmelo Anthony is looking iffy this week but even if he’s missing time I’d probably take a pass on Mindaugas Kuzminskas even with the extra opportunity and recent solid play.

    Back-to-Back Watch:

    The Pistons go back-to-back on Monday/Tuesday but they’re extremely unlikely to rest players with their playoff position still at risk.

    The Sixers, Hawks, Heat, Bucks, Warriors, Pacers, and Wizards all play Tuesday/Wednesday. Obviously the Warriors are at risk to rest though hopefully with one of those contests being against the Spurs they’ll actually keep everyone on the court. The Hawks will likely use caution with Paul Millsap even if he does end up returning.

    The Clippers play Wednesday/Thursday and I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of their guys get a rest after coming off of a five game week.

    The Pistons again, the Rockets, and the Cavs all play Thursday/Friday. The Cavs are going to be a constant threat to bench stars coming down the stretch.

    The Magic and Kings play Friday/Saturday, but I doubt you’re playing in the playoffs if you’re worried about any of those players sitting.

    The Hawks, Nets, Suns, Lakers, and Bulls all play Saturday/Sunday. That’s a second back-to-back set for the Hawks this week which is really bad news for Paul Millsap owners. The Nets could end up giving Brook Lopez a rest day and the Suns will obviously be playing their NCAA lineup with no veterans in sight.

    Pickups to Win Your Week:

    Taurean Prince – Keep in mind that Thabo Sefolosha sat out Sunday with a groin injury, though it wasn’t the same one that sidelined him previously he still may miss time. I like both of them, even if Sefolosha does play, for their rather easy week that will be sure to lend itself to a bundle of blocks, steals, and 3-pointers, but I also like them both because they’re relatively available and play two of the three light days during the week. That’s massive for those of us in finals matchups trying to squeeze every game out of our tight rosters.

    Vince Carter – He’s been having a nice two week run as the primary small forward now that Chandler Parsons is out of the picture. He’s averaged 9.4 points with 1.9 3-pointers, 2.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.4 steals on 46% field goals in his last seven games. Again he’s not going to wow you with scoring but he’s going to be a consistent source of 3-pointers and steals, and every little bit counts during the playoffs.

    Patty Mills – Mills playing time has picked up in his last eight games to go from a season average of 22.1 mpg to 26.3 mpg. During those eight games he’s averaged 11.0 points, 2.4 3-pointers, 1.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.0 steals on 43% field goal and 89% free throws. He’s the hottest point guard you can add right now that’s still widely available.

    Buddy Hield – There’s a good chance he’s been dropped in your league as his fantasy game can be rather limited. However he’s recently experienced a surge of good play as he’s shot 46% over his last seven games which has led to him scoring 15.9 points per game along with 2.3 3-pointers and 1.1 steals. If his shot stops dropping it’ll get ugly fast but championship weeks are often won by high variance players that owners were willing to take a risk on.

    Tough Play of the Week: 

    Paul Millsap – You probably could’ve seen this one coming. If you’re in a weekly lineup league I can’t see how you could possibly start Millsap as he’s too much of a risk to sit with two back-to-backs this week on top of being questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Suns already. Millsap had an MRI that came back “clean” but is experiencing tightness in his knee and also some swelling. Swelling definitely means something is wrong and as long as that’s the case it makes him an impossible start.

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    Significant Injuries: 

    Thabo Sefolosha (groin) missed Sunday’s game against the Nets and should be considered questionable for the upcoming week.

    Paul Millsap (knee) is still experiencing tightness and some minor swelling but is considered questionable Tuesday against the Suns.

    Kent Bazemore is still in the midst of his 7-10 timeline for his knee prognosis and will likely be receiving an update early this week, he should be considered questionable to play at all this week.

    Sean Kilpatrick (hamstring) was out Sunday against the Hawks and the Nets haven’t really provided details on his return date after two weeks of missing time.

    James Harden (wrist) hurt himself in the final seconds of Sunday’s win over the Thunder and did not return. Harden said he had hurt it the previous Monday against the Nuggets and Mike D’Antoni said it’ll be something that effects him the rest of the season and that he would rest him if need be. Considering the Rockets play a back-to-back Thursday/Friday and Harden is questionable for Tuesday already it’s safe to say he’ll miss a game or more this week.

    Ryan Anderson (ankle) is expected to miss the next four games for the Rockets.

    J.J. Redick (ankle) was out Sunday against the Kings after he landed on a basketball. The Clippers will use caution with their sharpshooter down the stretch and he’ll likely be questionable most games this week.

    Brandon Ingram (knee tendinitis) was out Sunday against the Blazers, though he originally planned to play Sunday. He’ll likely be playing this week but check back nightly for updates.

    Marc Gasol (foot strain) was ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Warriors though he was questionable entering it. Hopefully that means he’ll be able to get back on the court in the upcoming week.

    DeMarcus Counsins (ankle) is questionable for Monday’s game against the Jazz. It’s the second night of a back-to-back and Cousins did not play on Sunday so he may be a true game-time decision again.

    Carmelo Anthony (knee) has been sidelined two games with soreness in his troublesome knee. He’s looking like he could be a shutdown candidate but his status will need to be monitored. It’s a bad scheduling week for the Knicks as well.

    Jahlil Okafor (knee soreness) did not play on Sunday for the second straight game and is going to be highly questionable moving forward. Richaun Holmes should continue to be owned in the meantime.

    Danny Green (rest) is going to play Monday against the Cavs.

    Tony Parker (head) is expected to play against the Cavaliers.

    Ty Lawson (knee) was a late scratch against the Clippers on Sunday and is day-to-day.

    Gordon Hayward (bruised quad) is questionable Monday’s game against the Pelicans.

    Derrick Favors (bone bruise) has already been ruled out against the Pelicans.

    Bojan Bogdanovic (back) is day-to-day and was out last Saturday.

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Fantasy News

  • Jimmy Butler
    SG, Miami Heat

    Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that a third Heat player has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Derrick Jones Jr. is the only known player, though Jackson adds that the two latest cases are both rotation players. Florida is in terrible shape at the moment and the Heat may need to enter the bubble without three of their rotation options — those players may still join the team later but will miss out on valuable practice time. The NBA is going full steam ahead on their restart plans but the virus is going to determine whether or not things actually unfold according to plan.

    Source: Barry Jackson on Twitter

  • Landry Shamet
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Shams Charania reports that Landry Shamet has tested positive for COVID-19 and is unlikely to join the Clippers for their trip to Orlando this week.

    That leaves the door open for Shamet to rejoin the team closer to the season's restart, assuming he is feeling okay. Just yesterday it was announced that the Clippers closed their facilities after a positive test, so it appears Shamet's case was the culprit. The sharpshooter is averaging 27.5 minutes per game this season so if he's forced to sit out the Orlando restart it could have big ramifications on LA's backcourt rotation.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    The NBA has released its schedule of scrimmages for the Orlando restart, with games beginning on July 22.

    The league has tried to match up teams that are unlikely opponents for these scrimmages so nobody gets a really good look at what a potential playoff matchup might want to run. For example, the first day of scrimmages will see the Nuggets face the Wizards, the Nets take on the Pelicans, the Clippers against the Magic and the Kings vs. the Heat. Scrimmages will run through July 28.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Caris LeVert
    PG-SG, Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert embraces challenge of being a leader.

    LeVert has been an active participant in the racial inequality protests and admitted that basketball is very minor right now compared to everything else going on in the world but is ready for the NBA restart saying, "For me, it’s just taking on that challenge of being a leader, being the leader of that group, going down there with some of the most experience on the team, playoff experience." In the 16 games since rejoining the starting lineup, LeVert has put up All-Star numbers with 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and leading the Nets to a 9-7 record over that span. The upward trajectory continues for the Nets' 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft.

    Source: Newsday

  • Jordan Crawford
    SG, Free Agent

    Jordan Crawford has agreed to a deal with Russia's Lokomotiv Kuban.

    Crawford last played in the NBA for the Pelicans in 2018 with career averages of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 24.4 minutes. The career journeyman has played for five NBA teams since 2010 with a few stints with China in between. Since the beginning of 2019, he has played in Israel, China, Germany and now we can add Russia to that list.

    Source: Sportando

  • Lance Stephenson
    SG, Free Agent

    Lance Stephenson is ineligible to sign with the Pacers according to Scott Agness.

    Stephenson to the Pacers was being discussed in early March and made sense now with Victor Oladipo choosing to sit out the remainder of the season but this move apparently will not happen. The 29-year old Stephenson spent this past season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the CBA's Flying Leopards.

    Source: Scott Agness on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF-C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis has high expectations for the Lakers when they resume play later in July in Orlando, citing the long layoff as a favorable development for his squad.

    As if the Lakers weren't already squarely in the hunt for an NBA championship. When speaking to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis said that he believes their "chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go.” Depth seems to be the most glaring issue potentially facing the Lakers as they prepare to make the trip to Disney World, as defensive stalwart Avery Bradley recently opted out of the remainder of the season. Bradley was subsequently replaced by well-traveled veteran guard J.R. Smith (who has a long history of playoff runs alongside LeBron James with the Cavs), but the team is still unsure of veteran center Dwight Howard's status the rest of the way. Other than Howard, the Lakers' roster is seemingly set for Orlando. Davis sounds like he's ready to rock, however.

    Source: ESPN

  • Deng Adel
    PF, Brooklyn Nets

    Deng Adel, who played 19 games for the Cavs last season as a two-way player, is being pursued by the Illawara Hawks of Australia's NBL, which, notably was the team 18-year-old LaMelo Ball played for last season (and has attempted to purchase).

    Adel had two short stints before last season with the Rockets and Nets in the Summer League and the preseason, respectively. He was originally a standout at Louisville but went undrafted in 2018 before hitching on with the Cavs on a two-way pact. This season he had been playing for the Long Island Nets, the Nets' G League affiliate, prior to the pause and ultimately the end of the G League season. Adel had registered averages of 11.1 points, 4.2 boards and 2.6 assists to that point. Also of note, Adel spent the lion's share of his childhood in Australia after his family moved from South Sudan around the time he was eight.

    Source: Sportando

  • Darius Miller
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Darius Miller is unsure if he will be able to play in Orlando, as he continues to recover from a torn a ruptured right Achillies.

    Due to the lockdown, Miller has been unable to participate in any live-action, or else he would have played in 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 by now. At this point, it would be surprising for the Pelicans to risk his health by pushing for him to participate in the eight-game regular season.

    Source: Will Guillory on Twitter

  • JJ Redick
    SG, New Orleans Pelicans

    J.J. Redick has intentionally lost 10 pounds since the quarantine began.

    Redick's goal was to get back to his playing weight during his college days at Duke, and it's not a surprise that one of the most dedicated workers in the league was able to drop weight during the coronavirus pandemic. Redick's shooting will be sorely needed when the Pelicans try to chase down the Grizzlies for a playoff spot, but if he does not come out of the gates making an impact the Pelicans are likely to shift to another hot hand on their deep roster. Redick has only seen 26.4 minutes per game this season, and that is going to limit his impact to strictly 3-pointers (2.9 per game).

    Source: Daniel Sallerson on Twitter