August 10, 2020, 10:05 amTrey BurkePG, Dallas Mavericks
Trey Burke has found the optimal fit for his game since reuniting with Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks.
Burke was signed just before the restart as a replacement for Willie Cauley-Stein, and the Mavs have been delighted with the production he has given them in Orlando. “Trey has been terrific,” Rick Carlisle said. “He is enthusiastic, he has improved defensively, and you know he can score the ball down the stretch….I’m really impressed with how he’s really evolved his game the last couple of years.” Right out of the gate Burke dropped 31 points in Dallas' first resumption game and although the numbers have come back down to earth since then, he has been a viable backup point guard with Seth Curry sidelined. He has averaged 13 points, three assists, two 3-pointers and one steal in the bubble.
Source: Dwain Price for Mavs.com
August 6, 2020, 11:48 amBuddy HieldSG, Sacramento Kings
Luke Walton is showing confidence in Buddy Hield as he will continue to be the focal point of the Kings' second unit amidst his shooting struggles.
In the three games since the restart, Hield is averaging 13 points on 33% shooting from the field, and 28% from deep. He has turned it over 10 times in the three losses, while averaging only 23.5 minutes per game off the bench. “With Buddy, there is going to be some wild plays, but it’s also what makes him great,” Walton said of Hield's erratic play. “In his mind, he’s not afraid of anything. So you’ve got to live with some of it.” Hield showed what he is capable of Tuesday, scoring 21 points, with five 3-pointers (on 14 attempts) in 31 minutes of game time. The Kings are currently three games back of the 8-seed and will need Buddy to step up and make a significant contribution if they have any plans of making the play-in game.
Source: James Ham for NBC Sports
August 6, 2020, 8:40 amMoritz WagnerPF, Washington Wizards
Moritz Wagner has no impact in Wednesday's loss to Sixers, scoring five points and grabbing three boards in 17 minutes.
Wagner has been virtually non-existent since the restart, averaging 3.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game. He has struggled with his game on both ends of the court and has only shot 31% from the floor in Orlando, and was one of the worst players on the floor Wednesday, racking up a game-low minus-17 plus-minus.
August 6, 2020, 8:27 amLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
After a few tough outings Frank Vogel stated that the Lakers are looking into a personnel change.
The Lakers are 2-2 since the NBA restart and have locked up the No.1 seed in the West but have continued to struggle, by their standards, in the bubble. While in Orlando, the team is shooting a league-worst 25% from deep and have not been able to get easy transition buckets. Getting out on the fast break is where this team thrived in the regular season, averaging 18.8 fast break points per game. In their losses to Toronto and Oklahoma City they had a combined 13 transition points. Vogel blames the uptick in fouls called by officials for his team slowing the pace saying, “We tried to play with pace early, but we fouled.” After Wednesday's loss to the Thunder an irritated Vogel had this to say about his team, “Part of what we’re learning is some things are not working,” he said. “Obviously, when something is not working, you change the personnel or change the way you’re using them. That’s what we’re looking at right now.” The team's usual starting lineup has played a combined 294 minutes in Orlando and has been outscored by 13 points in that time, so maybe Vogel is on to something. While the team could just be putting it in cruise control as they head into the playoffs it will be interesting to see if they can flip the switch when the games matter again.
Source: Anthony Slater for The Athletic
August 6, 2020, 8:03 amDanny GreenSG, Los Angeles Lakers
Danny Green continued his rough shooting stretch scoring nine points, making only two of his seven attempts from deep, in Wednesday's loss to Oklahoma City.
The Lakers as a team have struggled from deep since the restart, shooting a league-worst 25% from deep while in the bubble. Green, who shot 37% from 3-point range prior to the restart, went 2-of-7 Wednesday, increasing his 3P% over the last four games to a measly 20%. Green's three-and-D capabilities on the wing are important to the Lakers' success but if he continues to shoot like this Frank Vogel may have to cut Green's minutes, similar to how Nick Nurse did in last year's Eastern Conference Finals. Green is a streaky shooter so these types of runs happen but we know LA would like him to snap out of it sooner rather than later.
Source: Anthony Slater for The Athletic
August 6, 2020, 7:51 amJustin AndersonSF, Brooklyn Nets
Justin Anderson praised his former G league coaches for having him prepared for the NBA Restart.
Anderson has already logged more minutes for Brooklyn in the bubble than he did during the regular season. After three appearances in January where he averaged 1.0 points in just over five minutes a night he has earned a larger role with the depleted Nets and has averaged 5.6 points and 3.0 rebounds in three appearances since the restart. “Major credit to Ronnie Burrell who was my G League assistant, helped keep me ready, Shaun Fein as well, those guys down there encouraging me”, said Anderson, who hit three 3-point shots in Brooklyn’s shocking win over Milwaukee on Tuesday. With such a thin roster, Anderson should be able to keep a bench role throughout the remainder of the seeding games and the duration of the Nets playoff run.
July 31, 2020, 10:01 pmMarco BelinelliSG, San Antonio Spurs
Spurs guard Marco Belinelli (left ankle sprain) injured his ankle on Friday against the Kings and has been ruled out for the rest of the game.
Belinelli sprained his ankle a third of the way into the third quarter and was deemed unable to return by the Spurs' medical staff. An update on his status should come shortly after the game. None of the teams in the NBA bubble at Disney World want to lose players for any reason, whether it's COVID-19 or otherwise.
Source: Evan Closky on Twitter
July 30, 2020, 11:55 amAlex LenC, Sacramento Kings
Alex Len (COVID/conditioning) has been ruled out for Friday’s game.
Luke Walton was “hopeful” Len would be able to take the court Friday after multiple negative COVID-19 test results, but the big man will not be ready to go. Richaun Holmes will play without a minutes restriction and is expected to eat up some of the extra minutes in Len’s absence. Harrison Barnes, who has been recovering from coronavirus, has been fully cleared and will also play without a minutes restriction.
Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter
July 30, 2020, 11:44 amPatrick BeverleyPG, Los Angeles Clippers
Previously expected to be out, Patrick Beverley (self-isolating) has since been upgraded to questionable for Thursday’s game.
Beverley had been away from the bubble for a family emergency and had been self-isolating since returning to the team earlier this week. Doc Rivers originally claimed Beverley was a “maybe” to play tonight and although it was previously stated he was out, he has since been upgraded to questionable as he joined his teammates on the court for shootaround this morning. With Lou Williams not able to suit up tonight the return of Beverley would be a significant upgrade to the backcourt rotation. Expect an official ruling on his status later in the day.
Source: Mark Medina on Twitter
July 30, 2020, 11:04 amZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson joined his teammates in their morning shootaround prior to Thursday's game against the Jazz.
Williamson had previously been away from the team attending to a family matter and is currently working his way back into game shape. The Pelicans are being cautious with their rookie sensation and are easing him back into the fold slowly. He still remains a game-time decision for tonight's game but seeing him on the floor this morning is a positive sign.
Source: Joe Vardon on Twitter
July 30, 2020, 10:26 amJalen LecquePG, Phoenix Suns
Jalen Lecque joined the rest of his teammates in Orlando before they return to action on Friday.
Lecque spent most of this season in the G League and only made four appearances for Phoenix throughout the year. He will have to quarantine before joining his teammates and his status for Friday's matchup against Washington is unknown. His return to the team puts the Suns' 15-man roster at full capacity heading into the final eight regular season games.
Source: Duane Rankin on Twitter
July 28, 2020, 10:46 pmMontrezl HarrellPF, Los Angeles Clippers
Montrezl Harrell remains away from the NBA bubble in Orlando due to private personal matter and will not be present for the Clippers' first seeding game on Thursday evening vs. the Lakers.
Harrell left his teammates last week, citing an emergency family matter, and has yet to announce when he expects to return to Orlando, according to Yahoo's Chris Haynes. A Sixth Man of the Year candidate, Harrell has averaged 18.6 points, 7.1 boards and 1.1 blocks per game thus far in 2019-20 for the Clippers. As we all know, he must quarantine for two days upon returning to the bubble as well as post consecutive tests for COVID-19. Harrell has tested negative each day he has been away from Disney World, which is vital in terms of limiting his self-isolation period upon his return. All we know for now, though, is that Harrell won't be participating in the Clippers' first seeding game against the Lakers.
Source: Yahoo! Sports
July 28, 2020, 10:35 pmEric GordonSG, Houston Rockets
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Rockets guard Eric Gordon (left ankle) received an X-ray on his left ankle on Tuesday and the results came back negative.
The Rockets don't want to lose anyone for any amount of time, so this is obviously a good sign. They plan on taking it slow with Gordon and will wait to see how his ankle responds in the coming days.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
July 28, 2020, 10:11 pmEric GordonSG, Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon (left ankle) won't return to Tuesday's scrimmage against the Celtics after seemingly rolling his ankle.
Gordon was in 'a good deal of pain' and had to be helped off the court. He was reportedly headed for X-rays immediately after sustaining the injury. The Rockets can ill afford to lose depth at any position and Gordon's ability to knock down the three-pointer with consistency helps space the floor for the Rockets. Earlier in the game, fellow guard Danuel House Jr. was shaken up in a collision but was able to continue. Gordon's status should be updated after the game or tomorrow when the results of the X-ray are revealed.
Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter
July 28, 2020, 9:43 pmHamidou DialloSG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Hamidou Diallo had a nice stat line in the Thunder's scrimmage vs. the Blazers on Tuesday, finishing with 16 points, five rebounds, three steals and a 3-pointer in 21 minutes of action.
Diallo has struggled with injuries over the last calendar year but has been solidly in the Thunder rotation when healthy. He's going to have to hit threes with more consistency than has thus far in 2019-20 (just 20 percent from deep in 18 minutes per game) to be a factor in seeding games or into the playoffs for his team. The Thunder's first seeding game is on Saturday (vs. the Jazz) and it will be interesting to see how coach Billy Donovan decides to use Diallo from the outset. He has the ability to be a little more than just an option off the bench with his athleticism and flair for the dramatic.