David Lee
Spurs' David Lee: Won't undergo surgery
David Lee, C, SA
5/26/2017
News: Lee (knee) will not have surgery on his sprained patellar tendon and is expected to be fully healthy in six weeks, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reports.

With a six-week timetable, Lee should be able to resume basketball activities by early-to-mid July. That gives him plenty of time to get in shape prior to training camp.

Analysis: 

Al Horford
Celtics' Al Horford: Turns in eight points in series finale
Al Horford, C, BOS
5/26/2017
News: Horford tallied eight points (4-8 FG), three rebounds and one assist over 27 minutes during Thursday's 135-102 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The veteran big man turned in his lowest point total of the series and scored in single digits for the first time since Game 2 of the first-round series versus the Bulls. The reduced output was essentially explained by the fact that Horford played just 27 minutes equaling his low-water mark in playing time during the postseason. The 30-year-old had an up-and-down first season in Boston and finished with averages of 14.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 blocks over 68 games. Notably, he shot a career-low 47.3 percent, while his scoring average was his lowest since his rookie 2007-08 campaign.

Analysis: 

Tristan Thompson
Cavaliers' Tristan Thompson: Complementary presence again in Game 5
Tristan Thompson, C, CLE
5/26/2017
News: Thompson posted six points (1-3 FG, 4-4 FT) five rebounds, one assist and one block over 29 minutes during Thursday's 135-102 win over the Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

With the Cavs' Big Three hitting on all cylinders once again, Thompson played a definitively complementary role for the third time in the series' five games. The 26-year-old stepped up offensively during the series when called upon, logging double-digit scoring efforts in Games 1 and 3, including a double-double in the latter. Thompson was very solid on the boards in particular during last season's Finals versus the Warriors, hauling in 10.1 rebounds over the seven games. Therefore, he's likely to play a pivotal part in the rebounding department at a minimum in what should be a tough matchup down low versus Zaza Pachulia during the upcoming series.

Analysis: 

Kelly Olynyk
Celtics' Kelly Olynyk: Will join starting five for Game 4
Kelly Olynyk, C, BOS
5/23/2017
News: Olynyk will enter the starting five for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavaliers on Tuesday, Jay King of MassLive.com reports.

Amir Johnson is expected to miss Tuesday's game with a shoulder injury, so coach Brad Stevens has opted to go with Olynyk as his replacement in the top unit. Olynyk has averaged just 15.7 minutes over the first three games of the series, but should push for a much bigger role during Game 4. Jonas Jerebko also figures to see an uptick in minutes in the frontcourt off the bench.

Analysis: 

Zaza Pachulia
Warriors' Zaza Pachulia: Says he will play in Finals
Zaza Pachulia, C, GS
5/23/2017
News: Pachulia (heel) says he will be 'fine' to play in the NBA Finals given the nine-day layoff, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reports.

With the NBA Finals starting on June 1, the big man will have plenty of time to rest and let his bruised heel recover. While the news is coming from Pachulia himself rather than the medical staff, it seems reasonable to believe his word given the timetable. He should be expected to play and start at center for the Warriors during Game 1.

Analysis: 

JaVale McGee
Warriors' JaVale McGee: Will move back to bench for Game 4
JaVale McGee, C, GS
5/22/2017
News: McGee will return to the bench for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News reports.

McGee was very effective in limited playing time during his Game 3 start, posting 16 points in just 13 minutes while filling in for Zaza Pachulia (heel). While Pachulia remains sidelined, the Warriors will go with a slightly smaller lineup featuring Draymond Green at center and Patrick McCaw at small forward. McGee shouldn't see a huge decrease in minutes despite the move to the bench.

Analysis: 

Joel Embiid
76ers' Joel Embiid: Could return in two-to-three weeks
Joel Embiid, C, PHI
5/16/2017
News: Embiid (knee) indicated he expects to get back on the court in two-to-three weeks, Matt Petersen of NBA.com reports.

Embiid underwent surgery back in March to address a meniscus tear in his left knee and it appears everything is going as planned and he's progressing just fine in his recovery. With only a few more weeks standing in his way for getting back on the court, it sounds like Embiid should have plenty of time this offseason to get back into shape and work on his game, so look for the big man to be at full strength heading into training camp. Embiid was held on a minutes restriction for the majority of his 2016-17 campaign (31 games) and was still extremely effective, so he should be in store for big things during his second season with the Sixers as long as he can avoid the injury bug.

Analysis: 

Edy Tavares
Cavaliers' Walter Tavares: Fractures bone in right hand
Edy Tavares, C, CLE
5/13/2017
News: Tavares fractured a bone in his right hand at practice Thursday, Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Tavares signed with the Cavs prior to the playoffs, as they needed some more frontcourt depth. He has not seen the court in the playoffs, and was not expected to. The severity of the injury is unknown at this time.

Analysis: 

 Nene
Rockets' Nene Hilario: Ruled out for postseason
Nene, C, HOU
5/8/2017
News: Hilario has been ruled out for the rest of the postseason due to a left adductor tear.

The injury was originally ruled as a groin strain when Hilario was forced to leave early in Sunday's Game 4, but it ends up the tear was in his thigh and he will now be unable to return during the playoffs. Hilario was serving a key role off a very thin Rockets bench, but now, with his absence, Houston may have to play Ryan Andersen more often at center in smaller lineups and lean on starter Clint Capela for more minutes at the position. If needed, Montrezl Harrell could also see some more minutes off the bench as well, although he's played just 17 total minutes through nine postseason games so far.

Analysis: 

Clint N'Dumba-Capela
Rockets' Clint Capela: Near double-double in Game 4
Clint N'Dumba-Capela, C, HOU
5/8/2017
News: Capela produced eight points (3-6 FG, 2-3 FT), nine rebounds, one assist, two blocks and one steal over 25 minutes during Sunday's 125-104 win over the Spurs in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Capela took a step back in his overall usage Sunday, putting up a series-low amount of shot attempts. However, he kept up his strong work on the glass, and he's now posted between nine and 15 rebounds in three of the series' first four games. Capela has also been effective as a rim protector, recording multiple blocks in each of the four games against the Spurs. He'll look to hit double digits in the scoring column for the fourth time in the last five contests when the Rockets travel to San Antonio for Tuesday's Game 5.

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