MIL @ UTA: Chris Sheridan says that Al Jefferson will be traded to the Spurs , and who am I to argue with the boss? Big Al (19 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST) showcased his value, as did Paul Millsap (19 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 4 BLK, 2 STL) who might also be moved. The two reasons Utah can consider blowing things up are Derrick Favors (9 PTS, 11 REB, 3 ST, 3 BLK in 22 minutes) and Enes Kanter, who played a dominant 17 minutes: 17 PTS, 9 REB and 5 BLK. The Bucks were tired and missing both Larry Sanders (back) and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (knee) so they had no answer after the Jazz took command in the second quarter.
SAS @ MIN: The Spurs use their annual ‘rodeo road trip’ as a team-building exercise. Without Tim Duncan (knee, ankle) and Manu Ginobili (hamstring) they let Tony Parker (31 PTS, 8 AST, 5 REB) run wild and Danny Green got ridiculously hot, nailing eight 3-pointers en route to a 28-point night. Kawhi Leonard (19 PTS, 10 REB) was also very good. Ricky Rubio (9 PTs, 11 AST, 4 REB, 3 STL) was just 3-13 from the floor; Nikola Pekovic (21 PTS, 10 REB) and Derrick Williams (15 PTS, 12 REB) double-doubled but the Wolves shot 40.7% and need Andrei Kirilenko (quad) to return ASAP.
February 7 Game Previews
LAL @ BOS: Two old teams missing key players kick off the TNT doubleheader. Boston won a very tough game in Toronto last night and will be battling fatigue; the Lakers have lost Pau Gasol (foot) for at least six weeks, if not twice as long. It’s not only a torn labrum slowing down Dwight Howard. His surgically-repaired back remains a problem, and causes numbness in his legs. He probably shouldn’t have played those three games in four nights to begin the season. Kobe Bryant is battling a sore elbow, which makes Earl Clark and Steve Nash more important than ever. The Celtics are a very impressive 5-0 without Rajon Rondo but relying so heavily on KG and Pierce may eventually wear them down.
CHI @ DEN: Plantar fasciitis is an occupational hazard for big men who run and cut on hardwood floors. It’s the injury of the year in the NBA, and Joakim Noah is trying to play through it. Whether or not Noah returns, Carlos Boozer (hamstring) is not at his best, so Taj Gibson is a must-start in fantasy leagues. He can outhustle Kosta Koufos and outwork JaVale McGee for at least 30 minutes. Luol Deng is the only other Bull I like tonight, as the Nuggets are 21-3 at home and much healthier. Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari are the most consistent; Andre Iguodala and Kenneth Faried are defensive specialists who have occasional big nights at the offensive end, and the Denver bench features four guys you can use at bargain prices in daily leagues.
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