Joakim Noah dealing with a thumb sprain
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Bulls center Joakim Noah
was spotted after Wednesday's game wearing a splint, but he told reporters he did not expect the injury to be a serious one. As ESPN.com reports Thursday, his gut reaction has proven correct, as initial tests show just a sprain
The Bulls will give a further diagnosis on the injury Friday prior to the game against the Grizzlies, though his status for that game is currently not yet known.
Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao
continues to deal with a sore back, and the injury is bad enough that he did not travel with the team
for Friday's game against the Bobcats according to The News-Herald
. He will miss his 12th game in a row as a result of the injury, and it is not clear if he will be able to play when the team returns for Saturday's game against the Knicks.
Miles Plumlee sitting out Thursday as well
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Suns center Miles Plumlee
will miss his second game in a row
Thursday against the Thunder, as he continues to deal with a sprained right knee. Plumlee last played Sunday against the Hawks, when the injury limited him to 12 minutes. He is day to day moving forward.
Joel Freeland expected to 'take a little more time' with MCL sprain
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Trail Blazers center Joel Freeland received a second opinion
from a knee specialist on Thursday and is expected to "take a little more time than expected with his MCL sprain, according to a report from Comcast SportsNet Northwest.
Freeland has been sidelined since Feb. 11 with the injury. No timetable has been set. He is averaging 3.3 points and 3.9 rebounds over 51 games played.
Pero Antic makes surprise return Wednesday
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Hawks center Pero Antic
was not expected to play Wednesday against the Trail Blazers, but he ended up making his return from a 17-game absence in a 102-78 loss.
Antic had been able to take part in three-man drills, but was expected to need more time in his recovery from a fractured ankle. However, he saw 16 minutes off the bench in Wednesday's game and played well despite the lopsided score. He put up 10 points on 3 of 5 shooting, while adding four rebounds.
Antic was playing well prior to the injury, scoring in double figures in four of his last five games. He will likely be eased back into the rotation at first, but should carve out a solid role on the shorthanded Hawks.
Kosta Koufos makes an impact off bench
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Grizzlies center Kosta Koufos
played well off the bench Wednesday against the Nets, as he nearly snagged a double-double in a 103-94 loss.
Though he fell a few rebounds short of the double-double, Koufos did reach double figures in scoring for the first time in more than a month. He scored 12 points on 6 of 9 shooting in 19 minutes, and added eight rebounds, one block and two steals in the loss.
Koufos has remained a consistent part of the rotation, but isn't producing much in a reserve role. He finished the month of February averaging just 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Cody Zeller finding some success
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Bobcats center Cody Zeller
has struggled mightily in his rookie season, but the No. 4 overall pick appears to be in a bit of a hot streak recently. Zeller scored in double figures for the fourth straight games Wednesday, in a 109-87 win over the Pacers.
Zeller scored 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting and added five rebounds in 20 minutes of action. He also chipped in two blocks and a pair of steals as the Bobcats ran away with the game.
Zeller is averaging 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game despite averaging under 20 minutes per game over the course of his double-digit scoring streak.
Kelly Olynyk scores 19 in return from injury
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Celtics center Kelly Olynyk
did not look rusty at all in his return from a week-long absence due to a sprained toe Wednesday, as he led the team in scoring in a 108-88 loss to the Warriors.
Olynyk, who ended up missing just two games while out of action, put together one of the best games of his career in the blowout loss. He score 19 points on 6 of 12 shooting with three 3-pointers made, matching his career-high. Olynyk added five rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes in the blowout loss.
Olynyk has scored 40 points with seven assists and 13 rebounds in his last two games, with that two-game injury absence in the middle. Olynyk has largely struggled in his rookie season, but the No. 13 overall pick has been playing better recently, averaging 11.0 points per game since the All-Star break.
Alex Len does little with start
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Suns center Alex Len
, who earned DNP's in each of his last two games, was thrust into the starting lineup for the first time in his career Tuesday against the Clippers, with Miles Plumlee sidelined by knee soreness.
Len didn't make much of an impact in his first start, despite playing 19 minutes. He scored just six points on 3 of 8 shooting while adding six rebounds in the 104-96 loss.
Len, the No. 5 overall pick in this year's draft, has done little for the Suns in the midst of a fight for a playoff spot. He has appeared in 27 of the team's first 60 games, averaging just 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
Back not an issue for Dwight Howard
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Rockets center Dwight Howard
took advantage of an overmatched Miami frontline Tuesday and showed no signs of the back injury that had him as a game-time decision.
Howard played 36 minutes in the game and led the team in both scoring and rebounding. He dropped 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting and added 16 rebounds, his 10th 20-point, 15-rebound performance of the season. The big man added one assists but failed to block a shot for just the 11th time all season, though the Rockets still managed to win, 106-103.
Given that back surgery limited Howard's explosion for more than a season, it was good to see him shake off the issue easily Tuesday. He is averaging 18.9 points and 12.5 rebounds per game for the season.