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Player Notes

  • Nikola Jokic drops 41 in losing effort Sunday
    Nikola Jokic contributed 41 points to go with 11 rebounds, four assists and a pair of three-pointers.

    Advice: Jokic was monstrous on the offensive end in this one, hitting 16-of-28 shots and 7-of-8 free throws to deliver his third 40-point effort of the 2023 postseason. Denver’s other four starters combined for 41 points on 15-of-34 shooting, and Jokic understandably focused his energy on scoring with so many teammates struggling. The four assists are his fewest of the postseason, and they match his second-fewest of the regular season. Jokic has been masterful for the entirety of the Nuggets’ playoff run and, despite the loss, he was the best player on the court again Sunday. The Nuggets suffered their first home loss of the playoffs, but Jokic will look to guide his team to a road win Wednesday in Miami for Game 3. Sunday, 11:32 pm
  • Bam Adebayo goes 21/9/4 w/ two blocks Sunday
    Bam Adebayo accumulated 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting Sunday in a win over Denver, adding nine rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.

    Advice: As expected, Bam got the job done in the paint, and he was even more efficient than the 13-of-25 shooting night he had in Game 1 when he scored 26. Bam finished behind only Gabe Vincent (23 points, four triples) for team lead in scoring, and through two games, Adebayo is the team’s leader in points. Jimmy Butler has struggled on offense, racking up 34 points on 33 field goals, but the difference between Game 1 and Game 2 was Max Strus and Duncan Robinson hitting shots, and Miami’s bench playing a bit more consistently throughout the contest. Adebayo has had his way with Denver in the series thus far, and there’s no indication he’ll slow down in Game 3 back in South Beach. Sunday, 11:25 pm
  • Lovely to Love your lovin': K-Love goes 6/10/1/2
    Kevin Love scored six points Sunday and added 10 rebounds, an assist, two steals and two triples as the Heat defeated the Nuggets 111-108.

    Advice: Love was a DNP-CD in each of Miami’s last three games, but with Caleb Martin dealing with a non-COVID illness (yet still able to play), the former landed in the starting lineup Sunday. Love logged 22 minutes, his most since playing 23 in Game 4 of the second-round series against the Knicks, and turned them into quality production. It’s unclear what his role will be Wednesday in Game 3, but Coach Spo should give him a long look when considering his rotations for the rest of the Finals. Sunday, 11:19 pm
    Player Note
    Kevin Love MIA - PF,C
  • Cody Zeller (foot) cleared to play in Game 2
    Cody Zeller (sprained right foot) will play in Game 2 against Denver on Sunday.

    Advice: Zeller played a small role in Game 1, and he'll likely be used in a similar fashion in Game 2. He's a different look to throw at Nikola Jokic, but he isn't necessarily an effective option. Sunday, 6:04 pm
  • Domantas Sabonis (thumb) hoping to avoid surgery
    Domantas Sabonis was due to undergo another scan on his injured right thumb on Thursday and hopes to avoid having to undergo surgery. 

    Advice: Sabonis played a significant chunk of the season with an avulsion fracture in his right thumb. He had the thumb scanned immediately after the Kings' season concluded and was due to undergo another evaluation on Thursday. The hope is that Sabonis will be able to avoid surgery this summer. The results of the second scan and ensuing treatment plan will impact his availability for Lithuania in this summer's FIBA World Cup. Saturday, 10:17 am
  • Aleksej Pokusevski suffers fractured right arm
    Aleksej Pokusevski suffered a small fracture of his right humerus bone during a workout in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. 

    Advice: Pokusevski's 2022-23 season came to a premature end due to a left knee contusion, and now he's dealing with another injury. Poku suffered a small fracture of his right humerus bone (upper arm) and will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks. Given the timeline, Pokusevski should not be at risk of missing the start of training camp in September. However, the recent injury issues are a concern regarding his ability to consistently contribute to the Thunder rotation and be of value to fantasy managers. Thursday, 7:06 pm
  • Shams: Bulls, Nikola Vucevic open extension talks
    According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Bulls and Nikola Vucevic have begun discussing a possible contract extension. 

    Advice: Vucevic is due to be a free agent at the end of June, but he and the Bulls are allowed to discuss a possible extension. Per the report, both sides are interested in getting a deal done before Vooch can hit the open market. Vucevic played in all 82 games for the Bulls this season, averaging 17.6 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.5 3-pointers in 33.5 minutes. And he did so with solid percentages, recording shooting splits of 52.0% from the field (highest since 2014-15), 34.9% from three, and 83.5% from the foul line. Vucevic outperformed his Yahoo ADP (35), finishing the season ranked just outside the top 25 in 9-cat, per-game value (33rd in 8-cat). Wednesday, 7:25 pm
  • Shams: Robert Williams battled stomach virus in G7
    Robert Williams played in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals while battling a stomach virus according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

    Advice: The report on Williams playing through Game 7 with a stomach virus might explain why the Celtics center only saw 14 minutes of game action Monday night. Time Lord was reportedly "throwing up during timeouts" and when he subbed out of the game. He had been averaging a little over 19 mpg entering Game 7, putting up five rebounds and just under 10 points per game. Tuesday, 2:48 pm