Sunday, December 21st, 2014
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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Sunday, December 21st, 2014

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Derrick Rose (illness) expects to play Monday 12-21-2014
Derrick Rose G CHI
Derrick Rose (illness) said barring any setbacks, he intends to play Monday vs. the Raptors.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
"I'm feeling a lot better. Getting my energy back. Just fatigued the last couple of days," said Rose. Considering he's just dealing with an illness, and he's currently on the mend, a "setback" isn't something that's very likely. His return would send Kirk Hinrich back to the bench, and Aaron Brooks would go back to being a negligible option in most leagues. Stay tuned.
James Harden (hamstring) probable for Monday 12-21-2014
James Harden G HOU
James Harden (strained left hamstring) is probable to play Monday vs. Portland.

Jenny Dial Creech on Twitter
Harden injured his hamstring during Saturday's game vs. Atlanta, but played through the strain and put up 18 points, six rebounds, and a season-high 14 assists over 39 minutes of action so we'd expect him to give it a go on Monday. Stay tuned.
Mike Miller (ankle) will play Sunday vs. MEM 12-21-2014
Mike Miller G CLE
Mike Miller (ankle) will play Sunday vs. Memphis.

Chris Haynes on Twitter
Tony Allen (eye) out Sunday vs. Cleveland 12-21-2014
Tony Allen G MEM
Tony Allen (eye) will not play Sunday vs. the Cavs.

Ronald Tillery on Twitter
Allen's minutes will be distributed to guys like Vince Carter, Quincy Pondexter, and Tayshaun Prince, with Carter offering the most upside out of the group. Prince and Pondexter shouldn't be considered an option in most leagues.
Zach Randolph (knee) out on Sunday vs. Cavs 12-21-2014
Zach Randolph F MEM
Zach Randolph (knee) will not suit up for Sunday's game vs. the Cavs.

Ronald Tillery on Twitter
Expect Jon Leuer and Kosta Koufos to see some extended minutes with Randolph unavailable, and the guy who starts will make for the better play in daily leagues. Stay tuned for an update on the Grizzlies starting lineup.
James Johnson will start on Sunday vs. NY 12-21-2014
James Johnson F TOR
James Johnson will enter the starting lineup in place of Landry Fields (concussion) for Sunday's game vs. the Knicks.

Josh Lewenberg on Twitter
James Johnson will spend most of the game defending Carmelo Anthony, and he makes for a decent plug-and-play option in daily leagues. Greivis Vasquez will also likely see extended minutes off the bench, and he has a favorable matchup today vs. the Knicks.
Dwight Howard (shoulder) probable for Monday 12-21-2014
Dwight Howard C HOU
Dwight Howard (right shoulder strain) is being listed as probable for Monday's game vs. Portland.

Jenny Dial Creech on Twitter
Dwight was able to fight through the strain and put up a double-double during his last outing, so we'd expect him to give it a go again on Monday. Still, owners will want to check back for an official update on his status closer to Monday's tip, and if he sits, Tarik Black would slide back into the starting lineup.
Mike Miller (ankle) questionable for Sunday 12-21-2014
Mike Miller G CLE
Mike Miller (left ankle sprain) is being listed as questionable for Sunday's game vs. the Grizzlies.

Dave McMenamin on Twitter
If Miller is unavailable for Sunday, his minutes will be distributed to guys like Shawn Marion, Dion Waiters, Matthew Dellavedova, and Joe Harris. Marion and Waiters offer the most upside of the group, but none of these guys are a lock for production in an unfavorable matchup vs. Memphis. Stay tuned.
Amare Stoudemire expected to play Thursday 12-21-2014
Amar'e Stoudemire F NY
Derek Fisher expects Amare Stoudemire to be available for Thursday's game vs. Washington.

Al Iannazzone on Twitter
STAT has been off since Dec. 18, so he'll have a full week of rest heading into Thursday's game, and we fully expect him to suit up for that one. His return would likely send Cole Aldrich back to the bench, stay tuned.
Andrea Bargnani (calf) could practice soon 12-21-2014
Andrea Bargnani C NY
Andrea Bargnani (calf, hamstring) had another strong workout during Sunday's shootaround, and Derek Fisher said he might be able to start practicing before Christmas.

Marc Berman on Twitter
The Knicks don't have much depth up front, but given Bargnani's injury history and lackluster play over the past three years, there's not a lot to like here. He can safely remain on the waiver wire in nearly all leagues.
J.R. Smith (heel) could be out another week? 12-21-2014
J.R. Smith G NY
Derek Fisher was not optimistic when asked about J.R. Smith (heel), and speculated that he could be out another week in order to rest his heel.

Marc Berman on Twitter
For as long as Smith is sidelined, Tim Hardaway Jr. will continue to soak up all his minutes, and he should be owned in most leagues. Over the past two weeks, Hardaway Jr. is averaging 15.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.8 three-pointers per game over 29 minutes of action and he has almost zero competition for minutes. Go grab him if he's still available.
Landry Fields (concussion) out on Sunday 12-21-2014
Landry Fields G TOR
Landry Fields (concussion) is out for Sunday's game against the Knicks.

RaptorsMR on Twitter
He failed a concussion test on Sunday morning and he will now have to pass the NBA's protocol for concussions before being cleared again. James Johnson is the main beneficiary in Fields' absence, and is worth a look in most leagues.
Taj Gibson (ankle) practices fully on Sunday 12-21-2014
Taj Gibson F CHI
Taj Gibson (ankle) was a full participant at practice on Sunday, and there is a good chance he plays on Monday.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
Gibson has had some tough luck with injuries this season but he is getting very close to a return. His status will likely be determined after shootaround on Monday and his owners will have to check back for official confirmation. If Gibson can't go, Nikola Mirotic will continue to see big minutes off of the bench and will be worth a look in most leagues.
Derrick Rose practices partially on Sunday 12-21-2014
Derrick Rose G CHI
Derrick Rose (illness) practiced partially on Sunday, and head coach Tom Thibodeau is hopeful he'll be able to play for Monday's game vs. Toronto.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
The Bulls are always going to be cautious with Rose, but at least he has a shot to play in this one. We should have further updates after shootaround on Monday, and we will provide those as needed. Expect Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks to pick up the slack if Rose can't go.
Jordan Adams, Jarnell Stokes return for Griz 12-21-2014
Jordan Adams G MEM
Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes have been recalled from the D-League on Sunday.

Ronald Tillery on Twitter
They will be at the end of the Memphis bench and won't see much action. They can both be ignored in almost all leagues.
Danilo Gallinari diagnosed with meniscus tear 12-21-2014
Danilo Gallinari F DEN
Danilo Gallinari was diagnosed with a meniscus tear in his right knee, and the tentative timetable is three weeks.

Chris Dempsey on Twitter
This is a huge blow both Gallinari and the Nuggets, as he was finally showing signs of improvement before this setback. He will need surgery, and he is expected to miss at least three weeks. However, we wouldn't be surprised if he was held out for even longer, and it looks like Wilson Chandler will have no competition for playing time in the near future.
J.R. Smith (heel) out on Sunday vs. Raptors 12-21-2014
J.R. Smith G NY
J.R. Smith (heel) is out for Sunday's game vs. Toronto.

Steve Popper on Twitter
He never had a real shot of playing in this one and there has been no update on his timetable. Smith can be cut in most leagues while Tim Hardaway Jr. will continue to start and is definitely worth a look.
Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith out Sunday 12-21-2014
Amar'e Stoudemire F NY
Amare Stoudemire (rest) and J.R. Smith (heel) will not play in Sunday's game against the Raptors.

Steve Popper on Twitter
This is a tough blow for Amare's owners, as he was expected to play after taking the day off on Saturday. On the other hand, Smith was never expected to be available as continues to recover from plantar fasciitis. Cold Aldrich will likely continue to start for Amare, but he is only worth a look in deeper leagues.
Carmelo Anthony will play Sunday vs. Raptors 12-21-2014
Carmelo Anthony F NY
Carmelo Anthony will play on Sunday vs. the Raptors.

Steve Popper on Twitter
Kevin Durant's (ankle) status still unclear 12-21-2014
Kevin Durant F OKC
Kevin Durant's (ankle) status for Sunday's game is still uncertain, and coach Scott Brooks will make a decision about 90 minutes prior to tip-off.

Royce Young on Twitter
Durant's owners are just thankful that he has a shot to play in this one and that he didn't suffer a setback with his foot. Check back for official confirmation before deploying him in lineups, and expect Reggie Jackson and Perry Jones to pick up the slack if KD sits. Stay tuned.
Kyrie Irving named USA player of the year 12-21-2014
Kyrie Irving G CLE
Kyrie Irving was named the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year after helping team USA bring home the gold at FIBA World Cup this summer.

Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter
The award could have also easily gone to Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried, or James Harden, but Irving did his part too with averages of 12.11 points, 3.6 assists, 2.6 boards and 1.9 steals per game. Irving has been an elite fantasy asset for his owners this season, and if he can stay healthy he will continue to keep it rolling.
Carmelo Anthony says knee felt good Saturday 12-21-2014
Carmelo Anthony F NY
Carmelo Anthony said that his knee felt good in Saturday's loss to the Suns.

"These past three days, I was able to just kind of get my body right and stay off of the leg a little bit," Anthony said. "I felt pretty good out there. My knee felt good." Anthony had a great game on Saturday, scoring 25 points and pulling down 11 boards, and it doesn't appear that his status is in jeopardy for Sunday's game vs. the Raptors. Check back before tip-off just in case, but owners should be feeling a little more confident.
Furkan Aldemir (heel) is out on Sunday 12-21-2014
Furkan Aldemir F PHI
Furkan Aldemir (heel) is out for Sunday's game against the Magic.

Keith Pompey on Twitter
He is dealing with plantar fasciitis so it wouldn't be surprising to see him miss additional time. Aldemir is far off of the fantasy radar in most leagues.
Hollis Thompson (illness) questionable Sunday 12-21-2014
Hollis Thompson F PHI
Hollis Thompson (illness) is questionable for Sunday's game vs. the Magic.

Keith Pompey on Twitter
He was unable to participate in the morning shootaround, and we should know more about his status closer to tip-off. If Thompson were to sit this one out, rookie K.J. McDaniels could be unleashed and would make for an excellent daily plug-and-play option.
Tony Allen (eye) doubtful for Sunday's game 12-21-2014
Tony Allen G MEM
Tony Allen (eye) is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Cavaliers.

Brian Windhorst on Twitter
His eye still looks really rough, so there is almost no shot he plays in this one. Quincy Pondexter will likely start, but Vince Carter played 41 minutes the last time Allen rested and he looks like the best option in daily leagues. Stay tuned.
Zach Randolph, Tony Allen likely out Sunday 12-21-2014
Zach Randolph F MEM
Zach Randolph (knee) and Tony Allen (eye) likely won't play in Sunday's game vs. the Cavaliers.

Brian Windhorst on Twitter
Randolph hasn't even made the trip to Cleveland yet, so there is almost no chance he plays against the Cavs. Randolph just had an MRI on Saturday, and even though it came back clean he is still dealing with swelling in his knee. Jon Leuer and Kosta Koufos will pick up some extra minutes if Randolph sits, but neither player is a reliable option.
James Young (shoulder) making progress 12-21-2014
James Young G BOS
James Young is making progress in his recovery from his separated right shoulder, and was able to do some non-contact work during shootaround Sunday.

Boston Celtics on Twitter
He remains without a timetable to return, but it is great to see him making progress. Young is loaded with potential, but he won't have any fantasy value this season. Keep him on the waiver wire.
Jameer Nelson to be active on Sunday vs. Heat 12-21-2014
Jameer Nelson G BOS
Jameer Nelson will be active for Sunday's outing against Miami.

ESPN Boston
He was terrible for Dallas, and with the Celtics rebuilding there is not a lot to love here. The Celtics are enamored with rookie point guard Marcus Smart, and are going to give him every chance to succeed. Nelson can be cut in most leagues while Smart is now a must-own option for his upside.
Jae Crowder to be available to play Sunday 12-21-2014
Jae Crowder F BOS
Jae Crowder will be available to play on Sunday vs. the Heat.

ESPN Boston
The Celtics were reportedly adamant that he would have to be part of the Rajon Rondo deal, so Crowder could eventually have a sizeable role in the rotation. However, unless Jeff Green is also traded in the near future, Crowder won't see a large enough role to matter in most leagues.
Brandan Wright expected to play Sunday 12-21-2014
Brandan Wright F BOS
Brandan Wright will be available to play on Sunday vs. the Heat.

ESPN Boston
It will be interesting to see how coach Brad Stevens uses Wright considering how crowded the frontcourt is at the moment. However, Wright is one of the most efficient players in the league and has too much talent to not see playing time with the Celtics. Owners in deeper leagues would be wise to take a gamble here, while owners in standard leagues can use a wait-and-see approach.
Martell Webster (back) could play on Sunday 12-21-2014
Martell Webster G WAS
Martell Webster (back) could return to action as soon as Sunday against the Suns.

CSN Washington
He has yet to play this season after coming off of his third back surgery in his career, so it will be great to see back out on the floor. He was seen getting up shots at practice on Saturday for a couple of hours, and he is reportedly feeling good. If he doesn't make his season debut Sunday, his next chance to play would be on Tuesday vs. the Bulls. However, Webster will likely be eased back into the rotation, and he won't see a lot of minutes while Paul Pierce and Otto Porter are healthy. Webster can be ignored in most leagues.
Ersan Ilyasova (nose) to be re-evaluated Mon 12-21-2014
Ersan Ilyasova F MIL
Ersan Ilyasova (nose) is getting closer to a return, and is expected to be re-evaluated on Monday.

cfgardner on Twitter
There is a big opportunity for playing time now that Jabari Parker (knee) is done for the season, so he makes sense as a speculative add. We will update his status on as soon as we know more, and we will consider him questionable for Monday's game against the Hornets.
Russ Smith scores first NBA points Saturday 12-21-2014
Russ Smith G NO
Russ Smith scored for the first time in his NBA career on Saturday, finishing with five points, two boards and one 3-pointer in 15 minutes. He was recalled from the D-League prior to the game on Saturday, and was able to pick up some experience in garbage time against Portland. Smith was a stud at the Las Vegas summer league and was the leader in assists per game, but he has a long way to go before he will be relevant in most fantasy leagues.
Lance Stephenson clashing with teammates 12-21-2014
Lance Stephenson G CHA
According to league sources, Lance Stephenson is clashing with his teammates in the locker room, but coach Steve Clifford is hopeful that Charlotte's veterans will help Stephenson become more of a team player.

Boston Globe
This isn't surprising by any means, as Stephenson has been a major disappointment so far in Charlotte. However, it appears that the Hornets are no longer aggressively shopping him, as they feel like his value is too low to deal him right now. Unless Stephenson returns from his hip injury soon and starts to turn things around, he will be a really tough player to own in standard leagues.
Goran Dragic to keep open mind in free agency 12-21-2014
Goran Dragic G PHO
Goran Dragic will keep an open mind if he enters free agency in the offseason.

Arizona Republic
"It's still early to talk about that," Dragic said. "Right now, I want to be 100 percent focused on the team and try to help the team and players. In the offseason, I'm going to probably sit down with my family first and with my agent and try to explore all the options. From there, I'll try to choose the one best for me." There is no doubt that Dragic is an elite point guard, and he will definitely draw some major interest from several different teams. It would not be surprising to see some teams try to pry him away at the trade deadline if the Suns don't feel like Dragic will return, but for now nothing is close to developing and we will pass along updates as needed.
Blake Griffin scores 24 with eight dimes 12-21-2014
Blake Griffin F LAC
Blake Griffin handed out eight assists against the Bucks during a 106-102 win on Saturday, scoring 24 points with six rebounds and one steal. The assists have been the story lately with 6.4 per game over his last five to go with averages of 23.0 points, 9.4 boards and 1.4 steals. Griffin is posting career highs in usage rate and assist percentage while turning in a career low in turnover percentage. He's not just a freak athlete anymore.
Chris Paul scores 27 points with nine dimes 12-21-2014
Chris Paul G LAC
Chris Paul scored a game-high 27 points against the Bucks on Saturday three rebounds, nine assists, two steals, one block and four 3-pointers. He only turned the ball over twice and has fixed his issues from earlier this month. Paul had a season-high 11 makes from the line tonight and is making 88 percent from the line on the season. He lost a little bit of steam and James Harden has leapfrogged him for No. 3 on fantasy value. Still, No. 4 is just fine.
J.J. Redick scores 23 points vs. Bucks 12-21-2014
J.J. Redick G LAC
J.J. Redick scored 23 points against the Bucks with three rebounds, two assists, one steal and five 3-pointers in 34 minutes. He's so hot right now. Over his last 11 games, he posted a 68.9 true shooting percentage with 17.5 points, 1.8 assists, 0.6 steals and 2.9 triples. Redick has been flirting with fifth-round value in that span, so keep him owned.
Matt Barnes lays a goose egg 12-21-2014
Matt Barnes F LAC
Matt Barnes did not score against the Bucks on Saturday with five rebounds and four assists. He had 16 points on Friday and went the other way tonight. Barnes was putting up No. 65 fantasy value over the past two weeks, so there is enough upside to cut him some slack unless it's to grab a hot free agent.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 18 in full line 12-21-2014
Giannis Antetokounmpo G MIL
Giannis Antetokounmpo made 8-of-12 from the field for 18 points in a 106-102 loss to the Clippers on Saturday with nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and three turnovers. He had a career-high six assists and he's finally starting to come around in the stat diversity department. Antetokounmpo is shooting the ball much better, which was by far his biggest issue last season. He's improving and is worth owning in standard leagues.
Larry Sanders scores 10 points in start 12-21-2014
Larry Sanders F MIL
Larry Sanders scored 10 points against the Clippers on Saturday with seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 26 minutes. He did commit his usual five fouls, but did make 5-of-6 from the field. Sanders made 76.2 percent from the field over his last four with averages of 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.8 blocks. If you really need blocks, give him a look.
Johnny O'Bryant plays six minutes 12-21-2014
Johnny O'Bryant III F MIL
Johnny O'Bryant played six minutes on Saturday with four points. He picked up two quick fouls and that was that. O'Bryant was able to push guys around at summer league, but that doesn't work against Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. He can be cut in extremely deep leagues.
Khris Middleton has well-rounded game 12-21-2014
Khris Middleton F MIL
Khris Middleton played 24 minutes off the bench for 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal and one 3-pointer. It was a big step up from his one-point stinker on Thursday and Middleton has fared well in three of his last four. He really doesn't do much outside of score while making only 43.0 percent from the field with 1.3 steals, so his ceiling isn't high enough to grab in standard leagues.
O.J. Mayo scores three points 12-21-2014
O.J. Mayo G MIL
O.J. Mayo scored three points in 23 minutes against the Clippers on Saturday with one rebound, three assists and two turnovers. Well, he had three solid outings before this one, but a sub-par game from Mayo is nothing new. He only has season averages of 0.7 steals, 1.2 triples and 0.2 blocks to go with 1.9 turnovers, so there really are not enough positives to add him in most leagues.
Jared Dudley scores 16 points vs. Clippers 12-21-2014
Jared Dudley G MIL
Jared Dudley excelled against his former team on Saturday with 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes. That's back-to-back good games from Dudley and he's passed Khris Middleton as the waiver-wire add du jour. Dudley's done a fair amount of ball handling to go with his perimeter shooting, so there is enough upside to at least give him a look. That said, trusting coach Jason Kidd's rotation is like trusting a dingo to look after your baby.
Danilo Gallinari plays 28 minutes, scores 19 12-21-2014
Danilo Gallinari F DEN
Danilo Gallinari scored a season-high 19 points against the Pacers during a 76-93 win on Saturday with three rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer. It's the most minutes he's played all month and it crushed his previous monthly average of 17.1 minutes. Gallinari has been shut down due to knee soreness before and that concern will always be hanging over his fantasy value. Unless you're going to cut something you're not going to terribly miss, it's tough to add the Rooster.
Timofey Mozgov blocks five with 15 boards 12-21-2014
Timofey Mozgov C DEN
Timofey Mozgov played well in 36 minutes against the Pacers with six points, 15 boards and five blocks. This one was overdue. Mozgov had a season high in blocks and was one board shy of his season high. He was really struggling earlier this month, but nights like tonight serve as a reminder that he's still worth owning in standard leagues no matter how many times you've seen the video of Blake Griffin dunking on him.
Wilson Chandler scores four points 12-21-2014
Wilson Chandler G DEN
Wilson Chandler could not get it going against the Pacers on Saturday with four points, three rebounds, one block and one 3-pointer. He made 1-of-10 from the field and is in a mini-slump from beyond the arc, making just three of his last 15 attempts. Chandler is still getting solid minutes even with Danilo Gallinari suddenly coming on. He's still worth owning in standard leagues.
Kenneth Faried scores four in awful game 12-21-2014
Kenneth Faried F DEN
Kenneth Faried had one of his worst games of the season on Saturday against the Pacers, making 2-of-10 from the field with four points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal. He had a couple solid games before tonight and maybe the second half of a back-to-back got to him. Darrell Arthur (leg) could miss time, so Faried may get a bigger chance to redeem himself from a slow start. His owners can't be happy with him, but they just have to hang in there.
Donald Sloan scores nine in a loss 12-21-2014
Donald Sloan G IND
Donald Sloan drew another start on Saturday during a 76-73 loss to the Nuggets with nine points, seven boards, four assists and one steal in 36 minutes. He is not going to start much longer and tonight was just a complete lost cause. The Pacers made 30.7 percent from the field and had 18 points in the paint. Sloan can be dropped in most leagues.
Rodney Stuckey stinks in 35 minutes 12-21-2014
Rodney Stuckey G IND
Rodney Stuckey was a disaster during one of the ugliest games of the year, making 1-of-10 from the field for four points, two rebounds, three assists and two turnovers. This was bad and Stuckey is known for his inefficient games. In fact, tonight was the 37th game of his career with a field goal percentage failing to crack 10.0 percent (with at least one attempt). This is what his owners will have to deal with, so adjust accordingly.
David West scores 19 points on 22 FGAs 12-21-2014
David West F IND
David West scored 19 points with 10 rebounds, five assists, one block and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes against the Nuggets on Saturday. He made just 8-of-22 from the field for a usage rate of 35.1. It's a horribly inefficient game, but who can blame him when his teammates can't make shots? West still hasn't quite got it going, but he should start heating up soon.