• The Timberwolves were able to hang on against the Jazz and now look ahead to a Sunday night matchup with the Thunder, who are no longer just Russell Westbrook and company.

    This offseason the Thunder were able to add Paul George and Carmelo Anthony alongside Westbrook to form a formidable trio. They’re going through similar growing pains as the Wolves right now, trying to fit their new marquee additions into the offense. After blowing out the Knicks on Thursday, the Thunder lost to the Jazz last night, scoring only 87 points.

    It’s still a bit early to tell the way the new team plays together, but last season with Westbrook driving the team, they tended towards a fast paced offense and let Westbrook beat guys in isolation in half court sets. Adding Melo and George gives them more weapons in the half court offense, perhaps to balance things out.

    Melo is a great post option and would make an interesting partner to Westbrook in the two-man game, should they ever explore that avenue, with George always ready on the perimeter for a kick out.

    The Thunder sent most of their depth away in offseason trades, but Steven Adams and Andre Roberson are still around and are asked to defend first and foremost. Neither player is a huge factor on offense, and gather most of their points around the rim.

    The Wolves are looking to build on their last game, a 100-97 win against the Jazz. In that game there were signs of the offense finding a groove, but it still remains a work in progress. The bench showed the most firepower against the Jazz, and it’s possible they will have to carry the offense again versus a thin Thunder bench.

    It might be another quiet night offensively for Jimmy Butler as he’s expected to have his hands full guarding Westbrook, while being shadowed by Roberson on the other end. Butler certainly won’t back down from the challenge though.

    Karl-Anthony Towns will look to extend his double-double streak to three games against Steven Adams.

    Defensively, the most important factor will be getting back in transition and slowing things down, forcing the Thunder into half court offense.

    Key Matchups:

    – Butler vs. Westbrook

    – Wiggins vs. George

    Despite adding two star players to the roster, Westbrook is still the engine that drives the Thunder. It’s nearly impossible to stop Westbrook because he will always be in attack mode, whether his team is up 20 or down 20. Butler can make life hard for him though, and force Westbrook into mistakes. It’s about the best you can ask for.

    Westbrook is also coming off a six-point, 2-of-11 shooting affair, so he’s likely to come out even more active than usual (if that’s somehow possible).

    It’s unlikely Westbrook will guard Butler on the other side because that’s what they pay Roberson to do. At the same time, the Wolves brought Butler in for nights like tonight to guard the opposing team’s best player and be a big factor in the offense. Don’t look for any excuses from him.

    Meanwhile, Wiggins will have the challenge of sticking with George on the wing. This is going to be Wiggins’ greatest assignment yet this season. He’s been up and down on defense so far, but the Wolves will need him to be at his best tonight.

    Starting Lineups:

    Jeff Teague

    Jimmy Butler

    Andrew Wiggins

    Taj Gibson

    Karl-Anthony Towns

    vs.

    Russell Westbrook

    Andre Roberson

    Paul George

    Carmelo Anthony

    Steven Adams

    Injury Report:

    Justin Patton (foot) – OUT

    Where to Watch:

    7:00 ET/6:00 CT on Fox Sports North (Minnesota)

Fantasy News

  • Dwight Howard - C - Washington Wizards

    Dwight Howard will return to Washington D.C. and start on-court work on Wednesday.

    Dwight has been recovering from November spine surgery, and it's good to see him progressing. He's still a few steps away from playing, and with the injuries he's been dealing with this season, it's hard to see him being useful outside of deep free throw punt teams. More likely, the greatest impact he'll have is eventually taking a few minutes from Thomas Bryant and Bobby Portis.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Henry Ellenson - F - New York Knicks

    Henry Ellenson plans to sign a 10-day contract with the Knicks.

    Ellenson has shown promise at times, but he has never really put together any fantasy-relevant stretches. Leave him on the wire for now, but it's not impossible to imagine a scenario where the tanking Knicks are missing or sitting a couple bigs, giving Ellenson some decent run.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    Clint Capela (thumb) returned to practice on Tuesday with no limitations, which could determine his playing status for Thursday's game against the Lakers.

    Capela underwent surgery on January 17 and was initially given a 4-to-6 week timetable, so this would be at the early end of a return. The fact that he is returning to practice without any limitations is a great sign for owners, meaning a return is imminent. Watch out for the Rockets injury report on Wednesday.

    Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter

  • Jodie Meeks - G - Toronto Raptors

    Jodie Meeks is signing a 10-day contract with the Raptors, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Meeks was waived by the Bucks following the conclusion of his 25-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug program. He hasn't played since last season with Washington and is unlikely to see much action with Toronto. He'll give the team some extra shooting when he does see the floor.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Jared Dudley - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Jared Dudley (left hamstring strain) was scheduled to be re-evaluated on Tuesday.

    Dudley has already made it known that he's planning to return right out of the All-Star break, so unless today's checkup revealed some kind of further issue we're expecting him to be ready for Brooklyn's two games this week. His biggest fantasy impact will be taking minutes from more intriguing players.

    Source: Greg Logan on Twitter

  • Caris LeVert - G - Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert will undergo an evaluation from the Nets medical staff on Tuesday.

    There's no sign of any setbacks from LeVert but the team will obviously keep a close eye on him after he's returned from a dislocated foot. This shouldn't be anything more than routine maintenance, so fantasy owners don't need to worry about it.

    Source: Greg Logan on Twitter

  • Ray Spalding - F - Phoenix Suns

    The Suns are expected to sign Ray Spalding to a 10-day contract.

    Spalding was the 56th pick in last summer's draft but only appeared in one NBA game this season with the Mavs. He was waived at the trade deadline with Dallas taking on one more player than they sent away, and will look to make an impression in a crowded Phoenix rotation. His college numbers (12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.7 blocks in 27.7 minutes per game) make him a name to file away in deep dynasty leagues.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • MarShon Brooks - G - Chicago Bulls

    Marshon Brooks has agreed to terms with the Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Sportando.

    Brooks played 29 games for the Grizzlies this season averaging 6.6 points and he is expected to replace Malcolm Delaney. Leave him on the waiver wire.

    Source: Sportando

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks

    Mark Cuban said that Kristaps Porzingis won't play this season, even if the Mavs somehow are able to make the playoffs.

    The Mavs want to put their world-class training staff, led by Casey Smith, to work, strengthening Porzingis’ body the rest of this season and throughout the summer to hopefully prevent similar injuries in the future. And after all, given the amount of money the Mavs could be committing to KP this summer, a max salary of $158 million, there is no need to risk something happening to him in a season where making the playoffs seems unlikely. Kristaps remains a great stash in redraft leagues.

    Source: 247sports.com

  • LeBron James - F - Los Angeles Lakers

    Joe Vardon of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers are "somehow a little concerned" about LeBron James.

    LeBron hasn’t been showing the same speed or overall movement lately and the team is concerned that he’s not fully recovered from the groin injury that cost him to miss a career-high 18 games. The Lakers are in the 10th place in the Western Conference, three games behind the Clippers for the eighth and final playoff spot and they will need LeBron to be healthy for the rest of the season. James is averaging 26.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 35 minutes per game, while his shooting percentage (51 percent), 3-point percentage (35 percent) and free-throw percentage (68 percent) are all down from last season. He is still returning borderline top-15 value in standard leagues and owners can only hope he doesn’t suffer a setback.

    Source: The Athletic