• The NBA is tough business. One where a perennial championship calibre team falters and sits on the outside looking in with only four games remaining on the schedule.  The Houston Rockets entered Wednesday night’s game one half game back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. A win would put them in a position to potentially climb into the seventh spot.  A loss would further dampen their playoff aspirations. How did the battle of Texas end? Here is your Thursday daily dish.

    PACERS 123, CAVS 109

    The Good: Indiana pulled off a very important victory over a Cavs team playing without its key superstar. The Pacers scored an impressive 70 points in the first half.

    Paul George scored 29 points (10-of-17 shooting) with four threes and five rebounds. C.J. Miles scored 21 points (7-of-9 shooting) with six threes and three rebounds off the bench.

    For the Cavs, Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting. He also chipped in six assists and three steals. Kevin Love added 23 points in 18 minutes of action. He was 10-of-10 from the charity stripe and also grabbed five rebounds.

    The Bad: LeBron James (rest) was again held out by coach Tyronn Lue and hurt all fantasy owners playing during championship week.

    Kevin Love tweaked his back in this one and could be looking at some extended rest as the season draws to a close.

    For the Pacers, rookie Myles Turner played only five minutes in this one with no stats to his credit. X-rays after the game on his finger came back negative, but owners should keep a close eye on his status moving forward.

    The Takeaway: With the win, Indiana maintained its half game lead over Detroit for seventh place in the East. With the uncertainty of Myles Turner for the remaining two games this week, it might be time to move on from him as he’s only averaged nine points and seven rebounds over the past two weeks.

    For the Cavs, they only have one game remaining this week (April 9 vs. the Bulls). Consider having a back up plan if you have LeBron, Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love on your rosters during Week 24.


    PISTONS 108, MAGIC 104

    The Good: Detroit “Rock City” used a strong 64-point second half performance to move within one win of clinching a playoff birth.

    Reggie Jackson came up big with a 24-4-4 line on 7-of-18 from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line.

    Andre Drummond also played well scoring 13 points (7-of-10 from the field) with 16 rebounds and four blocks.

    For the Magic, Evan Fournier led all scorers with 19 points (7-of-15 from the field and 5-of-5 from the line).

    Nikola Vucevic continued his strong play as well scoring 15 points and adding 13 rebounds. He added two steals and one block and seems to have completely recovered from the groin injury that cost him 13 games earlier in March.

    The Bad: Marcus Morris failed to crack double digits for the second consecutive game as he scored nine points on 3-of-11 shooting.

    Aaron Gordon continued to frustrate his owners scoring a quiet six points on 3-of-10 shooting. He added six rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes of action. For owners who continued to hold on to Dewayne Dedmon, this is your cue to run away as he played only four minutes tonight with two rebounds and one block.

    The Takeaway: The Pistons increased their lead over ninth place Chicago to 1.5 games while also keeping up with the Pacers. With a win on Friday vs. the Wizards, the Pistons could clinch a playoff spot for the first time since the 2008-2009 season.

    The Magic have two games remaining this week and seem certain to continue playing their starters meaningful minutes. Feel free to roll with Oladipo, Vucevic and Fournier for the remaining games.


    WIZARDS 121, NETS 103

    The Good: The Wizards won tonight and were able to prolong their minimal playoff hopes for at least one more game.

    Bradley Beal once again looked good scoring 25 points on a very efficient 11-of-15 from the field. He added three three pointers and five assists and really stepped up for the Wizards tonight.

    Ramon Sessions also played very well in a spot start for John Wall scoring 18 points and adding 13 assists.

    Marcin Gortat double doubled for the Wizards with 16 points and 12 rebounds to go along with a game high four blocks.

    For the Nets, Thomas Robinson exploded for 23 points (10-of-16 shooting) to go along with a team high 10 rebounds.

    The Bad: Owners of John Wall, Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young were understandably disappointed as neither player played in this one. (Wall sat with a sore right knee while Lopez and Young have both been shut down by the Nets for the year).

    Markieff Morris had an underwhelming line of 9-7-2 on 4-of-13 shooting.

    Bojan Bogdanovic played only 20 minutes for the Nets and scored four points with two rebounds on 2-of-12 shooting.

    The Takeaway: Owners of John Wall may have to cut ties with the all- star as he will undergo further testing on his sore right knee. Both Brooklyn and Washington have two games remaining this week and may choose to rest their starters in favour of younger bench players. Make sure to follow @HoopBallTweets on twitter for the latest updates.

Fantasy News

  • Robert Covington
    SF, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Robert Covington (right knee bone bruise) will reportedly be "good to go" for the start of training camp in October.

    Well, this is good news that we didn't hope we would need. Covington played 35 games last year and couldn't get over the bone bruise injury that kept him out for a majority of the year. We expected him to be ready to go, and the fact that we're even discussing this is slightly less than ideal.

    Source: Dane Moore on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Team USA has named Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Donovan Mitchell as captains for the FIBA World Cup.

    Congratulations to Mitchell, Walker and Smart on the tremendous honor of being named captains for the USA men's team. This won't have any impact on their upcoming fantasy seasons, but it is a major accomplishment nonetheless. Team USA has an exhibition rematch against Team Australia on Saturday.

    Source: Boston.com Celtics News on Twitter

  • Isaiah Canaan
    PG, International

    Isaiah Canaan has signed a contract with the Shangdong Heroes of the Chinese Basketball Association.

    The veteran journeyman played for the Suns, Wolves and Bucks last season, appearing in 30 games total. Canaan will be looking at a more prominent role and payday overseas as he attempts to build his value back up before trying to latch on to a team towards the end of the year. Canaan is off the fantasy radar.

    Source: Zhang Duo on Twitter

  • Patty Mills
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Patty Mills put up 19 points, three assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers in Thursday's international exhibition between Team Australia and Team USA.

    The Boomers figure to be one of the chief threats to the Americans in the World Cup and put forth a competitive effort in today's exhibition. Mills has typically been a steady, late-round fantasy option for deep-league play but that may change this season as the Spurs will need to mix in both Derrick White and Dejounte Murray in the backcourt. Chris Goulding tied for the team lead in points, also scoring 19 while hitting four 3-pointers in 22 minutes off the bench.

  • Myles Turner
    C, Indiana Pacers

    Myles Turner put up 15 points and 14 rebounds in Thursday's exhibition win over Team Australia, shooting 6-of-8 from the floor with a 3-pointer.

    Turner didn't get any blocks but we know that last year's league-leader can rack those up in a hurry, whether he's getting them in international competition or not. Look for another early-middle round season out of the talented big man. Kemba Walker led Team USA with 23 points in the 102-86 win.

  • Trevon Bluiett
    PF, Utah Jazz

    Trevon Bluiett and Juwan Morgan sign with the Jazz in the hopes of one day playing in an NBA game.

    Bluiett was on a two-way contract with the Pelicans last season while Juwan Morgan played for the Jazz in the 2019 Summer League. They will both compete for a roster spot in training camp but neither is a guarantee to make the final roster. They both have yet to see the court in an NBA game and can be ignored from a fantasy perspective until that day comes.

    Source: Tony Jones on Twitter

  • Zach Collins
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    Zach Collins (ankle) began daily contact workouts on Monday and is on pace to head into training camp fully healthy.

    Collins is heading into what could be a breakout season as he is likely to start at the power forward position. In the 2019 playoffs, the Gonzaga product blocked a shot in 11 of the 16 games including three games in which he blocked three, four and five respectively. Collins has averaged around 33% from distance throughout his career which is exactly what he shot in the postseason (7-21). If he is able to improve from long range and plays starters minutes, Collins is a can't-miss player. It's far from a guarantee though as the 21-year-old has never finished with standard-league value. It does seem like Collins will be ready for training camp barring a major setback.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Cory Joseph
    PG, Sacramento Kings

    Nick Nurse said that reports of Cory Joseph missing the FIBA World Cup are “incorrect”.

    Nurse added that he spoke to Joseph on Wednesday and that the guard has his flights booked to China. Joseph was in Canada’s camp at home earlier this month, but did not make the trip to Australia and has missed the past four exhibition games. The situation has become a little bit murky but Canada Basketball keeps holding out hope that Joseph will rejoin the team before they depart for China, which doesn’t happen until Monday.

    Source: John Casey on Twitter

  • Tyronn Lue
    PG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting former Cavs championship-winning coach Tyronn Lue has agreed to join the Clippers as their top assistant coach to Doc Rivers.

    The Lakers and Clippers rivalry continues to heat up. Lue was very close to a deal with the Lakers in May to become their head coach, but the sides couldn’t reach an agreement. Lue now joins Kawhi Leonard as another person to spurn the Lakers this offseason.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • PJ Tucker
    SF, Houston Rockets

    P.J. Tucker says he is optimistic about signing a contract extension soon.

    The 34-year-old 3-and-D wing hopes to extend his deal with the Rockets, but a potential extension wouldn't begin until his age-36 season. Houston has him under contract for two more seasons at this point, so they may not be motivated enough to get something done this offseason. However, a maximum Tucker extension would only have him in the $10 million per year range. Even as a 37-year-old, that could be a great deal if he can keep up his current production. Tucker remains a sneaky source of threes and steals late in fantasy drafts or off the wire.

    Source: Kurt Helin on Twitter