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The Nations Best (ID# 49596)
  • Joakim Noah (bereavement) back at practice
    Joakim Noah (bereavement) returned to practice on Saturday after sitting out on Friday.

    Advice: Noah will be ready for the Bulls' playoff opener vs. Washington on Sunday, which Chicago is heavily favored to win. Wizards center Marcin Gortat averaged 15.4 points and 10.8 rebounds after the All-Star break, but he's unlikely to have so much success while facing Noah on a nightly basis. Rotoworld.com
    45 minutes ago
  • Rockets may pair Dwight Howard & Omer Asik
    Rockets coach Kevin McHale said that "it's possible" he'll pair Dwight Howard and Omer Asik for stretches vs. the Trail Blazers.

    Advice: "We haven't done it a lot lately," he said. "They were effective earlier [this season] at stages, and this might be one of those games where if we're having a heck of a time with Aldridge we might try one of our big centers on him." Terrence Jones will get the first chance to slow Aldridge down, but he struggled with the matchup this season and his success or failure will be a key facet of Houston's first-round matchup. Rotoworld.com
    Today, 8:45 am
  • Tim Duncan ready to play increased minutes
    Tim Duncan said that it would be "perfect" if he averaged 33-35 minutes per game in the playoffs.

    Advice: "I look forward to [a bigger workload]," Duncan said. "I feel good right now. I'm in shape and healthy and ready to take on those extra minutes." He hyper-extended his knee on April 10 but didn't miss any time with the injury, and Gregg Popovich's cautious management of his players should be a key to the Spurs' postseason success -- the Spurs are the only team in the league that didn't have a single player averaging 30 minutes per game. Rotoworld.com
    Today, 8:12 am
  • Amir Johnson (ankle) ready to play vs. Nets
    Amir Johnson said that his ankle feels "good" as he prepares to defend Paul Pierce in the first round of the playoffs.

    Advice: It's a tough matchup for Johnson and it will be even harder if his ankle limits his mobility. Since the All-Star break Johnson has averaged 10.4 points on 60.0 percent shooting, with 6.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. Rotoworld.com
    Today, 7:29 am
  • Raptors may tweak big man rotation vs. Nets
    Raptors coach Dwane Casey said that his team's versatility will be "huge" in their first-round matchup vs. the Nets, who have found success with Paul Pierce starting at PF.

    Advice: Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson will start in the backcourt, with Patrick Patterson as the first big man off the bench, but the distribution of playing time will be a game-by-game decision. "If we stay big we've got to really pound the boards and take advantage of it if they stay small," Casey said. "But at the same time they're such a lethal three-point shooting team ... if we're getting killed with three-point shooting then we'll have to make some adjustments." Rotoworld.com
  • Beno Udrih steps up in Grizzlies' PG rotation
    Grizzlies PG Beno Udrih will take on a bigger role in the playoffs with Nick Calathes suspended 20 games for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.

    Advice: Calathes was averaging 15 minutes per game and he proved to be invaluable when Mike Conley missed games in February, but his playing time will now fall to Udrih. Although he's only played a handful of minutes with Memphis, Udrih is a career 46.1 percent shooter (35.6 percent from downtown) and he boasts a solid assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.5. Rotoworld.com
    Today, 6:39 am
  • Alex Len will stay in Phoenix to train
    Suns rookie Alex Len plans to stay in Phoenix this summer, where he'll be "getting healthy, getting stronger and getting better."

    Advice: "Missing last summer hurt me a lot," said Len, who struggled with injuries and averaged 2.0 points on 42.3 percent shooting as a rookie. "I just need to try to play as much as I can because the game was too fast for me this year. It is going to slow down with getting playing time." Len has considerable upside but we'll need to see it on the court before recommending him as a fantasy pick next season. Rotoworld.com
    Today, 6:29 am
  • Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters shoot down drama
    Luol Deng said that Cavaliers guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters "love" to play together and have no off-court issues.

    Advice: "There's times where they've looked great," Deng said. "They're human, but in terms of can they play together? Yeah. I've played in this league for 10 years and I know they can." The talented duo have struggled to co-exist offensively, a problem which may have been exacerbated by keeping Waiters in a sixth-man role early in the season, but they showed steady improvement last in the season and their mutual respect bodes well for the future of the Cavs backcourt. Rotoworld.com
  • Eric Bledsoe remains noncommittal on contract
    Eric Bledsoe has remained noncommittal about his status as a restricted free agent this summer.

    Advice: He was superb in his first season with the Suns and the team did not extend his contract heading into the season. However, the Suns will almost do anything they can to bring him back, and Bledsoe seems to be a part of the team and wasn't happy about missing out on the playoffs. "The way we lost the last couple games to the Spurs and Dallas, it definitely put a taste in my mouth," Bledsoe said. He'll have high-end fantasy value next year no matter where he lands. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 12:48 pm
  • The Warriors recalled Ognjen Kuzmic on Friday
    The Warriors recalled Ognjen Kuzmic from the D-League on Friday.

    Advice: He was sent to the D-League for extra playing time against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Kuzmic grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds in the win. In three D-League games he posted averages of 20.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, and shot an outstanding 77.1 percent from the field. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 12:36 pm
  • Kupchak: Pau Gasol is a priority this summer
    General manager Mitch Kupchak said on Friday that Pau Gasol is a "priority" this offseason.

    Advice: "If you look at the free agents, there probably isn't anyone as good as Pau on the board," Kupchak said. While this isn't a surprising quote, the Lakers should certainly look to bring Pau back despite their ending result on the standings. He finished with averages of 17.4 points, 9.7 boards and 1.5 blocks, so he'll be a high pick in fantasy leagues next year. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 11:45 am
     
    Injured
  • Joakim Noah (bereavement) skips practice
    Joakim Noah (personal) did not practice Friday.

    Advice: Noah was excused for bereavement reasons. He's in New York, but is expected to rejoin the team in Chicago Saturday. The Bulls open up their first-round series against the Wizards at 7pm ET on Sunday night. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 10:47 am
  • Ramon Sessions would welcome return to MILW
    Free agent Ramon Sessions said he'd welcome a return to Milwaukee.

    Advice: Sessions is one of the few players in the league who actually embraces the dysfunction in Milwaukee. He was drafted there at No. 56 overall in 2007. "I want to stay loyal to them like they did to me," he said. We're not sure if the Bucks want Sessions back, but we do know he's still a fantasy asset whenever he's getting significant minutes. In 28 games for the Bucks this season, Sessions averaged 15.8 points, 4.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 8:26 am
  • Bulls, Lakers, Rockets, Clips to pursue Melo?
    The Bulls, Rockets, Lakers and Clippers are among the teams expected to pursue unrestricted free agent Carmelo Anthony.

    Advice: The Knicks can offer Anthony a five-year, $129 contract. The max he can get from other teams is four years and $95 million. But the Knicks have almost no room to reshape their roster, so re-signing there would not give Anthony his best shot at his stated goal of winning. If he's serious about competing for a title, Melo will take a massive pay cut and sign with Chicago, which could field a starting five of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Anthony, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 6:41 am
  • Jazz GM expects to retain RFA Hayward
    GM Dennis Lindsey said he hopes restricted free agent Gordon Hayward is a "career Jazz member."

    Advice: At just 24 years old, Hayward was one of just four players to average 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. The others were LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Michael Carter-Williams. Hayward's 41.3 percent shooting leaves a lot to be desired, but the Jazz would be silly not to match any offer within reason. They can afford him and a max free agent if it comes to that. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 6:17 am
  • Dwyane Wade says injuries aren't as bad
    Dwyane Wade (knee) said he's feeling better to start this postseason compared to last postseason.

    Advice: Wade added he wasn't concerned about continuity with LeBron James and how his last three games helped him. At the conclusion of the playoffs last year, Wade mentioned how much he battled through injury, which explains why the Heat managed him so severely this season. The bottom line is it looks like their plan worked and they'll look to win another title in June. Rotoworld.com
    Thursday, 11:07 pm
  • Pau Gasol says he could be done with Lakers
    Pau Gasol admitted his time with the Lakers could be over during his exit interview on Thursday.

    Advice: "I'll be in charge of my future and my destiny," Gasol said. "This could be my last day [with the Lakers], maybe." To be clear, this isn't really a big story or anything. There will be endless rumors about the Lakers considering their popularity and how they had the worst season of their history. Gasol will be an unrestricted free agent this summer after turning in a solid 2013-14 season based on statistical output. Rotoworld.com
    Thursday, 5:48 pm
     
    Injured
  • Melo: 'I want to come back' to Knicks
    Carmelo Anthony said on Thursday that he wants to return to the Knicks, but added that he also wants to win next year.

    Advice: "I want to come back. I also want to win," he said. Whether Melo stays with the Knicks will be a hot topic from now until a decision is made, and while the addition of Phil Jackson gives them some hope, he's also excited to become a free agent. He will likely opt out in July and then start testing the market. Yes, the 'Summer of Melo' is approaching quickly. Melo said on Thursday he doesn't care about the money and just wants to win, while the Knicks can offer him more than any other team - five years, $129 million. Rotoworld.com
    Thursday, 10:34 am
  • Duncan, others ready for Spurs playoffs
    Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter sat out on Wednesday, but the Spurs are healthy and ready for their first-round match up with the Mavericks.

    Advice: The Spurs were 4-0 vs. the Mavs this season and the old guys got plenty of rest down the stretch. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 9:51 pm
  • Amir Johnson rolls ankle on Wednesday
    Amir Johnson looked to suffer an ankle injury against the Knicks on Wednesday.

    Advice: There has been no word from the team just yet, but he did play only 15 minutes after he seemed a bit hobbled. Johnson scored just two points with four boards, one assist and two turnovers in a loss. He'll need the two days off as the Raptors head into the playoffs. They'll face the Nets this weekend and if he's out, Patrick Patterson will take over at PF. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 9:20 pm
  • Dwayne Wade scores 16 in meaningless loss
    Dwyane Wade hit 6-of-14 shots for 16 points, two rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes on Wednesday.

    Advice: His owners probably couldn't care less that he showed up for the final two games of the season, as he was simply a headache to own all year. And if you owned Wade this season, chances are you won't be touching him next year. And we're right there with you. Toney Douglas and Ray Allen were the only other Heat players to score in double figures, as LeBron James, Chris Bosh and some others took the night off to rest. The Heat will play the Bobcats in Round 1, and will have to find an answer for Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson if they're going to breeze into Round 2. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 9:01 pm
  • Dwyane Wade in starting lineup vs. Philly
    Dwyane Wade will start next to Toney Douglas, James Jones, Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem on Wednesday vs. the Sixers.

    Advice: Wade is expected to see a nominal amount of minutes, but it's still a great sign for the Heat to even see him suit up. He had to play through injuries last postseason and chances are he will have to again. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 4:17 pm
  • Omer Asik will not play on Wednesday
    Omer Asik will not play against the Pelicans on Wednesday.

    Advice: He's getting some rest tonight as the Rockets prepare for the Blazers in the first round of the playoffs. Donatas Motiejunas will back up Dwight Howard tonight. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 4:01 pm
  • Tim Duncan, Marco Belinelli out for Spurs
    Tim Duncan and Marco Belinelli are out for the Spurs on Wednesday.

    Advice: The kicker is that Gregg Popovich says he has no idea who he's going to start tonight. Stay tuned. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 3:39 pm
  • Dwyane Wade expected to play Wednesday
    Dwyane Wade is expected to play "nominal minutes" in Miami's final game of the regular season on Wednesday.

    Advice: Wade logged 23 minutes in his return on Saturday, then followed that up with an 18-minute game on Monday, and he's not likely to get much more vs. the 76ers. The good news for Miami is that he doesn't seem to have had any setbacks with his hamstring or knee since returning, while slowly improving his conditioning in the lead-up to the playoffs. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 10:29 am
  • Alex Len, Archie Goodwin will play Wednesday
    Suns rookies Alex Len and Archie Goodwin will play extended minutes in Wednesday's season finale.

    Advice: Goran Dragic is the only starter who will not play, but guys like Eric Bledsoe, Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker and Channing Frye will have their minutes curtailed in favor of player development. Len and Goodwin have played three minutes combined in April, as the Suns were focused on chasing a playoff spot, so it's nice to see them getting an opportunity to play. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 6:19 am
  • Carmelo Anthony (shoulder) has torn labrum
    Carmelo Anthony has been diagnosed with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, but he will not require surgery.

    Advice: Melo will be re-evaluated in one month and it's very interesting that an MRI revealed the tear only after he'd played in a number of games to help the Knicks' slim chances of making the playoffs. While his toughness is commendable, the Knicks' medical staff and management have questions to answer about letting their star risk aggravating a serious injury. Carmelo is expected to enter free agency via his early-termination option, and once the playoffs end he'll be the focus of this summer's FA frenzy. Rotoworld.com
    Tuesday, 3:44 pm
  • Spurs Big 3 could all play Wednesday
    Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all played on Monday, and all three could play in Wednesday's finale as part of Gregg Popovich's "controlled rest" plan.

    Advice: "You can't just sit for a week and then wait for Sunday and expect to be ready," Ginobili said. "We need to play, go up and down and feel good about ourselves." While their minutes and production might not be through the roof, it does sound like there's a decent chance most of the Spurs will be in action in a meaningless final game against the Lakers. Rotoworld.com
    Tuesday, 8:35 am
  • Woodson: Melo 'probably won't play' Tuesday
    Mike Woodson said on Tuesday morning that Carmelo Anthony "probably won't" play against the Nets, and that he will likely shut him down for Wednesday, as well.

    Advice: TNT is getting a dog of a game, as Amare Stoudemire is a game-time decision, while the Nets will be without Shaun Livingston, Mirza Teletovic and Alan Anderson, and also list Deron Williams, Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson as game-time calls. It would take a small miracle to see Melo in uniform at this point, as he deals with a lost season, a sore shoulder and pending free agency. Rotoworld.com
    Tuesday, 8:15 am
  • Carmelo Anthony misses shootaround
    Carmelo Anthony missed shootaround on Tuesday in order to have his right shoulder re-examined.

    Advice: He's listed as questionable for tonight's game against the Nets on TNT, but it would be fairly surprising to see him play. J.R. Smith might take 50 shots tonight, while it's possible Melo has played his last game for the New York Knicks. Rotoworld.com
    Tuesday, 7:31 am
  • Tim Duncan returned to action on Monday April 14. Rotoworld.com
    Tuesday, 1:21 am
  • Gordon Hayward scores 21 points in loss
    Gordon Hayward scored 21 points with six boards, four assists and one 3-pointer against the Lakers during Monday's 119-104 loss.

    Advice: The Jazz were able to score the ball a bit, but their defense continues to hurt them. They will finish this season with the worst record in the Western Conference and have a decision to make on free-agent Hayward. His 41.3 percent from the field is a weakness, but it's hard to be too tough on him considering the lack of help around him on the perimeter. Rotoworld.com
    Monday, 8:48 pm
  • Tim Duncan plays 30 minutes vs. Rockets
    Tim Duncan played 30 minutes against the Rockets on Monday, scoring 12 points with nine boards and two assists.

    Advice: The Spurs had nothing to play for and they still gave Duncan solid minutes. They will close out the regular season on Wednesday vs. the Lakers and we would be very surprised to see him in the lineup for that one. His fantasy owners can make a proactive cut if there is anything promising on the wire. Rotoworld.com
    Monday, 8:00 pm
  • Johnson scores 10 points with two threes
    Amir Johnson scored 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting (including two threes) with five rebounds, three assists and one steal in Monday's win.

    Advice: Johnson logged 28 minutes and with the Raps likely tied with the Bulls for the No. 3 seed after tonight, his chances of playing on Wednesday are better than they might have been in a less competitive scenario. Patrick Patterson (three points, 1-of-7 FGs, five boards, two steals, 20 minutes) has taken a back seat with Johnson playing well. Rotoworld.com
    Monday, 7:15 pm
  • Dwyane Wade plays 18 minutes, scores nine
    Dwyane Wade started at small forward on Monday vs. the Wizards, scoring nine points with three assists and two steals in 18 minutes.

    Advice: He probably would have been closer to 23-27 minutes tonight, but the Heat were blown out 114-93. With tonight's loss, Miami is now locked in as the two seed, which increases the probability Wade sits on Wednesday night. His fantasy owners can probably make a proactive cut at this point. Rotoworld.com
    Monday, 6:19 pm
  • Warriors call up Kuzmic and Nedovic
    The Warriors recalled Ognjen Kuzmic and Nemanja Nedovic on Monday.

    Advice: Even with Andrew Bogut at less than 100 percent, Kuzmic is unlikely to play much with the Warriors. He has no fantasy value and had a quiet rookie season. Rotoworld.com
  • Tim Duncan will play vs. Rockets
    Tim Duncan will start against the Rockets on Monday night.

    Advice: It's Bizarro World in Houston with the Spurs' Big Three all playing while Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills are sitting out. Duncan should be in all lineups tonight, but we would be a little shocked to see him play on Wednesday. Rotoworld.com
    Monday, 4:05 pm
  • Dwyane Wade will start vs. Wizards on Monday
    Dwyane Wade will start against the Wizards on Monday night.

    Advice: He's expected to have a minutes restriction tonight, but he should still have a lot of responsibilities with LeBron James and Chris Bosh sitting out. Wade played 23 minutes on Saturday and was still able to score 24 points, so his fantasy owners should throw him out there in their lineups tonight. Although, he's almost a lock to rest on Wednesday. Rotoworld.com
    Monday, 2:44 pm
  • Popovich hints he won't rest players Monday
    Gregg Popovich hinted that he won't rest anyone during Monday's game vs. Houston.

    Advice: Pop emphasized the need to be sharp and in sync for the playoffs, and with two games left on the schedule he may ease up on his extra-cautious approach to resting players. We should get more concrete information after the Spurs warm up for Monday's game, so check back later tonight for updates. Rotoworld.com
    Monday, 10:31 am
  • Dwyane Wade (hamstring) may play vs. Wizards
    Dwyane Wade (hamstring) made it through Saturday's game unscathed, clearing the way for him to play again on Monday.

    Advice: "He probably felt like he should have been cleared a week ago, but we wanted to be very patient with him," said coach Erik Spoelstra. Wade looked terrific in 23 minutes of action in his return and the Heat may bump up his playing time to ensure that he's ready for the postseason, but he's always a DNP risk so owners should confirm his status before tip-off. In an ironic twist, Wade has better odds of playing than fellow stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh, both of whom could use some rest. Rotoworld.com
    Monday, 9:16 am