February 23, 2018, 11:17 pm
The anticipation over the NBA returning and the Wolves’ march to the playoffs was palpable. A big road game against the Rockets to kick things off made things a little more enticing.
The excitement built when the Wolves came out and took control of the first quarter. The offense came right out without a hint of rust and the defense was holding their own, suppressing the Rockets’ 3-point attack. After the first the Wolves led 32-26.
From there the Rockets began to climb back a bit and the teams went back and forth, with the Rockets leading by only two points at halftime. It was shaping up to be a close contest.
In the third all the excitement, all the goodwill, all the energy was mercilessly punched out of the Wolves after Jimmy Butler went down with an apparent knee injury. It wasn’t a gruesome injury, one of those weird plays where guys go down with minimal contact. Unfortunately those ones are usually the worst.
For a guy like Jimmy, he’s not going down like that just for a stinger.
Tough to say what happened, definitely some contact down there. Knee? Ankle? pic.twitter.com/x1MN4XUscx
— Kevin Brand (@KBranded) February 24, 2018
The teams played on momentarily after Butler went down, but it was quickly apparent that something was seriously wrong with Butler. Chris Paul went on the court and encouraged Butler to stay down and avoid making things worse.
Chris Paul offers advice to Jimmy to stay down pic.twitter.com/0tGkH6ANwe
— Kevin Brand (@KBranded) February 24, 2018
It was initially tough to tell what exactly was wrong but eventually it looked like they were isolating his knee. With the non-contact nature around the knee, the first worry is an ACL tear. That would obviously be a devastating blow.
When they were able to get Jimmy up and off the floor, it seemed like he said “it’s torn,” referring presumably to his knee. He did not return to the game.
Looks like Jimmy mumbles something at the end…. "it's torn?" pic.twitter.com/cySjXcwMLH
— Kevin Brand (@KBranded) February 24, 2018
No word has come out, other than x-ray results. They were negative, but an x-ray can’t detect an ACL tear, only bone damage to the knee. It’s a minor victory that at least there’s no further damage, but an MRI tomorrow will determine the full severity.
Until then, the Wolves can only hope for the best.
The Wolves were down by 11 at the time of the injury and were unable to mount a comeback, losing 120-102.
Wiggins was the leading scorer with 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting, with four rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers. If Butler is out, Wiggins will be thrust into a much larger role again, along with Karl-Anthony Towns.
Towns finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, one block and one 3-pointer. He shot 6-of-15 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the line.
Jeff Teague scored 18 points with four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
In a worst-case scenario, that being Butler having a torn ACL, the Wolves could be in serious trouble. Offensively they will perhaps take a small step back, though they still have a ton of talent to make up for it. Defensively there is no chance for improvement, and depending who steps into the lineup in Butler’s place, the defense will mightily regress.
The Wolves are currently 3.5 games from falling completely out of the playoffs, so there is little margin for error. Even if this happens to be a short-term injury for Butler, the Wolves have an extremely tough schedule ahead.
Eight of their next 10 games are against opponents over .500, including Golden State, Boston and Houston.
Simply put, this injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Wolves. Further updates will be provided, but for now it’s safe to assume Butler will be out tomorrow night against the Bulls.
July 6, 2020, 11:30 pmDwight HowardC, Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard has decided to play for the resumption of the season in July.
His status was up in the air at first, but he has now decided to play. This was a big redemption year for Howard and it's his best shot at a title since he was on the Orlando Magic so it isn't surprising to see him take advantage of this opportunity.
Source: Shams on Twitter
July 6, 2020, 11:23 pmKyrie IrvingPG, Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie Irving's 2019-20 was marred by injuries, limiting him to play just 20 games, but the guard still impressed based on per-game averages, ending the season ranked 6/5 in 8/9-cat scoring formats.
Irving came into 2019-20 with chip on his shoulder, failing to deliver as a leader for the Celtics, both on and off the court. Unfortunately, a myriad of injuries kept him on the sidelines for majority of the season. Out of all them, it was his nagging right shoulder injury that was his biggest bane. It even forced him to undergo season-ending arthroscopic surgery to address it. That said, expect that aforementioned chip on his shoulder to still be there next season. We should see more of his improved production from 2019-20 with averages of 27.8 PPG, 2.8 3PG, 5.2 RPG and 6.4 APG on a new career-high shooting of 47.8 percent from the field. Both he and Kevin Durant will be big question marks for the 2020-21, especially when it comes to their health history.
July 6, 2020, 11:08 pmJoe HarrisSF, Brooklyn Nets
Joe Harris had a solid fourth year as a pro in 2019-20, averaging 13.9 PPG, 2.4 3PG and 2.1 RPG on .471 shooting from the field, to finish the season with ranked at 137/140 in 8/9-cat per game value.
Harris saw a slight slide from his 2018-19 production, but it wasn't too bad as he still was able to be a standard-league value player, thanks to his efficient shooting percentages from the field and the line and his respectable 1.5 turnovers per game. Harris remains one of the league's best sources of 3-point shooting without putting fantasy teams' field goal percentage at risk. His role should remain steady in 2020-21, though he could slide below the 30-minute per game mark.
July 6, 2020, 10:27 pmTaurean PrinceSF, Brooklyn Nets
A trade to the Nets in 2019-20 allowed Taurean Prince to bounce back from a disappointing 2018-19 campaign and provide top-150/178 in 8/9-cat per game value.
It wasn't all popcorn and cotton candy for Prince, who, despite being handed the starting PF job, failed to take full advantage of his opportunity to shine. He struggled with a lack of consistency and struggled with his shot, hitting at a dismal .376 clip from the field. In his 29.0 minutes per game, Prince was able to post averages of 12.1 PPG, 2.3 3PG, 6.0 RPG and 0.9 SPG. Sadly, the eventual return of Kevin Durant will surely dampen Prince's outlook for the 2020-21 season.
July 6, 2020, 10:01 pmGarrett TempleSG, Brooklyn Nets
Thanks to his 186/177 8/9-cat per game value and 186/176 value by totals, Garrett Temple was one of the better streaming options in fantasy in 2019-20.
Temple proved to be a sneaky option for many fantasy teams, averaging 28.1 minutes per game and delivering a diverse stat line. He was able to offer up averages of 10.3 points, 2.0 3s, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 0.8 steals per game. It wasn't all good though, as Temple did hurt teams' field goal percentages with .378 shooting from the field on 9.5 attempts per game. At 34 years of age, this was likely a brave late-career hurrah for the veteran, who should see his role slightly diminished once the Nets are all healthy and playing steady minutes.
July 6, 2020, 9:43 pmSpencer DinwiddiePG, Brooklyn Nets
Spencer Dinwiddie averaged 20.6 points, 1.9 3s, 3.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.3 blocks in 64 games for 93/155 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.
Dinwiddie brought the volume again and benefited from extra playing time with injuries either to Kyrie Irving or Caris Levert. The Nets had trouble finding any consistency from their starting guards in terms of health and we've seen this movie before, Dinwiddie to the rescue. He was far from efficient but you can't find 20 & 7 late in your drafts so he provided a big boost for owners this year. Next year will be a tougher sell for Dinwiddie. He also tested positive for COVID-19 this past week, which means his status for playing during the resumption of the year is in question.
July 6, 2020, 9:40 pmJarrett AllenC, Brooklyn Nets
Jarrett Allen averaged 10.6 points, 9.5 boards, 1.3 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.3 blocks in 64 games for 114/95 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.
Allen showed a lot of promise in his rookie year only to have the wet blanket of the DeAndre Jordan signing to ruin things in fantasy land. With Jordan opting to sit out the resumption of the season, we'll see a lot more Allen at center which is a good thing for everyone.
July 6, 2020, 9:39 pmRodions KurucsPF, Brooklyn Nets
Nets forward Rodions Kurucs saw averages of 4.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.6 threes and 0.4 steals per game on .448 shooting from the field to finish just inside the top-400 in 8/9-cat per-game value.
Kurucs' season was, for the most part, largely unmemorable, highlighted by a 19-point career-high game. He provided the Nets with depth at the forward position but in just 12.8 minutes pr game, Kurucs was unable to properly make an impact in the box scores. With Kevin Durant expected to be ready to play in 2020-21, don't expect on Kurucs to be able to build too much on what he's managed to put up in his humble pro resume.
July 6, 2020, 9:38 pmDeAndre JordanC, Brooklyn Nets
DeAndre Jordan averaged 8.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.9 blocks on .666 shooting for 130/124 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.
Jordan signing with the Nets was an immediate nail in the coffin for Jarret Allen to have any chance at increasing his workload and it resulted in two mediocre fantasy seasons. The double-digit rebounds are nice, but outside of that, Jordan provided little else as the field goal percentage wasn't as good as it seemed because he only averaged 8.3 points a night. He'll sit out the resumption which is going to be a theme for older players in non-contending teams.
July 6, 2020, 9:36 pmCaris LeVertPG-SG, Brooklyn Nets
Caris LeVert finished the year averaging 17.7 points, 1.8 3s, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.2 blocks for 132/182 value in 8/9-cat leagues on a per-game basis.
LeVert had injury troubles as well this year (a common theme for the Nets) but he was able to cap off his season with a strong run as one of their primary playmakers. The counting stats are there, but the efficiency wasn't, but that's usually the case with players returning from injury. It's hard to see him keeping up the development as long as Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie handle the ball, but with the resumption throwing things off the rails, we might see some big LeVert games this summer.