• 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

  • Nicolas Claxton
    PF, Brooklyn Nets

    The Nets assigned Nicolas Claxton to their G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, on Wednesday.

    With DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen healthy it’s gonna be hard for the rookie center to find any minutes. He is only a stash in dynasty leagues right now.

    Source: Chris Milholen on Twitter

  • Stephen Curry
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    After a full month of increasingly intense individual workouts, Stephen Curry joined on Tuesday his Warriors teammates on the practice court for the first time since last October.

    If all goes well next week, it’s conceivable Curry would immediately begin scrimmaging, with a possible return a few days later. The Warriors have 27 games remaining and after March 1st that number drops to 21. Their final 20 begin with a four-game homestand from March 5th to March 12th and, assuming there are no setbacks, it’s likely that Curry will return during that stretch. Make sure that he is not available in any leagues as he could be the difference-maker during this year’s fantasy playoffs.

    Source: Monte Poole on Twitter

  • Andre Drummond
    C, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Greg Swartz of BleacherReport is reporting that Andre Drummond’s stay in Cleveland could be short, as, according to a former NBA general manager, the Cavs could move their new center this summer.

    Cleveland put together one of the most bizarre trade deadlines in recent memory by trading for Drummond and holding on to Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. Drummond somewhat fits agewise with the Cavs’ young core of Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr., but his contract status is still up in the air as he has a $28.8 million player option for the 2020-21 season. Drummond seems to be a safe play on fantasy for the rest of the year, even after the expected coaching change, but his status beyond that seems to be up in the air.

    Source: Bleacher Report

  • Mitchell Robinson
    C, New York Knicks

    Villanova coach Jay Wright has no interest in the Knicks, as reported on Monday, but Tom Thibodeau very much would like to coach at the Garden, according to Marc Berman of the NY Post.

    Thibodeau’s reputation took a hit after he was fired last season during his third year in Minnesota, even after he took the Wolves to the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. He reportedly did not connect with the young players, practicing them too hard and being too vocal on the bench. Thibs has ties with the Knicks, as he was a former assistant, and it’s likely that he gets an interview in the upcoming months but it remains to be seen what kind of roster the Knicks try to assemble for next year.

    Source: NY Post

  • Jeremy Pargo
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    Guards Jeremy Pargo and Zach Norvell Jr. will not re-sign with the Warriors after their 10-day contracts ended on Tuesday.

    “I know we have a list of players we’d like to take a look at,” Steve Kerr said. It seems that the Warriors will take the time to evaluate more guys in the upcoming weeks making it hard to count on any players they bring in. In three games with the Warriors, Norvell averaged just 3.3 points on 27.3 percent shooting. Pargo meanwhile had a nice showing with the team and it’s not out of question that another franchise takes a look at him.

    Source: San Francisco Chronicle

  • Maurice Harkless
    SF, New York Knicks

    During an appearance on ESPN, Sam Amick of The Athletic said on Tuesday that the Lakers are monitoring Maurice Harkless' situation in the event that the Knicks part with him.

    The Lakers missed out on Reggie Jackson but they are still looking to add more firepower ahead of the playoffs. Harkless could give them more defensive versatility but it remains unclear whether New York is willing to let him walk. Regardless, it’s unlikely he has much fantasy value even if he lands with the Lakers.

    Source: Sam Amick of The Athletic

  • John Beilein
    , Cleveland Cavaliers

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski, John Beilein is leaving as the Cavs’ coach and J.B. Bickerstaff will be elevated to head coach.

    It’s still not official, but once Woj says it’s happening, it’s happening. A shake-up is likely to be a great thing for this roster that contains at least a few unhappy star players in Kevin Love and Andre Drummond. Be ready to act on any significant role changes that come with this move. For example, will Larry Nance Jr. and/or Kevin Porter Jr. take on expanded roles?

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    Terry Rozier (left knee soreness) practiced in full on Tuesday.

    Rozier missed the Hornet's final game heading into the All-Star break, but it wasn't considered to be a long-term concern. Feel free to get Rozier back into all lineups ahead of Thursday's game against the Bulls.

    Source: Rod Boone on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Coach Terry Stotts said that he wouldn't put a timetable on when star point guard Damian Lillard (right groin strain) would return, but he is expected to be re-evaluated on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Lillard was given a timetable of 1-2 weeks last Wednesday, as the All-Star break came at an ideal time. Lillard has a shot to avoid any missed time if his re-evaluation shows progress, but owners should prepare for a scenario in which he misses a handful of games. The Blazers have five games remaining in February.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • Dario Saric
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    The Suns expect Dario Saric (left ankle) to be available to play against the Raptors on Friday.

    James Jones said that he expects everyone outside ok Frank Kaminsky to be available for Friday's game, meaning Tyler Johnson will be out there as well. While Saric has been out, Mikal Bridges has seen his role expand while Kelly Oubre Jr. has played a lot of PF. Keep an eye on how the rotation shakes out now that the Suns are healthy shakes out.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter