Vinnie's_NBA_Elimination_2014 (ID# 2593)
  • Vince Carter limited due to ankle injury
    Vince Carter was limited in practice on Wednesday due to a right ankle bone spur.

    Advice: He had surgery back in May for this issue and the Grizzlies are likely just playing it safe. They have some depth issues at small forward and Tayshaun Prince was one of the worst starters in the league last year, so Carter could make his way onto the fantasy map.
    38 minutes ago
  • Quincy Pondexter goes through some practice
    Quincy Pondexter (foot) went through at least some of practice on Wednesday.

    Advice: The team Twitter account shared a picture of him taking a jumper and he looks to be over his broken foot from last season. Pondexter will have to fight for minutes this season and is not worth drafting in most leagues.
    42 minutes ago
  • Bojan Bogdanovic with the first unit
    Bojan Bogdanovic worked with the first unit in Wednesday's practice.

    Advice: Jarrett Jack looks like he'll be coming off the bench as a backup point guard, so Bogdanovicis competing with Alan Anderson for the last starting spot. He also shot an amazing 59.7 percent on his shots within the arc in the Euroleague last season and has a very well-rounded game. Bojan is only a late-round flier unless he gets hot at camp, which could happen.
    44 minutes ago
  • Suns want to push the pace more?
    Coach Jeff Hornacek said he'd like for his team to push the pace more this season.

    Advice: "I don't think we take it out quick enough. We're great when we get a miss," Hornacek said. His Suns ranked eighth in pace last season and had a league-high 17.8 percent of their point total come in fast-break, so they're capable of being the fastest team in the NBA. Plus, they also play Markieff Morris at center and run a lot of small-ball lineups. Fantasy owners should probably have at least one Sun on their target list.
    Today, 11:54 am
  • Chris Andersen working on his jumpers
    Chris Andersen said that he is working on expanding his offensive game for this season.

    Advice: Outside of three feet of the rim last season, he shot just 12-of-46 (26.1 percent), so he has his work cut out for himself. Andersen is 36 years old and knows his body will wear down with more contact, so it makes sense for him to expand his game. He's more of a blocking specialist in deep leagues.
    Today, 11:32 am
  • Tyler Zeller making an impact at camp
    Coach Brad Stevens said Tyler Zeller is "maybe the biggest surprise" at training camp due to his passing ability.

    Advice: "I'm excited about our bigs being able to pass the ball as much as anything else," Stevens said. "Because we've talked about, if they can stretch it, it's better for us than shooting it." Zeller actually improved his jump-shooting percentage by over 10 percent last season, so adding a nice passing wrinkle to his game could help him get minutes. He is worthy watching in training camp, but isn't on the radar in most leagues just yet.
    Today, 11:14 am
  • C.J. Miles, Stuckey starting during practices
    C.J. Miles (strained calf) said that he's been playing alongside Rodney Stuckey in the Pacers' first unit during recent practices.

    Advice: It's too early to declare Miles and Stuckey the team's starting swingmen, but the veterans appear to be the early favorites ahead of guys like Solomon Hill, C.J. Watson, Damjan Rudez and Chris Copeland. Hill has been filling in as a starter for portions of practice which Miles can't play in, due to his injury, and there's reason to believe this position battle is just getting started.
    Today, 11:06 am
  • Rodney Stuckey vying for starting job in Indy
    Pacers coach expects 6'5" SG Rodney Stuckey to give the team "a lot of scoring punch, and quality play and veteran experience at the wing spot."

    Advice: "My game is to attack, get to the free throw line, create for my teammates," Stuckey said. His solid FT percentages are one of the only reasons to consider him in fantasy leagues, along with a dose of points and assists, but his value is tainted by a lack of 3-point shooting and poor FG percentages (43.6 percent last year). The Pacers were in the bottom-10 for pace last season, and fantasy owners should tread lightly when it comes to Stuckey.
    Today, 10:51 am
  • Khris Middleton sidelined after cyst removal
    Bucks F Khris Middleton had a cyst removed on Wednesday and will be out for a few days, according to coach Jason Kidd.

    Advice: It's unfortunate timing for Middleton, who is trying to establish himself in Kidd's wing rotation, but at least it doesn't sound like a serious issue. Middleton is uncertain what his role will be this season, and the competition he faces for minutes is enough reason to avoid him on draft day.
    Today, 10:50 am
  • Grizzlies encourage Marc Gasol to score more
    The Grizzlies are encouraging Marc Gasol to look for his own shot more often this season.

    Advice: Gasol is a phenomenal passer for a center, but Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger wants him to be much more aggressive. "He's got to score the ball. That's all there is to it," Joerger said. "It doesn't make you a selfish player. It just means people can't guard you." Gasol missed 23 games last year after spraining his MCL, but the injury is behind him and he's been very durable throughout his career. He has top-20 upside but his current ADP of 44.0 suggests he's reliably undervalued in fantasy drafts.
    Today, 10:35 am
  • Wolves try to protect Nikola Pekovic's health
    Nikola Pekovic (ankle bursitis) said that he feels good after shedding his protective boot, but the Wolves are looking for ways to limit the wear-and-tear on his body.

    Advice: Flip Saunders already said that he hopes to limit his starting center to around 26-27 minutes per game, and Pek is wearing a custom-made shoe as a preventive measure. His fantasy value is severely undermined by his minute-limit, injury risk, and lack of shot-blocking at the C position. If he does go down with an injury this season, Gorgui Dieng would immediately become a must-own player.
    Today, 10:24 am
  • Joakim Noah (knee) scrimmages without setback
    Joakim Noah (left knee) scrimmaged without any setbacks on Wednesday, and said afterward that he felt better than he did on Tuesday.

    Advice: Noah wore a large brace to protect his knee but it didn't seem to bother him. He had arthroscopic surgery in May and is anticipating a "grueling season," but the fact that he's playing without restrictions bodes well for his season outlook.
    Today, 10:19 am
  • Thomas Robinson improved his left-hand skills
    Thomas Robinson improved his left-handed skills while rehabbing a torn ligament in his right thumb this summer.

    Advice: "Everything was left hand; left-hand floaters, left-hand hooks, left-hand layups," Robinson said. "Anything I could do with my left hand, I did it." He has been cleared for full-contact since last week and he practiced without any issues on Tuesday, so he'll be ready to backup LaMarcus Aldridge on opening night.
    Today, 10:16 am
  • Joel Anthony limited Tuesday by groin injury
    Celtics veteran Joel Anthony was limited throughout Tuesday's practice due to a groin injury.

    Advice: Anthony is owed a guaranteed $3.8 million and a buyout hasn't been mentioned, so the Celtics should keep him on the roster as insurance behind Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger and Vitor Faverani.
    Today, 10:13 am
  • Mavs aim to take pressure off Monta Ellis
    Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said that the team's new backcourt additions will "take some pressure off Monta [Ellis]."

    Advice: "[Ellis] had the ball so much in his hands last year. And, look, he's going to have it in his hands a lot this year," Carlisle said. "But you can never have too many attackers on an NBA team ... and so Jameer [Nelson], [Raymond] Felton and [Devin] Harris, those guys are going to complement Monta's game very well." A slight dip in minutes and shot attempts isn't the end of the world for Ellis' fantasy value, especially if it preserves his health, and he remains a solid early-round pick.
    Today, 9:48 am
  • Devin Harris expects to play more off ball
    Devin Harris worked on his spot-up shooting this summer, in anticipation of playing off the ball more frequently.

    Advice: Harris operated as a pick-and-roll ball-handler on more than one-third of his possessions last season, but he's proficient enough as a spot-up shooter that he shouldn't have a difficult transition. He should earn minutes at both PG and SG off the bench but his fantasy upside is severely limited by the presence of Jameer Nelson, Raymond Felton and minute-hog Monta Ellis.
    Today, 9:40 am
  • Josh McRoberts (toe) back at practice Tuesday
    Heat PF Josh McRoberts (toe surgery) returned to practice on Tuesday, but he'll sit out Wednesday's scrimmage as a precaution.

    Advice: McRoberts anticipates being fully healthy for opening night. He's is the uncontested starting PF for Miami this season, with Udonis Haslem as his most prominent backup, so minutes should be plentiful. He may not control the ball as often as he did last year but fantasy owners can still rely on him for a unique combination of 3-pointers, assists and some defensive stats, all with admirably few turnovers.
    Today, 9:38 am
  • Manu Ginobili (leg) not limited in practices
    Manu Ginobili (leg) said that he's "a little behind" in his conditioning but otherwise has no limitations stemming from the slight stress fracture that limited him all summer.

    Advice: "There is a point when the practice gets too long or too rough when Pop gives me a little extra rest, but I have not been told, 'You can't do this,'" Ginobili said. Tony Parker was granted permission to begin training camp late this season, and Boris Diaw got a whole week off after playing with France all summer in the FIBA World Cup -- Popovich and his staff are starting their 'rest-the-veterans' campaign earlier than usual this season.
    Today, 9:05 am
  • Norris Cole asked to score more for Heat
    The Heat may ask Norris Cole to score more this season.

    Advice: Cole said that he "wasn't really asked to do that much offensively" last season, but he's eager to step up this season and challenge Mario Chalmers for the starting PG job. "Defensively, [Cole] is a monster," said Dwyane Wade. "The next wave for him is how to be effective as a point guard and effective as a scoring guard." Fantasy owners should avoid Cole for now, but we'll be keeping a close watch on him throughout the preseason.
    Today, 8:29 am
  • Tony Parker: 'I feel fresh, I feel rested'
    Tony Parker said after a light practice on Monday, "I feel fresh, I feel like I'm rested."

    Advice: The Spurs gave Parker permission to skip the first few days of training camp while wrapping up loose ends in France, but he's back and ready to defend the championship. His restful offseason bodes well for his fantasy outlook, and with any luck he'll exceed both last season's minutes per game (29.4) and games played (68).
    Today, 7:57 am
  • Kevin Martin 'cut corners' past 5-6 years
    Kevin Martin admitted that he "cut corners" during training camp and regular-season practices last season.

    Advice: "I'm not going to be able to get away with the things I did the past five or six years because I have to be ... that big-brother type that has to do things the right way and not just get by on talent," Martin said. His honesty is commendable but the fact that he's been taking shortcuts for "five or six years" can't be welcome news for the franchise's paying him millions of dollars per season. Regardless, the veteran is poised to start at SG for coach Flip Saunders and he's vowed to lead by example. Fantasy owners should wait until the late rounds to target K-Mart.
    Today, 7:37 am
  • Ian Mahinmi (shoulder) sits out practice
    Ian Mahinmi (dislocated shoulder) didn't practice on Tuesday, but he did participate in conditioning drills with the team.

    Advice: Mahinmi hurt himself before the FIBA World Cup in August, at which point he was given a 2-3 month timetable. The team deemed the injury "minor" and he should be ready to go during the exhibition season, even if he does miss a week or two of training camp.
    Today, 7:13 am
  • Kris Humphries as a stretch-PF for Wizards?
    Kris Humphries shot 47.9 percent from 16 feet and beyond last season, and he could emerge as a 'stretch PF' option for the Wizards.

    Advice: Humphries isn't a 3-point threat but his solid jump shooting should earn him a reliable role backing up Marcin Gortat and Nene in a crowded frontcourt. Wizards writer Ben Standig suggests that Humphries "will be in the rotation, if not the first big man off the bench," but fantasy owners should leave him untouched on draft day.
    Today, 6:55 am
  • Derrick Rose avoiding unnecessary contact
    Derrick Rose reiterated his desire to avoid unnecessary contact this season, which could mean he'll choose his spots when driving at the rim.

    Advice: "If I have an open shot, shoot. If I have a pull-up, shoot it. Shoot a lot more floaters so that people won't touch my body like they did in the past throughout the entire game," Rose said. "I think that [constant contact] really hurts you I think as an athlete - you need your years." Rose's shot attempts have slowly shifted toward the 3-point line throughout his five-year career, a change which may be accelerated this season -- hopefully an increase in 3-pointers will offset any loss in FG percentage.
    Today, 6:45 am
  • Kenneth Faried encouraged to start fastbreaks
    Kenneth Faried will be encouraged to start the Nuggets' fastbreak offense after securing defensive rebounds, according to coach Brian Shaw.

    Advice: "I gave him the freedom [last year] to use that raw energy and athleticism to get our break going," Shaw said. "I envision that in this coming season." Faried is eligible for a contract extension until Oct. 31, but he may be content to play out the season in the hopes of a big payday in restricted free agency. "I'd love to be a lifer [in Denver]," Faried said. "[But] if things don't work out, then I have to move on." Nuggets fans can only hope that GM Tim Connelly finds a way to keep the Manimal in the Mile-High City.
    Today, 6:16 am
  • Derrick Rose wishes season started earlier
    Derrick Rose is healthy and ready to get the preseason going as soon as possible, he said on Tuesday.

    Advice: "When you miss two years you want games right away," Rose said. "I wish we had a game tomorrow, but we've got to wait a couple of more days." It will be interesting to see how many games Rose plays in this season, as well as if he gets the night off on back-to-backs, along with routine rest during practices. His shot was broken this summer in FIBA play and he hasn't really played in the NBA in two years. But if he has a good preseason and enters the year fully healthy, he could be a steal on draft night, as he's not going until Round 3, at the earliest, in most leagues.
    Yesterday, 6:06 pm
  • Rodney Stuckey works with the ones on Tuesday
    Rodney Stuckey worked with the first unit on Tuesday.

    Advice: Unless coach Frank Vogel gets wild and starts C.J. Watson, Stuckey should have no problem entering the season as the starting shooting guard. Although, his style of play hasn't translated to fantasy production due to low assists, an ineffective shot from beyond the arc, low scoring efficiency, and sub-par steals. He's a low-upside, safe player to take at the end of standard drafts and is more suited for points leagues.
    Yesterday, 4:54 pm
  • C.J. Miles dealing with a calf issue
    C.J. Miles missed some of Tuesday's practice due to a strained calf.

    Advice: He suffered the injury earlier this month and coach Frank Vogel did say Miles' calf has healed. The team is just keeping his workload in check before the season starts. He'll likely come off the bench and should have a very high usage rate while he's on the court. He's a player to think about later in drafts.
    Yesterday, 4:39 pm
  • Manu Ginobili (leg) happy with his health
    Manu Ginobili (leg) said that he's "happy with how [he's] been playing" since returning to practice two weeks ago.

    Advice: Ginobili missed the FIBA World Cup due to a small stress fracture in his right leg, but he's participating in the Spurs' training camp without any limitations. He averaged 22.8 minutes per game last year, lowest since his rookie season, and the added risk of DNP-CDs makes him a shaky late-round fantasy option.
    Yesterday, 3:57 pm
  • DEN and Kenneth Faried still talking contract
    The Denver Nuggets are still negotiating a contract extension with Kenneth Faried's representatives.

    Advice: While the two sides have been negotiating for months, there is now a sense of urgency with the October 31 deadline approaching. The 24-year-old may have to settle for less than a max contract, but his strong play for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup could help The Manimal's case. Faried offers a good deal of fantasy upside as he's currently being selected in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts and should easily return that value if he can carry his strong international play into the regular season.
    Yesterday, 8:15 am
  • Marc Gasol not sweating pending free agency
    Marc Gasol said he's not sweating the fact that he's due to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

    Advice: "I think we've got to take it day by day," Gasol said. "You know how much I love this team and this hasn't changed, so we'll see how we feel at the end of the year and we'll go from there."After being selected in the first-round of most fantasy drafts last year, the 29-year-old only played 59 games due to a knee injury. If his injury-plagued 2013-14 season scares a few fantasy owners away from Gasol, he'll end up being an early-round steal on draft day.
    Yesterday, 7:34 am
  • Thomas Robinson (thumb) to be ready for camp
    Thomas Robinson (thumb) has been taking contact in practices since last week, and he will be ready to play the first day of training camp.

    Advice: Robinson 4.8 points and 4.4 rebounds through 12.5 minutes off the bench last season, and with some added depth to the Blazers' frontcourt in Chris Kaman, Robinson isn't likely to see those numbers improve. He's not going to be worth drafting in most leagues.
    Monday, 4:05 pm
  • Joakim Noah hopes to be without limitations
    Joakim Noah hopes to be without limitations following arthroscopic surgery he underwent in early May on his left knee.

    Advice: "It's going to be a grueling season," said Noah. "This is the first time I've had surgery on my knee. I'm hoping there are no limitations." Noah added that he is going to be cautious with his knee, but all reports up to this point have been positive and he's expected to be ready for training camp after a relatively minor procedure. Noah has struggled with health throughout his career, but he was able to make it through 80 games last season on his way to career-high averages of 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. While he's not likely to return to his 5.4 assist per game average this year with a healthy Derrick Rose orchestrating the offense, he's still going to be worth an early-round selection in standard leagues.
    Monday, 3:22 pm
  • Thibodeau says Rose won't have restrictions
    Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau said that he expects Derrick Rose to play without restrictions for the 2014-15 season.

    Advice: Bulls GM Gar Forman also added he feels Rose has complete trust in his knee, and he saw "reactivity and explosiveness" during Rose's games at the FIBA World Cup. Bulls management from top to bottom has been very positive with all reports regarding Rose, despite his struggles shooting the ball (25.4 percent from the field) during the FIBA tournament. Rose will be asked to be a focal point of the Bulls offense this season, but remains an extremely risky early-round selection in re-draft leagues.
    Monday, 2:10 pm
  • Shaw says Kenneth Faried was MVP of Team USA
    Coach Brian Shaw said he thought that Kenneth Faried was the MVP for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup.

    Advice: While this sounds like a Kevin Durant quote, it's still interesting to see how Shaw feels about Faried. The Manimal was spectacular after the break and he was awesome at FIBA, so he could be unleashed this year. He's a high-upside pick in the middle rounds after positing third-round value after the break last season.
    Monday, 11:43 am
  • Tony Parker back at practice on Monday
    Tony Parker returned to practice on Monday morning.

    Advice: He was expected to return on Sunday night from an excused absence, but his flight was delayed out of Chicago. Parker is entering the season healthy and should put up nice numbers as long as he's active. Fantasy owners can probably let him slide into the middle rounds before grabbing him.
    Monday, 11:04 am
  • McRoberts had toe surgery after last season
    Josh McRoberts confirmed that he had toe surgery immediately following the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, but he'll be ready to go when the regular season begins.

    Advice: McRoberts numbers don't jump off the page, as he averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.1 turnovers, and 1.3 three-pointers with Charlotte last season, but his ability to offer treys and assists from the power forward position makes him worthy of a late-round selection in standard leagues.
    Sunday, 9:37 am
  • Saunders wants Kevin Martin to step up the D
    Flip Saunders wants Kevin Martin to play better defense this season.

    Advice: "Everybody talks about [Martin's] lack of defense. You've got to have the right mindset," said Saunders. "I'm going to challenge him to have that defensive mindset. Is he ever going to be all-team defense? No, I'm not asking him to do that. But I am asking him to sacrifice the things he needs to do within a team concept." For fantasy owners, the concern with Martin is always health. He only made it through 68 games last season, and his contributions to the stat sheet are predominately focused on points, treys, and free throws. Martin will be a risk-reward pick in the later rounds of drafts.
    Sunday, 8:10 am
  • Nikola Pekovic to get 26-27 minutes a night
    Coach Flip Saunders hopes he will be able to keep Nikola Pekovic at 26-27 minutes per game.

    Advice: "With Gorgui [Dieng] improving and Ronny (Turiaf) being healthy, we can get Pek down to 26, 27 minutes a night," said Saunders. "So he's not going to have to play 12 minutes at a time. He's a big guy. If you can't change his weight, you change his workload so his body doesn't take such a pounding." Throughout the four-years that Pekovic has been in the league, he's never made it through a full NBA season. And while a decreased workload may help him stay on the court, it's also going to hurt his fantasy value a bit. Pek shouldn't be targeted until the later rounds of drafts in standard leagues.
    Sunday, 8:00 am
  • Derrick Rose expected to see 30 mpg
    K.C. Johnson reported that Derrick Rose should see around 30 minutes per game as the bulls try to be conservative with their superstar.

    Advice: Rose saw around 30 minutes per game the last time he went down so this is a pretty safe estimate. Rose demonstrated the same athleticism that we were used to during the FIBA World Cup but his jump shot was downright awful. He is going to be a very risky pick near the first few rounds of standard drafts, and it would also not be surprising to see him held out of some back-to-backs at some point.
    Saturday, 5:16 pm
  • Nikola Pekovic's minutes to slip this season
    In an interview with Wolves President and coach Flip Saunders, it was reported that Nikola Pekovic's minutes are expected to drop.

    Advice: He has had a lot of injuries in the past couple of seasons and can't seem to stay on the court. He is a bruiser when healthy but the Wolves will feel more comfortable resting him with the improving Gorgui Dieng behind him. We wouldn't target Pekovic until the later rounds.
    Saturday, 5:08 pm
  • Tony Parker is away from the team
    Tony Parker has an excused absence from practice on Saturday.

    Advice: He will join the team on Sunday evening and it's not believed to be injury related. Parker signed a three-year extension and it still seems strange that he's only 32 years old considering all he's been through in his career. He'll be a No. 2 point guard in fantasy leagues and should put up solid stats this season. Of course, his owners will have to be careful of coach Gregg Popovich resting him.
    Saturday, 10:20 am
  • Chris Andersen's new nickname is Two Checks
    Chris Andersen said his teammates called him "Two Checks" because of the buyout from the Nuggets in 2012.

    Advice: The Nuggets are paying him about $9 million from the buyout after letting him go in July of 2012. Everyone calls him Birdman nowadays, so a new nickname is a welcomed sight. Still, Two Checks isn't worth a penny in standard fantasy drafts and auctions.
    Friday, 6:28 pm
  • Manu Ginobili has been practicing for a week
    Manu Ginobili (leg) has been practicing for about a week, according to coach Gregg Popovich.

    Advice: Additionally, Ginobili said he didn't like how he wasn't cleared to play in the FIBA World Cup, but admitted he was hurt. He'll likely have his minutes monitored this season, which makes him a risky pick late in fantasy drafts.
    Friday, 10:43 am
  • Bojan Bogdanovic competing for starting spot
    Bojan Bogdanovic will compete with Alan Anderson for the Brooklyn wing starting spot opposite Joe Johnson.

    Advice: The Nets losing out on Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston opened up some major minutes on the wing. Bogdanovic looked fantastic at the FIBA World Cup, so he could have some potential in his rookie season. He's worth a look late in drafts and is one of the top players to watch at training camp for fantasy owners.
    Friday, 7:40 am
  • Ian Mahinmi will miss the start of camp
    Ian Mahinmi (shoulder) will miss the start of training camp.

    Advice: He could miss a couple weeks of training camp due to his left shoulder injury. "We've been increasing the basketball stuff lately and the shoulder's been responding really good, really well to it," Mahinmi said. He was given a 2-3 month prognosis in August, but the team dialed it back earlier this month and called it "minor." Regardless, he's not a fantasy option in most leagues.
    Thursday, 6:22 pm
  • Goran Dragic still in Suns' long-term plans
    Eric Bledsoe's five-year, $70 million contract shouldn't hamper the Suns from re-signing point guard Goran Dragic for the long term.

    Advice: Dragic has already said he will opt out of his contract after next season, but the Suns are confident they'll be able to get a deal done once that happens. "We don't have many long-term commitments," GM Ryan McDonough said. "We have every intention of keeping Goran in a Suns uniform as long as possible. We know he loves Phoenix. There's plenty of money for Goran next year or when it comes up. We fully anticipate taking care of him."
    Wednesday, 8:56 pm
  • Gregg Popovich hopes team isn't 'satisfied'
    Gregg Popovich said that he's "worried" his Spurs players will "feel satisfied" after winning the 2013-14 championship.

    Advice: It's hard to imagine Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and company being complacent after dismantling the Heat in the Finals, but Pop is already riling them up before training camp. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect many changes this season -- the Spurs' aging trio of stars will play conservative minutes with occasional DNP-CDs, and Pop will occasionally frustrate owners by spreading minutes evenly throughout his deep roster.
    Sep 21, 3:49 pm
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