NBA Player News
Tiago Splitter (hip) has been ruled out for Friday's game against the Grizzlies, the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Chris Vivlamore reports.
This will be his third straight missed game with the hip issue. Al Horford and Mike Muscala will have to manage the heavy lifting at center with Splitter out Friday. His next opportunity to play will be Saturday in San Antonio.
Joffrey Lauvergne (back) practice fully with no setbacks Thursday, the Denver Post's Chris Dempsey reports.
He is without a timetable to return to game action, but it sounds like Lauvergne could play in games either this weekend or next week. If that ends up being the case, he makes for an excellent play in most formats, as Kenneth Faried and Jusuf Nurkic are both out with injuries.
Johnny O'Bryant (coach's decision) didn't see the court in Wednesday's loss to the Kings.
Coach Jason Kidd has typically ran larger rotations throughout the season, but he only elected to use 10 men Wednesday, with Chris Copeland (eight minutes) seemingly getting the call over O'Bryant. It's the first time this season that O'Bryant failed to play, and though he figures to make an appearance more often than not, he'll have a difficult time seeing more than 10 minutes on any occasion now that Jabari Parker seems to be reasonably healthy.
Willie Cauley-Stein recorded seven points (3-4 FG, 1-2 FT), five rebounds, and three blocks over 23 minutes in Wednesday's win over the Bucks.
Cauley-Stein had seen his minutes decline in the Sacramento Kings ' previous two games, but with DeMarcus Cousins (back) sidelined Wednesday, coach George Karl had no choice but to loosen the leash on the rookie. To Cauley-Stein's credit, he didn't disappoint, as the 7-foot-1 center used his exceptional length to limit the productivity of the Bucks' frontcourt starters (Jabari Parker and Greg Monroe), while avoiding the foul trouble that has continued to plague him. All of Cauley-Stein, Kosta Koufos, and Omri Casspi saw more than 20-plus minutes Wednesday, and that should remain the case for the duration of Cousins' absence.
Kosta Koufos played a season-high 35 minutes in Wednesday's win over the Bucks, finishing with 14 points (5-8 FG, 4-4 FT), nine rebounds, two blocks, and a steal.
With DeMarcus Cousins (back) unavailable, Koufos unsurprisingly saw more than 10 minutes above his average for the season, as coach George Karl elected to utilize an eight-man rotation. Even before Cousins' absence, Koufos' arrow had been going up, as he had averaged 10.3 points (on 51.5 percent shooting), 6.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks over his previous four games.
Rudy Gobert (tailbone) logged 38 minutes Wednesday against the Clippers and posted 10 points (4-4 FG, 2-4 FT), 11 rebounds, two steals, two blocks, and one assist.
Gobert was dealing with a bruised tailbone but ultimately was able to make it on the court. He didn't appear to be too limited, considering he logged 38 minutes and posted a double-double. That being said, owners shouldn't worry too much about his status moving forward.
Alex Len started for the ill Tyson Chandler Wednesday against the Pelicans and posted two points (1-2 FG, 0-1 FT), eight rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in 16 minutes.
Chandler was a late scratch on Wednesday, so it's unlikely that Len will stay in the starting lineup for long. That being said, Len didn't exactly capitalize on the opportunity, as he played just 16 minutes compared to teammate Jon Leuer (25 minutes, 20 points). Len hasn't had enough opportunities, nor has he demonstrated enough consistency to be worth thinking about most formats.
JaVale McGee came back from a DNP-CD Wednesday against the Spurs to log his second game of the season, posting nine points (4-8 FG, 1-2 FT) and six rebounds in 16 minutes.
McGee seems to be on track to getting into game shape after sustaining several injury-ridden seasons over the past years. He used to be an elite shot-blocker with dynamic dunking ability, but he has yet to log a single block in his first two games so far. It could be worth a gamble to pick him up in deep formats, but given his inconsistency, injury record, and overall recklessness on the court, he's a far cry from a trustworthy fantasy player.
Andrea Bargnani posted 13 points (6-12 FG, 1-1 FT), two rebounds, and one block in 16 minutes Wednesday against the Thunder.
Bargnani has now put up two consecutive double-digit scoring outings, but hasn't shown enough consistency this season to be worth thinking about from a fantasy perspective. He's limited to a bench role playing under 15 minutes a game, and adding insult to injury is the fact that he's historically struggled to stay healthy. In other words, in spite of his recent uptick in scoring, he can be safely ignored from a fantasy perspective.
Karl-Anthony Towns matched a season-low six points (3-6 FG) to go with six rebounds, one assist, and one block in 22 minutes Wednesday against the Hawks.
Towns had his second consecutive game scoring six points, and it is very uncharacteristic of him based on his performance over the past month. He wasn't struggling with foul trouble, nor did he appear to be hobbled up by any ailment, so it could be that he hit a mini-rookie wall of some sort. He's still contributing blocks when he isn't scoring, but Towns will definitely need to find his touch soon if he wants to get back to playing roughly 30 minutes a night.