Tyler Zeller
Celtics' Tyler Zeller: Scores eight points in season-ending loss
Tyler Zeller, C, BOS
4/29/2016
News: Zeller scored eight points (4-6 FG) and added five rebounds across 12 minutes in Thursday's 104-92 Game 6 loss to the Hawks.

With the Celtics trailing by 21 points entering the fourth quarter, Zeller was given a chance to try to will the team back to victory, but his efforts ultimately proved futile in the season-ending loss. Though he entered the season in a starting role, Zeller ended up dropping steadily down the depth chart throughout the season and made appearances in just three of the six games in the first-round playoff series. Zeller will become a restricted free agent in the offseason, and given his limited role this past season along with the existing crowd in the Celtics' frontcourt, it would be surprising if he donned the green and white in 2016-17.

Analysis: 

Al Horford
Hawks' Al Horford: Pitches in with 15 points in series-clinching victory Thursday
Al Horford, C, ATL
4/29/2016
News: Horford registered 15 points (7-10 FG, 1-2 3Pt), four rebounds, two assists, three blocks and two steals over 30 minutes in Thursday's 104-92 series-clinching victory over the Celtics.

The veteran big man turned in an efficient performance in the decisive victory, his first double-digit scoring effort since Game 2 of the series. It was a particularly resurgent shooting performance for Horford, who'd topped at a 40 percent success rate from the field over the last three games, and had bottomed out at 18 percent in Game 5 on Tuesday. Like many of his teammates, Horford's play, particularly on offense, will likely need to come up several notches for the Hawks to remain competitive in their second-round series versus the Cavs. He finished the first round with averages of 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.7 blocks and 1.3 steals.

Analysis: 

Spencer Hawes
Hornets' Spencer Hawes: Out one week with MCL sprain
Spencer Hawes, C, CHA
4/28/2016
News: Hawes has been ruled out for at least one week after an MRI on Thursday revealed an MCL sprain.

Fortunately the Hornets have the upper hand in their current series with the Heat, leading 3-2, but Hawes won't be able to return to the court until a potential Round 2 matchup with either the Raptors or Pacers. Either way, Hawes has an ancillary role with the Hornets while playing behind Marvin Williams, Frank Kaminsky, Cody Zeller, and Al Jefferson.

Analysis: 

Hassan Whiteside
Heat's Hassan Whiteside: To play against Hornets on Friday
Hassan Whiteside, C, MIA
4/28/2016
News: Whiteside (hand) says his hand is swollen, but he will play against the Hornets on Friday, Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald reports.

Whiteside plans to play through the pain of a hand injury that he supposedly contracted during a Game 5 loss to the Hornets. It is unclear at this time what exactly is wrong with Whiteside's hand, but for now it should be assumed that he will play Friday as he said he would. The status of Whiteside's hand should be monitored up until game time as more will most likely become known before Game 6's shootaround on Friday.

Analysis: 

Anderson Varejao
Warriors' Anderson Varejao: Plays in only two of five games in first round
Anderson Varejao, C, GS
4/28/2016
News: Varejao logged eight minutes and provided one point (0-2 FG, 1-2 FT), three rebounds, and two assists in Wednesday's 114-81 Game 5 victory over the Rockets.

The late-season return of Festus Ezeli from a knee injury has largely come at the expense of Varejao, who only appeared in two of the Warriors' five games during the first-round series. Since the Warriors also frequently deploy starting power forward Draymond Green as a small-ball center, Varejao is effectively fourth on the depth chart at the position behind Andrew Bogut, Ezeli, and Green and doesn't figure to see the court much in the postseason outside of blowouts.

Analysis: 

Dwight Howard
Rockets' Dwight Howard: Grabs 21 boards, but goes 3-for-13 in series-ending loss
Dwight Howard, C, HOU
4/28/2016
News: Howard compiled eight points (3-13 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-4 FT), 21 rebounds (11 offensive), one assist, one steal, and one block across 45 minutes in the Rockets' series-ending 114-81 loss to the Warriors in Wednesday's Game 5.

The rebound total was a series high for Howard, but it came about in as unimpressive of a fashion as possible, as more than half of his boards came on the offensive end, where the Rockets were laying bricks all night en route to a 32.6 percent shooting night as a team. Howard was one of the primary culprits in the Rockets' awful offensive execution, as he clanked 10 of his 13 shots while staying on the floor for nearly the entire game. On the heels of a disappointing season in which he often clashed with star James Harden, Howard appears to be a safe bet to leave the Rockets in the offseason, when he'll become an unrestricted free agent. Though he's on the downside of his career and saw his offense stagnate in 2015-16, Howard is still regarded as an above-average presence on the defensive end, an attribute that should allow the 30-year-old to attract plenty of interested suitors.

Analysis: 

DeAndre Jordan
Clippers' DeAndre Jordan: Double-doubles with three dimes, three blocks in Game 5 loss
DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC
4/28/2016
News: Jordan managed 16 points (5-8 FG, 6-11 FT), 17 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks across 31 minutes during the Clippers' 108-98 loss to the Trail Blazers in Wednesday's Game 5.

Jordan did all he could to help lead the Clippers to a win minus Chris Paul (hand) and Blake Griffin (quad), but it was not to be. Jordan has averaged 11.0 points (on 58 percent shooting), 15.6 rebounds, 3.2 blocks, two assists, and one steal in 33 minutes. While 58 percent might seem superb, it's actually 12 percentage points lower than Jordan's regular season mark. However, he has improved his rebounding, assists, steals, and blocks numbers in the postseason. With the Clippers devastated by injuries, it will take a total breakout performance from Jordan for Los Angeles to win in Portland on Friday and force a Game 7.

Analysis: 

Mason Plumlee
Trail Blazers' Mason Plumlee: Delivers efficient performance in Game 5 win
Mason Plumlee, C, POR
4/28/2016
News: Plumlee produced 10 points (4-6 FG, 2-2 FT), 15 rebounds, four assists, and two steals across 32 minutes during the Trail Blazers' 108-98 victory versus the Clippers in Wednesday's Game 5.

Plumlee continues to be a reliable, well-rounded contributor here in round one, with averages of 7.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, six assists, one steal, and 0.8 blocks in 29 minutes. Plumlee's scoring has dipped a bit during the postseason, but his rebounds and assists are up significantly from the regular season. This was his second double-double through five playoff games, and Plumlee will look to help the Trail Blazers advance to round two when the series shifts back to Portland for Game 6 this Friday.

Analysis: 

Cody Zeller
Hornets' Cody Zeller: Leaves for locker room during Game 5
Cody Zeller, C, CHA
4/27/2016
News: Zeller left for the locker room with an apparent injury during the second quarter of Game 5 against Miami, and is questionable to return, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

It is unclear whether or not Zeller will return to the game. In Zeller's absence, Spencer Hawes, Frank Kaminsky, and Al Jefferson may see a slight boost in playing time.

Analysis: 

Ian Mahinmi
Pacers' Ian Mahinmi: Will play in Game 4
Ian Mahinmi, C, IND
4/27/2016
News: Mahinmi (back) will play in Saturday's Game 4 against Toronto.

Initially deemed questionable, Mahinmi tested out his strained back in warmups and has been given the green light to play. Mahinmi will presumably start at center, but it's unclear how effective he'll be, and both Mylers Turner and Jordan Hill could see increased roles if Mahinmi is at all limited.

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