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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Friday, December 27th, 2013

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Paul Pierce plays 29 minutes in start 12-27-2013
Paul Pierce F WAS
Paul Pierce scored 13 points with four boards, three assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer on 4-of-11 shooting against the Bucks on Friday. He moved back into the starting lineup tonight and looked a little more comfortable. Pierce had a catastrophic 1-of-15 shooting in his last two games coming into tonight, so hopefully he'll be able to build off this outing. He's a fringe player to own in standard for now.
Chris Kaman has sore ankle on Friday 12-27-2013
Chris Kaman C POR
Chris Kaman turned his ankle in the fourth quarter of Friday's game.

Mike Trudell on Twitter
He played through it for a while and had a noticeable limp. Coach Mike D'Antoni said he'll have to see how Kaman feels tomorrow before deciding on his availability for Sunday's game against the Sixers. Kaman finished with 19 points, 10 boards, one steal and three blocks in 30 minutes on Friday. Pau Gasol (illness) shouldn't be out too long, so it's not worth bending over backwards to add Kaman.
Khris Middleton scores 15 points in start 12-27-2013
Khris Middleton F MIL
Khris Middleton scored 15 points in 33 minutes against the Nets on Friday, adding eight boards, three assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers. The Bucks are almost back to full strength and Middleton still was able to turn in a very production line. He still saw some playing time at power forward, which will go a long way for him to sustain fantasy value. The former Piston is worth owning in standard leagues until he cools off.
Caron Butler is off on Friday night vs. Nets 12-27-2013
Caron Butler F DET
Caron Butler did not score on his seven shot attempts from the field in a bench role against the Nets on Friday. He came off the bench and really didn't get many great looks at the hoop tonight. Butler played well in his first two games back from a knee injury,averaging 16.5 points, 7.5 boards, 3.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.5 triples, so this dud was unexpected. Fantasy owners shouldn't hit the panic button just yet.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has first double-double 12-27-2013
Giannis Antetokounmpo G MIL
Giannis Antetokounmpo had the first double-double of his career on Friday vs. the Nets with 16 points, 10 boards, one assist, three blocks and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes. He was great tonight and his game has grown exponentially in so many areas. After shooting just 51.7 percent from the line in his first 17 games, Antetokounmpo has upped it to 88.6 percent over his last seven. He should be owned in all leagues for his ability to add steals, blocks and 3-pointers on good percentages.
Al Horford says he's 'probably' out for year 12-27-2013
Al Horford F ATL
Al Horford (torn pectoral) said he's "probably not" going to be back for the playoffs this year.

David Aldridge on Twitter
This has been one of the worst days of the season for injuries and Horford's news is a main reason why. Considering he had a complete tear, his fantasy owners can probably cut him at this point. He'll have 10 months to get ready for the 2014-15 season, so hopefully he'll be able to rehab and be ready. It's a total crapshoot for who will step up for the Hawks, so owners in standard leagues shouldn't be looking to make a pickup of Mike Scott, Pero Antic, Gustavo Ayon or Elton Brand just yet.
John Henson plays just 20 minutes 12-27-2013
John Henson F MIL
John Henson played 20 minutes against the Nets on Friday with eight points, seven boards and one block on 4-of-5 shooting. It's been a weird story with Henson all year. Earlier this season, Larry Drew almost refused to play Henson at center, but finally caved with the lack of health on his team. However, tonight Henson did not get any minutes at power forward and basically had a timeshare at center with Larry Sanders. He has been way too good for his fantasy owners to overreact to this underwhelming game.
Ersan Ilyasova has another bad game in return 12-27-2013
Ersan Ilyasova F MIL
Ersan Ilyasova returned to action on Friday against the Nets, shooting 2-of-11 from the field for six points with five boards and one assist in 22 minutes. He missed all six shots outside of the paint tonight and could not get into a rhythm offensively. Ilyasova was shut down by the Bucks earlier this month with ankle issues and missed three games, but he still doesn't look right. He was great after the break last year, so it's not too bad of an idea for patient owners to stash him in most formats.
Jefferson goes for 16 and 11 in loss to OKC 12-27-2013
Al Jefferson C CHA
Al Jefferson scored 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting with 11 rebounds and one block in the Bobcats' 89-85 loss to the Thunder on Friday. Jefferson is experiencing declines in mpg and hitting 4.3 percent less shots from the field over last season (45.1%). He'll probably improve a little bit but whether or not he can do anything to drastically rehabilitate his top 50-75 value (9/8 cat) on a per-game basis this season is debatable. He's already blocking 0.4 more shots per game over last season (1.5 bpg) and that's going to be hard to keep up.
X-rays negative on Bradley Beal's left leg 12-27-2013
Bradley Beal G WAS
X-rays were negative on Bradley Beal (left leg) and he will have an MRI on Saturday.

Michael Lee on Twitter
He was using crutches as he left the Target Center on Friday night. Coach Randy Wittman said Beal bumped his left knee and not much is know at this point. His knee was pushed sideways, so there could be something structurally wrong with his knee. The Wizards will be putting Martell Webster back in the starting lineup should Beal need to miss time. He seems doubtful for Saturday's game against the Pistons.
Victor Oladipo bounces back in a win vs. DET 12-27-2013
Victor Oladipo G ORL
Victor Oladipo had a much-needed bounce-back game against the Pistons on Friday with 16 points, five boards, 11 assists, one steal and one 3-pointer on 5-of-12 shooting. His last four games have been absolutely terrible with some of the worst scoring efforts of any player in the league. Excluding the restricted area, Oladipo shot just 22 percent in his last four with averages of 8.5 points, 3.0 boards, 4.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 triples over that span. He'll have his a bumpy ride this year, but is still worth owning in all leagues.
Tolliver hits two threes for six points 12-27-2013
Anthony Tolliver F PHO
Anthony Tolliver hit 2-of-5 shots (all threes) for six points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal in 35 minutes on Friday against the Thunder. Tolliver hit four 3-pointers on Monday and after two of them tonight he's officially worth a short-term look for help in that department. It's possible that he's finally getting comfortable after a few years of being anything but that.
Good Charlie shows up and does work vs. OKC 12-27-2013
Josh McRoberts F MIA
Good Josh McRoberts showed up in Monday's loss to the Thunder, as he scored 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting (including three treys) with six rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks in 32 minutes. Charlie Work has jumped on and off the wire in 10-12 team formats all season, but with lines like this he has been able to move into top-100 value on the season, making him a guy that should be owned in most leagues.
Carmelo Anthony (ankle) won't play Saturday 12-27-2013
Carmelo Anthony F NY
Carmelo Anthony (ankle) will not travel with the team for Saturday's game against the Raptors and will not play.

Ian Begley on Twitter
This will be his third consecutive game out of the lineup, which spells trouble for a Knicks team that just lost two games in a row at home. The good news is that the Knicks are off until Thursday following Saturday's game, so Anthony should be ready for that game. J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. have done most of the scoring on the wing sans Melo.
Bradley Beal (left leg) carried off court 12-27-2013
Bradley Beal G WAS
Bradley Beal was carried off the court after injuring his left leg against the Wolves in the fourth quarter. It did not look good at all and Beal was in agonizing pain. He couldn't put any weight on his leg as he went back to the locker room. Beal has two injuries to his right leg, so this is not an aggravation. We'll pass along any info as it becomes available. Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza should be picked up in all leagues. Beal finished with 14 points, three boards, one assist and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes.
Tobias Harris double-doubles vs. Pistons 12-27-2013
Tobias Harris F ORL
Tobias Harris shot 6-of-10 from the field for 16 points against the Pistons on Friday with 10 boards, two assists and two steals in 34 minutes. He missed both attempts from 3-point land tonight to drop his shooting to 12.5 percent on 24 attempts from that range on the year. Harris has been effective in his three previous starts before tonight, averaging 16.3 points, 7.0 boards and 0.3 steals. He should get better and is worth owning in all leagues.
Andre Drummond double-doubles 12-27-2013
Andre Drummond F DET
Andre Drummond missed all four attempts from the line during a 109-92 loss to the Magic on Friday, scoring 10 points with 11 boards and one block in 23 minutes. He was in foul trouble tonight and the Pistons were outscored in the paint 58-48. Drummond's free throw shooting dropped to a putrid 35.8 percent tonight, but he's basically a first-round fantasy talent with that issue taken out of the equation.
Greg Monroe puts up a dud vs. Magic 12-27-2013
Greg Monroe C DET
Greg Monroe shot 3-of-9 for six points against the Magic on Friday to go with six boards and one steal in 21 minutes. He picked up his second foul in the first quarter and it may have been a big reason why the Pistons were blown out tonight. Monroe has cooled off a little over his last five, averaging 10.4 points, 9.0 boards and 0.2 blocks on 46.0 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from the line. He won't be this bad, so his owner might sell low based on Josh Smith and Andre Drummond getting most of the attention on the Detroit frontcourt.
Durant goes for 34 and 12 with six assists 12-27-2013
Kevin Durant F OKC
Kevin Durant scored 34 points on 14-of-28 shooting (including two threes) with 12 rebounds and six assists in Friday's road win over the Bobcats. The early-season touches that many thought KD and Serge Ibaka (12 and nine with three blocks) would get while Russell Westbrook was out to start the year are actually coming a month or so later. Durant has shot six points better from the field (55%) this season with Westbrook off the floor, too, so aside from the volume bump he could conceivably maintain his efficiency, too. Both guys will be fun to own for the rest of the season.
No Range Shawty: Josh Smith scores five 12-27-2013
Josh Smith F DET
Josh Smith had an off night against the Magic on Friday, shooting 2-of-13 from the field for five points with seven boards, one assist and two blocks in 22 minutes. The Pistons came out flat tonight and this certainly won't be the last time J-Smoove has an ugly shooting line. Smith dropped his season shooting to 40.6 percent from the field after tonight, but his fantasy owners likely aren't complaining with is averages of 15.8 points, 6.5 boards, 3.3 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 triples.
R-Jax hits 4-of-19 FGs in 1st start for Westy 12-27-2013
Reggie Jackson G OKC
Reggie Jackson hit just 4-of-19 shots in his first start for Russell Westbrook (knee) on Friday, and finished with 10 points to go with six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one three in 30 minutes. Jackson is still ceding too many minutes to Derek Fisher (18 minutes, three points, two boards, that's it) but the 19 attempts are a great sign and he'll eventually get the shooting number straightened out. He's a must-own and must-start player going forward.
Sefolosha scores 12 points with three treys 12-27-2013
Thabo Sefolosha G ATL
Thabo Sefolosha scored 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting (all threes) with three rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes on Friday. Sefolosha is locked into a timeshare with Jeremy Lamb but the absence of Russell Westbrook can only be a positive for him, so owners in deeper leagues should give him a look and standard league owners should simply watch from afar.
Trey Burke (ankle) back on court vs. Lakers 12-27-2013
Trey Burke G UTH
Trey Burke had his ankle re-taped and returned to Friday's game against the Lakers.

Jon Rinehart on Twitter
He looks like he's fine and dodged a bullet here. Burke should be owned in all leagues and we'll let you know how he does against the Lakers.
Larry Sanders fouls out in 23 minutes vs Nets 12-27-2013
Larry Sanders F MIL
Larry Sanders played 23 minutes before fouling out of Friday's game against the Nets, finishing 10 points, seven boards, two blocks and one steal. He looked good outside of the fouls and gave the Bucks a much-needed interior presence. Sanders did not play next to John Henson at all in this game and the two basically split time at center. He does have some fouling issues in his career, but made some huge strides in that area after the break last season. Fantasy owners should consider him a must-own player in all formats after his breakout 2012-13 season.
Lamb scores 10 points in 24 minutes on Friday 12-27-2013
Jeremy Lamb G OKC
Jeremy Lamb scored 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting (including a three) with two rebounds and one assist in 24 minutes on Monday. Lamb is in a strict timeshare with Thabo Sefolosha (12 points, three rebounds, two assists, 24 minutes) as the two players exclusively shared the shooting guard minutes tonight. Lamb is already a 12-14 team value in 9- and 8-cat leagues, respectively, and with that type of foundation owners would have to be stacked not to want a piece of his expected improvement with Russell Westbrook out.
Trey Burke tweaks ankle in first quarter 12-27-2013
Trey Burke G UTH
Trey Burke suffered an apparent ankle injury in the first quarter of Friday's game against the Lakers and went to the locker room. He walked back to the locker room under his own power and didn't have too bad of a limp. Burke is having a solid rookie season and he's done a nice job of making his teammates better. He was replaced John Lucas III, but there's no reason to pick him up an almost any format.
Will Bynum plays 20 minutes, scores 18 12-27-2013
Will Bynum G BOS
Will Bynum scored 18 points off the bench against the Magic on Friday to go with two boards, two assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 20 minutes. He stepped up with Rodney Stuckey (shoulder) going down and is a good bet to pick up most of the slack should Stuckey have to miss time. Bynum has been dealing with a hamstring issue for most of the season, so the Pistons probably aren't quite ready to give him big minutes. He's only worth a look as a speculative add in deeper leagues.
Greg Oden has workout, could return 12-27-2013
Greg Oden C MIA
Greg Oden (knee) worked out before Friday's game and could return to the lineup at some point.

Joe Goodman on Twitter
Erik Spoelstra said Oden will not be playing against the Blazers on Saturday, so Oden fans can throw out that idea. He has no fantasy value and still has a long way to go. He is still out indefinitely.
Rodney Stuckey aggravates his shoulder 12-27-2013
Rodney Stuckey G IND
Rodney Stuckey may have aggravated his shoulder injury and did not play the second half of Friday's game. His right shoulder injury kept him out of the lineup for two games earlier this month and there's a good chance he'll miss Saturday's game. Will Bynum stepped in as Stuckey's replacement and could be worth a look as a short-term option. Stuckey finished with six points and one steal in 14 minutes on Friday.
Chris Andersen (back) out on Friday night 12-27-2013
Chris Andersen F MIA
Chris Andersen (back) will not play against the Kings on Friday.

Ethan Skolnick on Twitter
The Heat went with Udonis Haslem to fill the void left by Andersen during Wednesday's game against the Lakers. Haslem is only worth a look in very deep leagues while Andersen has been more of a specialist for blocks in deep leagues. He should be considered questionable for Saturday's game vs. Portland.
Ray Allen out against the Kings Friday 12-27-2013
Ray Allen G MIA
Ray Allen (knee) will not play against the Kings on Friday.

Ethan Skolnick on Twitter
The Heat are doing their best Spurs impression tonight resting their top two shooting guards on the first half of a road back-to-back set. Allen should be considered probable for Saturday.
Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen won't play vs. Kings 12-27-2013
Dwyane Wade G MIA
Dwyane Wade (knee), Ray Allen (knee) and Chris Anderson (back) will not play against the Kings on Friday.

Ethan Skolnick on Twitter
All three were not expected to play with the Heat getting ready for the first game of a road back-to-back set. Roger Mason will start at shooting guard while Michael Beasley should see a prominent role off the bench tonight. Wade should be considered probable to face the Blazers on Saturday.
Kevin Seraphin doubtful for Friday vs. MIN 12-27-2013
Kevin Seraphin F WAS
Kevin Seraphin (knee) is doubtful for Friday's game against the Wolves.

Michael Lee on Twitter
He has been dealing with soreness over the past few days and an MRI did not show any damage to his left knee. Seraphin is only playing 9.6 minutes per game and has little fantasy value after showing some promise in his last two seasons.
DeMarre Carroll has no structural damage 12-27-2013
DeMarre Carroll F ATL
An X-ray on Friday confirmed DeMarre Carroll (thumb) has no damage to his ligaments.

Chris Vivlamore on Twitter
Finally some good news for the Hawks. Carroll was in some serious pain after suffering the injury on Thursday. The Hawks are really going to have come up with some new lineups and it wouldn't be too far-fetched to see Carroll get minutes as a stretch power forward.
Jenkins out indefinitely as everybody huddles 12-27-2013
John Jenkins G ATL
John Jenkins (leg) will be out indefinitely while the Hawks and his agent all get together to decide his future.

Chris Vivlamore on Twitter
That doesn't mean a long-term absence is guaranteed, but these types of situations usually end that way, especially for a younger player on a team without championship aspirations.
Nuggets confirm Kenneth Faried is out Friday 12-27-2013
Kenneth Faried F DEN
Kenneth Faried (ankle) will not play against the Pelicans on Friday.

Nuggets on Twitter
He was reportedly out this morning and the team confirmed his status on hour before tip. The Nuggets are going to have to play Timofey Mozgov and J.J. Hickson big minutes tonight. Faried should be considered questionable for Saturday's game against there Grizzlies.
Darrell Arthur won't play vs. Pelicans 12-27-2013
Darrell Arthur F DEN
Darrell Arthur (quad) will not play against the Pelicans on Friday.

Chris Dempsey on Twitter
The Nuggets are razor thin up front with Kenneth Faried hurt. They'll be using Timofey Mozgov and J.J. Hickson as much as possible while Anthony Randolph could get more minutes. Arthur should be considered questionable for Saturday's game against his former team, the Grizzlies.
Jason Smith out vs. Nuggets on Friday 12-27-2013
Jason Smith F NY
Jason Smith (knee) will not play against the Nuggets on Friday.

John Reid on Twitter
This will be his third game on the sidelines due to his knee soreness. Smith had a good run while Anthony Davis was out with his hand injury, but he can be cut in almost all leagues. Davis and Ryan Anderson will get most of the minutes at power forward and center tonight.
Khris Middelton starts vs. Nets on Friday 12-27-2013
Khris Middleton F MIL
Khris Middleton will start against the Nets on Friday.

Bucks on Twitter
He will join Brandon Knight, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson in the first unit. Caron Butler will come off the bench and should still see a nice chunk of playing time. Middleton has played a lot of power forward over the past two weeks, so that specific allotment is likely on its way down.
Metta World Peace will play vs. Toronto 12-27-2013
Ron Artest F NY
Metta World Peace (knee) will play against the Raptors on Friday.

Ian Begley on Twitter
He is going to have a knee procedure on Jan. 6, so this is a bit of a surprise. "We're in a situation where we need each other," World Peace said. The Knicks won't have Carmelo Anthony tonight, so desperate times call for desperate measures. He's not really worth using since he might just be dressing as an emergency player.
Conflicting reports on Kenneth Faried 12-27-2013
Kenneth Faried F DEN
Chris Dempsey reported that Kenneth Faried has been ruled out for Friday early in the day, while the Nuggets Twitter feed is listing Faried in the starting lineup tonight.

Denver Nuggets on Twitter
We're going with Dempsey on this one, as he also stated that Randy Foye was being benched for Jordan Hamilton, while the Nuggets post still has Foye starting. One of these two reports is wrong, and likely wrong by two players worth, but our guess is that Faried is still out and that Hamilton is starting over Foye.
Iman Shumpert, Metta World Peace will play 12-27-2013
Iman Shumpert G NY
Iman Shumpert (thigh) and Metta World Peace (knee) will play against the Raptors on Friday.

Steve Popper on Twitter
Shumpert was a game-time call with a bruised thigh and should be good to go. He'll get minutes at three different spots tonight, but there's very little intrigue to picking him up in standard formats.
Eric Gordon will not play vs. the Nuggets 12-27-2013
Eric Gordon G NO
Eric Gordon (hip) will not play against the Nuggets on Friday due to a hip contusion.

John Reid on Twitter
He fell really hard on his hip on Monday, but the three days off were not enough for Gordon to be healthy enough to go. He should be considered questionable for Saturday's game against the Rockets. Anthony Morrow will start, but Tyreke Evans figures to get most of the production off the bench.
Report: Al Horford has torn right pectoral 12-27-2013
Al Horford F ATL
Al Horford was diagnosed with a complete tear to his right pectoral muscle, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

Chris Vivlamore on Twitter
Pierce & Livingston start, Teletovic to bench 12-27-2013
Paul Pierce F WAS
Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston will start next to Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Kevin Garntett against the Bucks on Friday.

Nets on Twitter
The Nets are getting very creative here with Andray Blatche out of the next four games. The loss of Blatche takes a major chunk out of their second unit, so Alan Anderson and Mirza Teletovic will have a lot on their shoulders in their bench roles. Pierce hasn't been very good off the bench, so maybe the move to the starting lineup can help his fantasy value. Teletovic owners shouldn't be too concerned while Shaun Livingston doesn't do enough in the stat sheet to warrant a pickup in most leagues.
Andray Blatche (personal) out four games 12-27-2013
Andray Blatche F BKN
Andray Blatche (personal) will miss the next four games for the Nets.

Tom Lorenzo on Twitter
That would put Blatche out until Saturday Jan. 4 when the Nets will play the Cavs. Mirza Teletovic will continue to be a big piece in the rotation and should be approaching the 30-minute mark over that span, making him worth a long look in standard leagues. Mason Plumlee and Reggie Evans should also see a sizable increases in minutes. Blatche owners should probably hold him unless they really need him for the upcoming week.
Iman Shumpert (thigh) a game-time call 12-27-2013
Iman Shumpert G NY
Iman Shumpert (thigh) is a game-time decision for Friday's game against the Raptors.

Howard Beck on Twitter
If he's able to go, he would be in the starting lineup. Still, Shumpert's offensive issues have been a problem for the Knicks, but they will need him to help guard point guards. Tim Hardaway Jr. would likely see more playing time sans Shumpert.
Carmelo Anthony (ankle) will not play Friday 12-27-2013
Carmelo Anthony F NY
Carmelo Anthony (ankle) will not play against the Raptors on Friday.

Steve Popper on Twitter
This will be his second game on the sidelines after he was a game-time decision for Christmas Day's game against the Thunder. The Knicks have a back-to-back and will travel to Toronto for Saturday's game, making Melo questionable for that contest. J.R. Smith will be taking a lot of shots again tonight and should be in all lineups. Tim Hardaway has also been playing well.
Chauncey Billups resting Friday night 12-27-2013
Chauncey Billups G DET
Chauncey Billups will not play against the Magic on Friday.

Keith Langlois on Twitter
Sergey Karasev headed to Canton 12-27-2013
Sergey Karasev G BKN
Sergey Karasev will go to the D-League this week for two games with the Canton Charge.

Plain Dealer on Twitter
He's only playing 8.9 minutes per game with numerous DNP-CDs along the way. Karasev has no fantasy value.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has cast removed 12-27-2013
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist F CHA
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (hand) had his cast removed on Friday

Rick Bonnell on Twitter
He has not been cleared for practice and cannot catch a ball yet. Kidd-Gilchrist was expected to be out 4-6 weeks, which puts his initial timetable at some point in the next couple weeks. He should have some extra opportunity at small forward with Jeff Taylor (Achilles) out for the year, but he still has a lot of work to do on offense. MKG is shooting just 28.0 percent on his shots outside of the restricted area this season, so there won't be much outside of steals, blocks and boards.
Jeremy Lamb will move to sixth-man role 12-27-2013
Jeremy Lamb G OKC
Jeremy Lamb will likely be featured more as a sixth man for the Thunder while Russell Westbrook is out. Russell Westbrook was playing 33 minutes per game this season, so they're obviously not all going to Reggie Jackson. Lamb should see at least eight minutes more from his 20.8 per game on the season. He's been on a bit of a roll over his last nine, averaging 10.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.6 triples on 50 percent from the field and 100 percent from the line, so he was already putting up value worth owning in standards. He's worth a look in all formats.
Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb to get more mins. 12-27-2013
Reggie Jackson G OKC
Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb are expected to see more significant role stemming from the Russell Westbrook (knee) surgery.
Russell Westbrook out until All-Star break 12-27-2013
Russell Westbrook G OKC
Russell Westbrook underwent scope surgery on his knee on Friday and is expected to be out until after the All-Star break.

Darnell Mayberry on Twitter
The surgery was performed to reduce the swelling in his knee. This is terrible news for the Thunder with Westbrook really starting to get it going. After not missing any games before the first round of the playoffs last season, this was the third surgery on Westbrook's knee. The good news is Reggie Jackson is in the mix for Most Improved Player and has played phenomenally well, so he becomes an absolute must-own player. Kevin Durant's efficiency was down quite a bit prior to Westbrook's injury, so this news has a trickle down effect to most of their players. Jeremy Lamb has also been playing well and should be picked up in standard formats.
Ray Allen is a game-time call vs. Kings 12-27-2013
Ray Allen G MIA
Ray Allen (knee) is a game-time decision for Friday's game against the Kings.

Heat on Twitter
Coach Erik Spoelstra might be taking a page out of Gregg Popovich's book tonight by resting his players. Allen doesn't appear to be dealing with anything outside of just soreness and he will likely be ready for Saturday. If he and Dwyane Wade sit, Roger Mason Jr. might be the favorite to start.
Spoelstra hints at sitting Dwyane Wade Friday 12-27-2013
Dwyane Wade G MIA
Coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat will have to be "proactive" with his players this weekend.

Heat on Twitter
"We may have to be proactive tonight and take the decision out of those guys' hands," Spoelstra said. Dwyane Wade is a game-time call for tonight's game against the Kings and he's a little closer to doubtful than most players. The Heat are on a road back-to-back before they'll travel to Portland on Saturday, so hopefully fantasy owners saw this coming. Ray Allen is also a game-time call, so Michael Beasley might be the beneficiary should both shooting guards sit.
Chris Andersen doubtful for Friday 12-27-2013
Chris Andersen F MIA
Chris Andersen (back) missed shootaround and is expected to miss Friday's game against the Kings.

Ethan Skolnick on Twitter
He injured his back on Christmas Day and the Heat will have to replace his 18.0 minutes per game. Udonis Haslem was back in the rotation on Wednesday, so he will likely be the main guy that needs to step up.
Wayne Ellington (illness) won't fly with team 12-27-2013
Wayne Ellington G LAL
Wayne Ellington (illness) will not fly with the team for Saturday's game against the Bulls.

Earl K. Sneed on Twitter
He will rejoin the team later on the road trip. The Mavericks have a bug going around the locker room, so there's no reason to bring a guy that isn't in the rotation with the team. Ellington has no fantasy value while the team is remotely healthy.
Brandan Wright (illness) will travel for Sat. 12-27-2013
Brandan Wright F DAL
Brandan Wright (illness) will travel with the Mavericks for Saturday's game in Chicago.

Earl K. Sneed on Twitter
Randolph fined $25,000 for comments on refs 12-27-2013
Zach Randolph F MEM
Zach Randolph was fined $25,000 for comments about officiating following Thursday's game against the Rockets.

Kurt Helin on Twitter
If a player calls the refs "horrible" and says his team was playing "eight on five," he should be expecting a fine. Randolph is playing great ball right now and should be in all lineups.
Dwane Casey to manage DeRozan's minutes? 12-27-2013
DeMar DeRozan G TOR
Dwane Casey said managing DeMar DeRozan's minutes is something he's "got to look at."

Josh Lewenberg on Twitter
He ranks third in the NBA for minutes per game at 38.5 and his overall shooting has fallen off. DeRozan is shooting 40.5 percent in December and hasn't been as aggressive with the ball. Of all of his shots this month, 56 percent of them have been mid-range jumpers -- up from 45 percent in November. His owners shouldn't be too alarmed about Casey's comments today considering coaches say this all the time.
Ryan Kelly has minor ankle sprain 12-27-2013
Ryan Kelly F LAL
Ryan Kelly is expected to play through a mild left ankle sprain on Friday night against the Jazz.

Mark Medina on Twitter
He is coming off a career-high 17 minutes and played a lot of power forward on Wednesday, so he could clear 20 minutes against the Jazz with Pau Gasol (illness) out. The Jazz are dead last in defensive efficiency this year, so there could be plenty of stats to go around for the Lakers.
Pau Gasol (illness) out, Chris Kaman to start 12-27-2013
Pau Gasol F CHI
Pau Gasol (illness) will not play against the Jazz on Friday.

Dave McMenamin on Twitter
Chris Kaman and Shawne Williams will get the start against the Jazz tonight. This will be Gasol's second inactive game in the past week and he should be considered questionable for Sundays's game against Sixers at home. In Kaman's four starts this year, he's averaged 10.0 points, 9.0 boards and 1.8 blocks, so he's worth a look as a spot start. Jordan Hill is also coming off a great Christmas Day game and should see an uptick in production. Shawne Williams is not worth owning in most formats.
Aaron Brooks will play vs. Pelicans on Sat. 12-27-2013
Aaron Brooks G CHI
Aaron Brooks (ankle) will play against the Pelicans on Saturday.

Jonathan Feigen on Twitter
He suffered a minor ankle sprain on Thursday's game and had his ankle re-taped following the injury, but never made it on the court. Brooks' minutes have taken a bigger hit than expected with Jeremy Lin over his back issue, so it might be time to cut him in most formats.
Joakim Noah iffy Saturday with sore hip 12-27-2013
Joakim Noah C CHI
Joakim Noah is a game-time decision for Saturday against the Mavericks with a hip injury.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
He missed Friday's practice and will have to see how he feels in the morning whether deciding if he'll play on Saturday. If Noah or Luol Deng (Achilles) are out, Taj Gibson should be in for another solid start for the Bulls. This is the first we've heard of Noah's hip injury.
Luol Deng a game-time decision for Saturday 12-27-2013
Luol Deng F MIA
Luol Deng went through "most of practice" on Friday and is a game-time decision for Saturday's game against the Mavericks with his sore Achilles.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
Deng has missed three straight games but it sounds like he might be able to play tomorrow. Stay tuned.
Kenneth Faried (ankle) ruled out for Denver 12-27-2013
Kenneth Faried F DEN
Kenneth Faried has been ruled out for Friday's game against the Pelicans due to an ankle injury.

Chris Dempsey on Twitter
He hasn't yet been ruled out for Saturday's game against the Grizzlies, meaning he's truly day-to-day with the injury. We're guessing Timofey Mozgov will start at center and J.J. Hickson will once again move over to power forward tonight.
Jordan Hamilton to start over Randy Foye 12-27-2013
Jordan Hamilton F UTH
Jordan Hamilton will start at shooting guard over a struggling Randy Foye for the Nuggets on Friday.

Chris Dempsey on Twitter
Daily players should take note, and owners of Foye in deep leagues should immediately consider dropping him for Hamilton. Hamilton has his own issues lately, hitting just 4-of-28 shots over his last five games. However, a move to the starting unit could boost his confidence and he could end up paying off as a pickup if the move to the first five sticks. Foye appears to have lost his confidence, hitting just 9-of-40 shots over his last five, and missing his last 12 shots over two games.
Horford, Carroll sit out Hawks practice 12-27-2013
Al Horford F ATL
Al Horford (shoulder) and DeMarre Carroll (thumb) both sat out Hawks practice on Friday.

Chris Vivlamore on Twitter
We're still awaiting word on the severity of Horford's shoulder injury, while Carroll appears to be day-to-day with his thumb injury. Horford suffered a severe injury to the other shoulder in 2012. Owners have to hold their collective breath and hope the news is good when we get an update, hopefully later on Friday or early Saturday, while Pero Antic and Elton Brand are the likely candidates to get his minutes if Horford is going to miss time.
Eric Gordon's hip to be re-evaluated 12-27-2013
Eric Gordon G NO
Eric Gordon has not been ruled out for Friday's game, but sounds unlikely to play again until his hip undergoes another medical evaluation.

New Orleans Times-Picayune
Gordon says his hip remains very sore and he skipped shootaround on Friday, instead watching his teammates from the sidelines. "It's very sore and I'm going to get it checked out and see what goes on from there," Gordon said. "I want to see those results first." If he's out, we're guessing Tyreke Evans will start in his place so owner should get Gordon on the bench and wait and see if a last-minute decision is made for him to play tonight.
Mike Harris out Friday for birth of child 12-27-2013
Mike Harris F UTH
Mike Harris will miss Friday's game due to the birth of his child.

Aaron Falk on Twitter
He doesn't get many minutes and his absence should have no fantasy impacts.
Richard Jefferson available to play Friday 12-27-2013
Richard Jefferson F DAL
Richard Jefferson went through Friday's shootaround and is available to play against the Lakers.

Aaron Falk on Twitter
We're guessing that means he's back in the starting five tonight, which is probably bad news for Alec Burks and company. He was listed as a game-time decision, but it sounds like he's feeling well enough to play tonight.
Avery Bradley goes through full practice 12-27-2013
Avery Bradley G BOS
Avery Bradley, who injured his knee in Thursday's practice, was a full participant in Friday's practice for the Celtics.

Jay King on Twitter
It sounds like he's a go for Saturday against the Cavs, who really tend to give it up to opposing guards. And that means Bradley should be a pretty decent fantasy option tomorrow.
Chris Andersen iffy with sore back vs. Kings 12-27-2013
Chris Andersen F MIA
Chris Andersen is listed as questionable for Friday's game at Sacramento with a sore back.

Miami Herald
He left Christmas Day's game with the injury and could be a game-time decision tonight. Udonis Haslem might get the start if Birdman is out.
Dwyane Wade (knee) listed as questionable 12-27-2013
Dwyane Wade G MIA
Dwyane Wade is listed as questionable for Friday's game at Sacramento due to his lingering knee concerns.

Miami Herald
We're guessing the Heat are just trying to decide if they want to use Wade tonight against the Kings, or on Saturday against the Blazers in Portland. Just a hunch, but don't be surprised to see Wade sit tonight and play tomorrow. What would be surprising is if he were to play in both, which would mark the first time this season that he played on back to back nights. If he's out look for Ray Allen to get another start for the Heat.
Antetokounmpo to stay in starting lineup? 12-27-2013
Giannis Antetokounmpo G MIL
Brewhoop.com is listing Friday's probable starters for the Bucks as PG Brandon Knight, SG Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF Caron Butler, PF Ersan Ilyasova and C John Henson.

Brewhoop.com
While this isn't set in stone, it does make sense, as O.J. Mayo, Khris Middleton and Larry Sanders would come off the bench. Sanders should eventually start once his conditioning is back, and the Bucks may be prepared to leave Giannis as the starting SG for the rest of the season in order to let him develop his game. This doesn't bode well for Mayo's near future, but it also wouldn't be surprising to see him become one of the best sixth men in the game. That is until Larry Drew changes his mind again.
Andrei Kirilenko out again for Nets 12-27-2013
Andrei Kirilenko F BKN
Andrei Kirilenko (back) will miss another game on Friday.

Nets on Twitter
It sounds like he's getting close but still isn't ready to play through his lingering back problems. And when he does play, the clock will be ticking on how long he can actually stay healthy.
Jason Smith could miss third straight game 12-27-2013
Jason Smith F NY
Jason Smith is still listed as day-to-day as Friday night's game against the Nuggets approaches.

John Reid on Twitter
He's been out with a sore knee and has seen his fantasy value drained by the return of Anthony Davis. If Smith is out again, look for Davis to start at center and Ryan Anderson to get the call at power forward.
Eric Gordon still listed as day-to-day w/ hip 12-27-2013
Eric Gordon G NO
Eric Gordon is listed as day-to-day with his hip injury, leaving him as, in our words, a game-time decision for Friday night.

John Reid on Twitter
Hopefully we get a new update out of New Orleans before the game, as Gordon took a hard fall on his hip on Monday. If he's out tonight, Tyreke Evans could start in his place.
Larry Sanders to get around 20 minutes 12-27-2013
Larry Sanders F MIL
Larry Sanders (thumb) is expected to play "20-plus" minutes off the bench on Friday, according to coach Larry Drew.

Charles Gardner on Twitter
Given how poorly Sanders played before getting injured early this season, expectations should be tempered as he'll be dealing with soreness in his thumb, as well as some conditioning issues tonight. He has a good matchup against the centerless Nets and if he plays 25 minutes tonight, as Drew has suggested, he could end up being a decent fantasy play. But there is obviously a lot of risk involved by using him if you have other options.
Ersan Ilyasova to start Friday for Bucks 12-27-2013
Ersan Ilyasova F MIL
Ersan Ilyasova will not only make his return from an ankle injury on Friday, but should be in the starting lineup according to coach Larry Drew.

Charles Gardner on Twitter
There's no word of a minutes restriction and this could finally mean we're on the verge of an Ilyasova breakout like we've seen the last few seasons. That is, as long as he can actually stay healthy. We still don't know who else will be starting with Ilyasova, but with Larry Sanders slated to come off the bench, we're guessing Brandon Knight, O.J. Mayo, Khris Middleton and John Henson will round out the starting five tonight.
E'Twaun Moore will not play on Friday 12-27-2013
E'Twaun Moore G CHI
E'Twaun Moore will miss another game on Friday due to his bruised thigh.

Josh Robbins on Twitter
This will be his third straight miss due to the injury and it should mean that Jameer Nelson and Victor Oladipo get extra minutes in his place.
Chase Budinger nearing return for Wolves 12-27-2013
Chase Budinger F MIN
Chase Budinger (knee surgery) practiced again on Thursday for the third time in a week, but still doesn't sound like he's ready for game action.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"He says he feels fine, but he's going through training camp basically," coach Rick Adelman said. "His whole body is sore, but he's moving OK. So hopefully, gradually he'll get better." Budinger sounds like he might be ready to play in the near future, but it's unlikely that he'll be worth owning in fantasy leagues.
Larry Sanders' role on Friday up in the air 12-27-2013
Larry Sanders F MIL
Larry Sanders is quite likely to play on Friday after missing all but three games this season with a right thumb injury, but how much or what his role will be will remain a mystery.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
"We'll think about it a little bit," coach Larry Drew said. "I don't know what I'll do yet, but I like having the options." The Bucks will have 13 players available for just the third time this season, as Ersan Ilyasova is also expected to return, and whose role is also unknown. Drew has struggled to put a consistent rotation together with limited resources, so how he's going to manage 13 players who are all expecting minutes is going to be a spectacle to behold. As usual, start your Bucks at your own risk, especially now with so many of them healthy.
Andrea Bargnani expected to play more Friday 12-27-2013
Andrea Bargnani C NY
Andrea Bargnani played just 16 minutes in Wednesday's loss to the Thunder, presumably because of poor defense, but it sounds like he'll get more run against the Raptors on Friday and Saturday.

New York Post
"I played him 16 minutes - I'm sure that will grow [Friday] when we play Toronto,'' coach Mike Woodson said. "He'll play more.'' Bargnani is averaging 14.1 points and five rebounds in 30 minutes per game, and while he's been slumping a bit recently, could get back on track with back-to-back games against his former team.
Pistons send Tony Mitchell to D-League 12-27-2013
Tony Mitchell F DET
The Pistons sent Tony Mithcell to the D-League on Thursday.

Detroit Free Press
Mitchell has appeared in just 10 games and almost all of his minutes have come in garbage time this season.
Pistons sending Peyton Siva to D-League 12-27-2013
Peyton Siva G ORL
The Pistons have sent guard Peyton Siva to the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League.

Detroit Free Press
He's likely to be there for a couple of weeks to get some much needed playing time, while the Pistons will play just six games over the next 18 nights.
Dion Waiters' wrist is still quite sore 12-27-2013
Dion Waiters G CLE
Dion Waiters hit 9-of-14 shots for 20 points in his return to action on Thursday night, but is still dealing with pain in his right wrist and used his left hand often in the overtime loss to the Hawks.

Cleveland Plain Dealer
"It's going to linger, but it's way better,'' he said just prior to the game. "I can do things I couldn't do before. It will bother me a little bit, but nothing that will keep me out.'' It sounds like it's safe to get Waiters back in lineups, but this is also an injury that may take some time to go heal. He was wearing a hard cast on his wrist recently and will continue to pad it during games, but he looked good on Thursday.
Kenneth Faried still iffy for Friday 12-27-2013
Kenneth Faried F DEN
Kenneth Faried had four days to rest his sprained left ankle and was able to practice on Thursday, leaving him as a game-time decision for Friday's game against the Pelicans.

NBA.com
"It looked like he was still wincing a little bit, so I don't know what his status is going to be for [Friday]," coach Brian Shaw said. If Faried is out again, Timofey Mozgov would likely start at center, sliding J.J. Hickson to power forward for the second straight game.
Carmelo Anthony sounds unlikely for Friday 12-27-2013
Carmelo Anthony F NY
Carmelo Anthony skipped Thursday's practice due to his sprained left ankle and now sounds unlikely to play against the Raptors in New York on Friday, according to the New York Post.

New York Post
The attached article suggests Melo will sit out tonight, but he does sound likely to play on Saturday when the Knicks face the Raptors again, this time in Canada. Mike Woodson said he was surprised Anthony backed out of the OKC game on Christmas, claiming to be too sore. And now it sounds like playing in a back-to-back would be too risky, although he hasn't officially been ruled out and is listed as questionable for Friday. "We'll see how he is and evaluate him,'' Woodson said. "If he says he's ready to go, we'll put him in uniform and play him.'' However, at this point, that doesn't sound likely to happen.
Damian Lillard gets slowed down by the Clips 12-27-2013
Damian Lillard G POR
Damian Lillard cooled off in Thursday's thrilling 116-112 overtime win over the Clippers, shooting 4-of-12 from the field for 14 points with five boards, four assists and two 3-pointers. Chris Paul has shut down a lot of point guards and Lillard is just another one, but the Blazers will still able to get the win. Lillard's offense has improved as the season has gone along and he's actually shooting a better percent on his pull-ups than Stephen Curry. He's putting up first-round value so far this season.
Wesley Matthews scores 19 with four treys 12-27-2013
Wesley Matthews G POR
Wesley Matthews made four 3-pointers on his way to 19 points, seven boards, six assists and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes against the Clippers on Thursday. He's been a catch-and-shoot 3-point machine for the Blazers, making 47 percent of those attempts from beyond the arc. Matthews ranks eighth in the NBA in points per shot and has taken his game to new heights. His owners shouldn't be overly concerned about the debut of C.J. McCollum.
Robin Lopez grabs 15 boards in 40 minutes 12-27-2013
Robin Lopez C POR
Robin Lopez grabbed 15 boards against the Clippers on Thursday with 11 points, one assist, one steal and one block in 40 minutes. He matched his season high in minutes and tonight was the third time this season he's grabbed at least 15 boards. Lopez is putting up fifth round value this season and he's locked in as Portland's man in the middle, so there's no reason to think he'll slow down.
LaMarcus Aldridge scores 32 in OT win 12-27-2013
LaMarcus Aldridge F POR
LaMarcus Aldridge (wisdom teeth) played 40 minutes in Thursday's 116-112 overtime win over the Clippers, scoring 32 points with 10 boards, four assists and no turnovers. He had oral surgery on Sunday and was a game-time decision before the team announced he was a go about an hour before tip. Aldridge is having a wonderful December with a 25-13 average line on 50 percent from the field and 83 percent from the line, but his owners shouldn't be looking to sell high. He and Kevin Love are the only two players in the NBA with season averages of 23 points and 11 boards per game, so LA is certainly in elite company.
Jared Dudley doesn't score in 20 minutes 12-27-2013
Jared Dudley G MIL
Jared Dudley did not score in 20 minutes of action against the Blazers on Thursday. He had an ugly game on Wednesday and was already falling out of favor in the fantasy world, so this outing should be more than enough for most owners to start looking elsewhere.
Blake Griffin scores season-high 35 points 12-27-2013
Blake Griffin F LAC
Blake Griffin scored a season-high 35 points against the Blazers on Thursday with 11 boards, one assist, one steal, two blocks and one 3-pointer on 15-of-27 shooting. It's just the fourth time in his career he's had at least one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in a game, so this goes down as one of his best lines ever. Griffin is playing well over his last five, averaging 26.4 points, 12.2 boards, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.6 triples on 52.1 percent from the field and 80.6 percent from the line, so his fantasy owner should be feeling pretty happy. He's also shooting 76 percent from the line this month, which would set a career high for any full month.
Chris Paul scores 34 w/ 16 dimes, six steals 12-27-2013
Chris Paul G LAC
Chris Paul was outstanding in a losing effort against the Blazers on Thursday with 34 points, three boards, 16 assists, six steals and two 3-pointers on 16-of-29 shooting. He did all of this with just one turnover and his entire team only turned it over just five times, but it still wasn't enough. In fact, the Clippers became the eighth team since 1985 to score at least 112 points, turned the ball over five or fewer times and lose a game. Paul is a fantasy beast and has been putting up top-three value in standard leagues.
Donatas Motiejunas plays 23 minutes 12-27-2013
Donatas Motiejunas F HOU
Donatas Motiejunas played 23 minutes against the Grizzlies in Thursday's 100-92 win, scoring four points with three rebounds, one assist and three blocks. It was a season high in minutes for D-Mo and he's coming off three consecutive DNP-CDs before tonight. Dwight Howard's back stiffened up on him, so Motiejunas might be getting some minutes on Saturday against the Pelicans. He's only worth a speculative add in very deep leagues for now.
12-27-2013
Mo Williams G MIN
Mo Williams returned to action on Thursday December 26.
12-27-2013
Dion Waiters G CLE
Dion Waiters returned to action on Thursday December 26.
12-27-2013
Gustavo Ayon F ATL
Gustavo Ayon returned to action on Thursday December 26.
Dwight Howard's back stiffens up in win 12-27-2013
Dwight Howard C HOU
Dwight Howard's back stiffened up on him in the second half of Thursday's game against the Grizzlies and coach Kevin McHale said that's why he didn't play him down the stretch.

Jonathan Feigen on Twitter
He had some back problems last year and it was the main reason why he missed eight games with the Lakers. The Rockets will have until Saturday to have their big man heal up for a home game against the Pelicans, and there should be an update on his status on Friday. If he can't go, Donatas Motiejunas would get some extra playing time. Howard did not get to the free throw line and shot 1-of-5 from the field for two points in Thursday's win over the Grizzlies to go with six boards and two steals in 18 minutes.
Terrence Jones drops 20 points vs. Grizzlies 12-27-2013
Terrence Jones F HOU
Terrence Jones put up his second great game in a row on Thursday with 20 points, five boards and two blocks on 10-of-14 shooting. He blew up for 21 points and 14 boards on Wednesday and is back to putting up huge lines. The Rockets don't have a backup center with Omer Asik (knee) and Greg Smith (knee) hurt, so Jones has been filling in there on top of his duties at power forward. Interestingly, Jones shoots 55 percent from the field with Dwight Howard on the bench vs. 47 percent with him in the lineup. He should be owned in all leagues.
James Harden makes 22 FTs, scores only 27 12-27-2013
James Harden G HOU
James Harden had one of the strangest games in NBA history on Thursday, shooting 2-of-9 from the field and 22-of-25 from the line for 27 points with six boards, five assists, one block and one 3-pointer. Before Harden's game tonight, Charles Barkley was the only man in NBA history to score less than 30 points while making at least 22 free throws in a game in 1995.
Kosta Koufos plays 23 minutes vs. Houston 12-27-2013
Kosta Koufos F MEM
Kosta Koufos played 23 minutes against the Rockets on Thursday during a 100-92 loss, scoring five points with 11 boards, one assist and three fouls. His minutes are on the rise over his last two while Jon Leuer's are declining, but he certainly hasn't done enough to deserve a pickup in fantasy leagues. The Grizzlies might have wanted some extra size in the paint vs. Houston, so we'll go with that as a reasonable explanation.
Jon Leuer's run looks to be over 12-27-2013
Jon Leuer F MEM
Jon Leuer had another quiet game against the Rockets on Thursday with six points and no rebounds in 12 minutes. The Grizzlies are running a three-way timeshare at center with Ed Davis and Kosta Koufos, so there isn't much to like here from a fantasy perspective. There's a good chance Leuer's low minutes had a lot to do with Dwight Howard, so his value might not be completely dead yet.
Mike Conley's slump continues on Thursday 12-27-2013
Mike Conley G MEM
Mike Conley's struggles continued on Thursday during a loss to the Rockets, shooting 4-of-14 from the field for 11 points with four rebounds, six assists, one block, two steals and two 3-pointers. He's been horrible on offense since missing two games with a bruised thigh, averaging 8.7 points, 6.3 assists and 1.3 triples on 23.3 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from the line over his last three. On top of that, it's been three solid matchups against the Patrick Beverley-less Rockets, Jazz and Knicks, so this is probably the low point of Conley's season. A savvy owner might want to float a buy-low offer out there.
James Johnson scores 12 points in loss 12-27-2013
James Johnson F TOR
James Johnson played 28 minutes off the bench against the Rockets on Thursday for 12 points, five boards, three steals, one block and one 3-pointer. He made a couple starts for the Grizzles and turned in averages of 7.0 points, 3.8 boards, 2.0 blocks, 1. 5 steals and 1.0 triples in 31.5 minutes, so tonight's game was actually a step up. Johnson has a few blips on the radar in fantasy hoops for his ability to add defensive stats, so he's at least worth a look in deep leagues.
Tayshaun Prince returns, scores nine 12-27-2013
Tayshaun Prince F MEM
Tayshaun Prince scored nine points in 25 minutes against the Rockets on Thursday to go with one rebound, four assists, one steal and one 3-pointer. He missed four games with a knee injury and played 25 minutes tonight, which is just a shade below his 26.6 minute average on the season. Prince made just his fourth triple of the season tonight and his game has never really been one that garners the attention of fantasy owners.
Zach Randolph calls refs 'horrible' on Thurs. 12-27-2013
Zach Randolph F MEM
Zach Randolph said the refs were "horrible" in Thursday's game against the Rockets.

Ronald Tillery on Twitter
"It was the refs. It was eight on five," Randolph said. "Horrible game by the refs. Awful." Randolph will definitely be getting a call after this one for a fine, but the league shouldn't suspend him over it despite their haphazard discipline following Christmas Day's ejection of Blake Griffin. Z-Bo finished Thursday's game with 23 points, 17 boards, five assists and three turnovers in 43 minutes. He's playing some of his best ball of the season right now.
Monta Ellis scores 23 points vs. Spurs 12-27-2013
Monta Ellis G DAL
Monta Ellis scored 23 points against the Spurs on Thursday during a 116-107 loss at home to go with three rebounds, six assists and three steals in 41 minutes. His offensive efficiency has dropped off a little, making only 44 percent from the field in December compared to 47 percent in November. On the other hand, Ellis' steals have risen to 2.2 per game this month and he's putting up third-round value on the season. The move to Dallas has helped his value immensely and he's one of the best shooting guards to own in fantasy.
The Matrix gets unplugged in loss 12-27-2013
Shawn Marion F CLE
Shawn Marion had his worst offensive game of the season on Thursday, shooting 1-of-9 from the field for four points with six boards, one steal and two blocks in 28 minutes. The blocks and steal made this a tolerable line and Marion's ability to add stats in so many areas has been a saving grace for over the past decade. He's putting up fourth-round value this year and remains one of the best under-the-radar studs in fantasy hoops.
Samuel Dalembert plays 24 minutes vs. SAS 12-27-2013
Samuel Dalembert C NY
Samuel Dalember played 24 minutes against the Spurs on Thursday with eight points, six boards, three blocks and one turnover on 4-of-7 shooting. He was questionable tonight with an illness, but was able to play above his 21.0 minutes per game. The Mavericks have been a bit of a mess at center with Brandan Wright (illness) over his shoulder injury, and tonight was the second game Dalembert played at least 24 minutes. He played a combined 26 minutes in his three games before this recent two-game stretch, so he's not really worth owning until he gets consistent minutes. Plus, Wright not playing was a big factor tonight.
DeJuan Blair double-doubles vs. old team 12-27-2013
DeJuan Blair F WAS
DeJuan Blair double-doubled against his former team on Thursday with 14 points, 11 boards, three assists, one steal and one block on 6-of-8 shooting. This past offseason, he had some comments about the Spurs not playing in the Finals, saying the team would have had better luck with him in the lineup against the Heat. Blair was a DNP-CD on Monday, but coach Rick Carlisle gave him another shot tonight thanks to Brandan Wright (illness) not playing. It's not worth picking him up based on this line alone.
Tim Duncan scores 21 points w/ 13 boards 12-27-2013
Tim Duncan F SA
Tim Duncan was effective Thursday's 116-107 win over the Mavericks on Thursday, scoring 21 points with 13 boards, three assists and two blocks in 32 minutes. He shot 7-of-16 from the field after his last two games yielded just 10.0 points on just 29.6 percent shooting. Duncan hasn't been quite as good as his fountain-of-youth 2012-13 season, but he's still putting up fourth-round value in standard formats. His owners will still want to sell high as long as the price is right.
Tiago Splitter lives at the line in win 12-27-2013
Tiago Splitter C SA
Tiago Splitter made eight of his 11 attempts from the line on Thursday during a win over the Mavericks, finishing with 12 points, six boards, one assist and one block in 23 minutes. He was questionable for this game with a hamstring injury and played his usual amount of minutes. Splitters stats have dipped from a mini-breakout year last season, so he's more of a fringe option in standard formats until further notice.
Dion Waiters plays 42 minutes vs. ATL 12-27-2013
Dion Waiters G CLE
Dion Waiters (wrist) played 42 minutes against the Hawks in Thursday's 127-125 double-overtime loss to go with four rebounds, two assists and one 3-pointer on 9-of-14 shooting. He returned from a three-game absence due to wrist tendintis and picked up right where he left off. Waiters is having a nice December with averages of 15.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 0.9 triples on 45.7 percent from the field, but his overall production doesn't translate to fantasy outside of points.
Tony Parker has bounce-back game 12-27-2013
Tony Parker G SA
Tony Parker bounced back from his six-point game on Christmas Day with a 23-point outing on Thursday, adding two rebounds, three assists and two steals. He did shoot just 6-of-18 from the field and is stuck in his worst slump of the season. Parker shot just 40.3 percent from the field since returning from a bruised shin on Dec. 21 while also posting sub-par averages of 5.8 assists and 2.5 turnovers. He should get it turned around against a leaky Kings defense on Sunday.
Going Green: Danny scores 22 in 27 minutes 12-27-2013
Danny Green G SA
Danny Green made all seven shots from the field for 22 points with two assists, three steals, two blocks and five 3-pointers in 27 minutes against the Mavericks on Thursday. He is starting to snap out of it with solid averages over his last five of 12.0 points, 1.4 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.4 blocks and 2.6 triples in 26.2 minutes per game. While his numerous duds have been much maligned, Green is putting up mid-round value in standard fantasy leagues. If he's sitting on your wire, there probably are not many with his upside, but he's certainly not going to be a fun player to own.
Andeson Varejao grabs 17 boards w/ eight pts 12-27-2013
Anderson Varejao C CLE
Anderson Varejao grabbed 17 rebounds in Thursday's double-overtime loss to the Hawks, adding eight points, three assists, one steal and three blocks in 35 minutes. He checked in for Andrew Bynum at the 8:42 mark in the third quarter and was a part of the action for most of the time following that point while Bynum did not return to the game. Varejao has been in a timeshare with Bynum, but his 28.5 minutes per game have yielded seventh-round value in standard leagues.
C.J. Miles scores 10 points vs. ATL Thursday 12-27-2013
C.J. Miles G IND
C.J. Miles scored 10 points against the Hawks on Thursday with two boards, one steal and two 3-pointers. The Cavs have been using their bench more and more on the wing, which has left little opportunity for Miles. He won't really be worth using in most leagues while Dion Waiters is active.
Andrew Bynum plays just 18 minutes 12-27-2013
Andrew Bynum C IND
Andrew Bynum played 18 minutes against the Hawks on Thursday with a line of four points, one rebound and one block on 2-of-3 shooting. The Cavs have one of the worst interior presences on offense in a very long time and some of it has to do with Andrew Bynum. They're shooting a woeful 49.1 percent on shots from within eight feet, which is the lowest percentage since the 98-99 Golden State Warriors. He has a total of three buckets in transition and is a long way from being a consistent asset in fantasy leagues.
Earl Clark doesn't do anything in start 12-27-2013
Earl Clark F HOU
Earl Clark started at small forward against the Hawks on Thursday and had three points, five boards, one assist, one block and one 3-pointer in 18 minutes. It's nice to be a starter for some players, but tonight serves as yet another example that it doesn't mean everything. Clark is having a decent year shooting from deep, but he has a long way to go before he's on the radar in standard or even 16-team leagues.