• The NBA took the night off on Monday so we could bare witness to an awesome NCAA championship game. There are 11 games on the schedule for Tuesday, April 5th, and with so many games to choose from it can be difficult to find the right games to watch. That’s why Hoop Ball is here to help guide you to the games you don’t want to miss.

    The Honorable Mentions: The Spurs take on the Jazz, the Hornets look to take down the Raptors and the Cavs head to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks.

    Now for Tuesday’s ‘must watch’ game of the night.

    Detroit Pistons vs. Miami Heat

    Tip Time: 8 pm (est)

    Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

    Player Matchup: Andre Drummond and Hassan Whiteside

    It’s been seven years since the Pistons found themselves in the playoff picture. Now, with five games remaining in the season, they hold a two-game lead over the Chicago Bulls for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. They are also tied with the Indiana Pacers for the seventh seed in the standings. A win over the Heat could give them sole possession of the seventh seed and avoid that unwanted first round matchup against the Cavs.

    Detroit (41-36) has surprised a lot of people this season and a big reason for their success has been because of the play of Andre Drummond. The fourth-year center has been tremendous this season averaging 16.5 points and a career-high 14.9 rebounds per game.

    Head coach Stan Van Gundy understands where his team sits in the standings, and while most would be excited to assume the Pistons are making the playoffs, Van Gundy is still not comfortable making that statement.

    “You like being ahead, but until we’re in, I’m not the least bit comfortable,” Van Gundy told Pistons.com. “The way this season has gone? It’s up and down. And look who we have to play now.”

    The Heat (44-32) have battled through injuries all season long, and yet they still find themselves sitting fifth in the standings, but just half a game back from the Hawks for the three seed. Miami has already clinched a playoff berth, coincidentally thanks to the Pistons and their win over the Bulls on Saturday.

    Dwayne Wade (back), who has sat out the team’s past two games, is listed as a ‘game-time decision’. Wade says that he “hopes” to play on Tuesday, and with the team fighting to gain homecourt advantage through the playoffs, the Heat would love to have their leader on the floor.

    (Be sure to stay close to Hoop Ball for updates on Wade’s status before tip-off.)

    Hassan Whiteside is surprisingly still coming off the bench for the Heat, but even in a bench role, the fourth-year center has been putting up some monster numbers. Through 67 games this season, Whiteside has averaged 14.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and a career-high 3.7 blocks.

    “We really just trying to fight for home court at this time and we know every game is valuable,” Whiteside said. “Detroit got us in our last two games. We were up 20 they came back. So we know we’re gonna get them this time.”

    These two teams face each other twice in the next three days to wrap up their season series. This game may not be the highest scoring game, as both teams rank outside of the top-10 in offensive efficiency (Pistons 17th, Heat 12th) and are ranked outside of the top-15 in pace (Pistons 19th, Heat 26th). What this game will bring is grit and a playoff type of feel, easily making this our ‘must watch’ game of the night.

Fantasy News

  • 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

  • Jaylen Adams
    PG, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks officially announced the signings of guards Jaylen Adams and Rayjon Tucker on Tuesday.

    Adams and Tucker have their work cut out for them in their bid to claim a roster with the big club, as the Bucks have a reasonably deep guard rotation. Adams and Tucker are more than likely competing to get playing time in the G-League this season and can be ignored in fantasy.

    Source: NBA

  • Jeff Ledbetter
    G, San Antonio Spurs

    The Spurs have offered summer league guard Jeff Ledbetter an Exhibit 10 deal, but he is still mulling over his options which include playing in Europe.

    Ledbetter had a productive summer league and now finds himself with a chance to play for the Austin Spurs of the G-League. Ledbetter is sure to be staring at a bigger payday in Europe, so his choice will be an interesting one. We should have a decision soon.

    Source: Nicola Lupo on Twitter

  • Eric Mika
    C, Sacramento Kings

    The Kings announced on Tuesday that they signed summer league standout C Eric Mika to an exhibit 10 contract.

    The former BYU big man is now set up to play for the Stockton Kings of the G-League. The Kings have a deep big man rotation, and it's unlikely that we'll see much, if any, of Mika on the roster this season.

    Source: Sean Cunningham on Twitter

  • JA Morant
    PG, Memphis Grizzlies

    Ja Morant (right knee) said that he is completely healed from the minor knee surgery earlier this summer, saying he is "100 percent right now."

    Morant will look to get back into the swing of things in the coming weeks as he prepares for his rookie season. Morant has the talent and the role on rebuilding team and is undoubtedly going to cost a pretty penny in fantasy drafts.

    Source: Peter Edmiston on Twitter

  • Derrick Alston
    Team, New York Knicks

    The Westchester Knicks have named Derrick Alston as the new head coach, replacing Mike Miller who was promoted to join David Fizdale’s staff.

    Alston, a former NBA player, has been an assistant for Westchester for four years. Before that, Alston was a player development coach with the Rockets. This will be Alston’s first head coaching gig as he continues to move up the ladder.

    Source: Ian Begley on Twitter

  • Cory Joseph
    PG, Sacramento Kings

    Cory Joseph is not expected to play for Team Canada in the FIBA World Cup.

    Team Canada has been taking a beating the last few weeks with NBA guys continuing to pull out. This news won't have any effects on Joseph's role heading into the season, but it does create another dent in Team Canada's chances of making noise in the World Cup.

    Source: Doug Smith: Raptors on Twitter

  • Marcus Georges-Hunt
    SG, Free Agent

    Jay King of The Athletic is hearing that Marcus Georges-Hunt is in Boston working out with the Celtics for the next few days.

    Georges-Hunt last played in the NBA for the Wolves in the 2017-18 season. Last season Georges-Hunt was waived from the Celtics in mid-October and played nine games for the Red Claws. Georges-Hunt is a longshot to make the team and carries no fantasy relevance regardless of the outcome.

    Source: Jay King on Twitter