• Hello! Welcome to This Week Tonight. It’s Christmas time in the NBA and I’m here to bring you a couple pickups as gifts as well as hit some of the back-to-back rest situations for the week and talk injuries and tough plays for you weekly folk. This is a condensed week for NBA teams as there will be no games on Christmas Eve and there will only be a five game slate on Christmas day. By the way there’s a huge Christmas Day game that involved the Cavs and the Warriors, I’d highly recommend flipping that one on. On to the analysis!

    4 Games: BOS, CHI, CLE, GSW, LAC, LAL, MIN, OKC, SAS


    2 Games: CHA, PHI, TOR

    The Back-to-back Watch:

    The Spurs play four games this week and have two games between Thursday and Friday. The Spurs also seem to get particular pleasure in resting players in nationally televised Thursday night games, so owners should definitely be aware of it heading into the week.

    The Pelicans play three this week and have their back-to-back on Tuesday/Wednesday. Anytime the Pels play two in a row Anthony Davis becomes a risk for rest, as does Jrue Holiday. Tyreke Evans will surely sit one of the games.

    The Cavs play Tuesday and Wednesday and all their stars will be question marks for at least one of those games. They did rest players recently however.

    Many teams play a back to back between Thursday and Friday due to the shortened schedule this week, be sure to keep and eye on the Hoop-ball wire for updates the night of. All NBA teams have Saturday off for Christmas Eve.

    Top Pickups for the Week: 

    Dorian Finney-Smith – He’s been rock with averages of 10.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals, .8 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers per game over his last five played. He’s getting consistently good minutes and Dirk Nowitzki is without a time table to return for the moment.

    Jon Leuer – I’ve pumped him before for his consistent low end value but with a shakeup coming to the starting lineup Leuer could have an opportunity to see more minutes and production. He’s already been the 91st best player in nine category leagues this year so he may (and should) have already been owned, but jump on him in case you’ve been missing out.

    If for any reason T.J. Warren or Gary Harris are not owned in your league you should run the wire to acquire them.

    Tough Play of the Week: 

    Rudy Gay (hip) – He’s listed as day-to-day but is no lock to play the Kings game against Portland on Tuesday. The Kings also play on a back-to-back Tuesday and Wednesday so that further complicates matters as they will likely choose to be cautious with him in that scenario. So you’re realistically looking at two games for Gay on a short week. That’s not ideal but he’s likely one of your better players at this point so he should be in consideration for weekly lineups still. Just be careful.

    Injury Updates: 

    Clint Capela exited Saturday’s game with bruise when Karl Anthony-Towns collided with him. It doesn’t sound serious but at this point there has been no update on his status.

    Taj Gibson (hip) played Sunday and doesn’t look like he’ll have an issue going forward.

    Jameer Nelson (jaw) was a full go for Sunday’s practice and will play on Monday.

    Jon Leuer (back spasms) was out of the lineup on Saturday, it’s not known if this will be a continuing issue but is likely minor.

    Monta Ellis (groin) is already listed as out for Monday’s game against the Wizards.

    Rodney Stuckey (hamstring) is also a scratch for Monday’s game which means Glen Robinson III will likely play large minutes.

    Chandler Parsons (knee) was ruled out far in advance of the Grizzlies game against the Jazz on Sunday and he’s likely to be a non-factor for awhile.

    Dion Waiters (groin) said he’ll likely feel discomfort in his groin all season but hopes to avoid off season surgery. That’s never an encouraging sign.

    Anthony Davis (leg) played on Sunday against the Spurs and looks good to go for now.

    Tyreke Evans (knee) has returned to the court but will be on a minutes limit for the foreseeable future.

    Derrick Rose is still listed as day-to-day with his back injury but is reportedly feeling better.

    Victor Oladipo has a sprained right wrist and missed practice, he’s probably not going to play this week but may not be out much longer than that.

    Al-Farouq Aminu (back) did not play Sunday and cannot seem to stay healthy this year. He’s day-to-day.

    George Hill (sprained toe) is said to be “week-to-week” according to coach Dan Snyder.

    Kelly Oubre suffered a concussion and did not play Sunday but is traveling with the team.

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