Markieff Morris
Wizards' Markieff Morris: Close to returning to full practice
Markieff Morris, F, WAS
1:01 PM
News: Morris (abdomen) participated in non-contact practice Thursday, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reports.

Morris underwent surgery to repair a hernia back in September and seems to be on pace to come back at his original expected return date, which was the beginning of November. If Jason Smith (shoulder) doesn't play Friday, Mike Scott is in line for extra minutes.

Analysis: 

Draymond Green
Warriors' Draymond Green: MRI on knee comes back clean
Draymond Green, F, GS
12:53 PM
News: Green's MRI on his left knee came back negative, Chris Haynes of ESPN reports.

Green suffered a left knee strain during Tuesday's opener against the Rockets, but appears to have avoided anything severe that could cost him extended action. He didn't participate in practice Wednesday and his status for Friday's matchup against the Pelicans remains unclear. However, the fact that the Warriors are heading into a back-to-back set could prompt coach Steve Kerr to rest his All-star big man for one, or both of those contests. Tentatively consider Green questionable for Friday.

Analysis: 

Jason Smith
Wizards' Jason Smith: Game-time decision Friday
Jason Smith, F, WAS
12:46 PM
News: Smith (shoulder) had an MRI on Thursday that revealed no structural damage and he is a game-time decision for Friday's game against the Pistons, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reports.

Smith played just seven minutes in Wednesday's season opener before leaving with the shoulder sprain. Expect Smith to test the shoulder during shootaround Friday morning and in pregame warmups before a final decision is made. If he's unable to go, look for the Wizards to go small and start Kelly Oubre Jr., with Mike Scott potentially seeing additional minutes off the bench.

Analysis: 

Derrick Favors
Jazz's Derrick Favors: Scores 14 points Wednesday
Derrick Favors, F, UTA
12:27 PM
News: Favors tallied 14 points (7-14 FG, 0-1 3Pt), four rebounds, four assists and one steal across 28 minutes during Wednesday's matchup against the Nuggets.

Favors struggled last season with a lingering knee injury and averaged 23.7 minutes and 9.5 points across 50 games, however, since Gordon Hayward was the Jazz's leading scorer during the 2016-17 season and left this offseason, the 26-year-old will likely pick up some of Hayward's minutes and scoring this season.

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Stanley Johnson
Pistons' Stanley Johnson: Not practicing Thursday
Stanley Johnson, F, DET
12:17 PM
News: Johnson did not practice Thursday due to problems with his back, Jake Chapman of the Pistons Radio Network reports.

Johnson dealt with back tightness towards the end of the preseason but still managed to play 40 minutes in Wednesday's season opener against the Hornets. It wasn't a great start to the season, however, as Johnson shot 0-of-13 from the field and scored just two points. As of now, the swingman is not expected to miss Friday's game against the Wizards, but he could be in line for less minutes in that contest given the back problems and his poor performance Wednesday.

Analysis: 

JaMychal Green
Grizzlies' JaMychal Green: Out 3-to-4 weeks with ankle sprain
JaMychal Green, F, MEM
12:08 PM
News: Green is expected to miss three-to-four weeks with a high ankle sprain/bone bruise, David Aldridge of NBA.com reports.

It was recently announced that Green would miss several weeks, so this is just further clarification on a more concrete timeline. Three-to-four weeks puts a return roughly in mid-November, though high ankle sprains can be a bit hard to predict, so that could certainly change depending on how Green's rehab goes moving forward. Chandler Parsons appears to be a candidate to start at the four in a smaller lineup, though coach David Fizdale could go with a guy like Jarell Martin if he'd rather keep Parsons in a bench role.

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LeBron James
Cavaliers' LeBron James: Will play despite ankle soreness
LeBron James, F, CLE
11:48 AM
News: James is dealing with left ankle soreness but will play in Friday's game against the Bucks, Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

James showed no signs of ankle pain in Tuesday's season opener as he went for 29 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists and three blocks in the team's win against the Celtics, and he should be a full go once again Friday. However, it could be a situation worth monitoring if James continues to deal with soreness, as coach Tyronn Lue could elect to give his superstar an off day eventually.

Analysis: 

Patrick Patterson
Thunder's Patrick Patterson: Goes through shootaround Thursday
Patrick Patterson, F, OKC
11:36 AM
News: Patterson (knee) went through morning shootaround, but remains questionable for Thursday's regular-season opener against the Knicks, Erik Horne of the Oklahoman reports.

Patterson was a full participant in practice that last two days and now has gone through shootaround without issue, so it seems highly likely that he'll eventually be cleared to play. We may not get a final word until after pregame warmups, but as it currently stands, Patterson is trending in the right direction.

Analysis: 

Rudy Gay
Spurs' Rudy Gay: Plays well in return
Rudy Gay, F, SA
10:57 AM
News: Gay posted 14 points (5-9 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 4-4 FT), five rebounds, two assists and one steal across 23 minutes during Wednesday's 107-99 victory over Minnesota.

Gay made his regular-season debut for the Spurs on Wednesday, and owners have to be pleased with what he was able to deliver. There are always going to be questions when a player returns from such a major injury, but Gay was able to stay on the floor and look healthy in the process. His upside is probably going to be limited playing behind Kawhi Leonard (quad), but until he is cleared to return to action, Gay will likely see some additional minutes. Even with his bench role, he remains a nice late-round player who can do a bit of everything.

Analysis: 

Jimmy Butler
Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler: 12 points in season debut with Wolves
Jimmy Butler, F, MIN
10:42 AM
News: Butler posted 12 points (5-12 FG, 2-3 3Pt), four rebounds, three assists and one steal across 35 minutes in Wednesday's 107-99 loss to the Spurs.

Butler has made the move to the Timberwolves from the Bulls, where his playoff aspirations may improve, but his opportunities to produce may very well decline with better playmakers around him. That fact was evident on Wednesday night as Butler found himself in a situation he isn't used to - as a team's primary offensive threat. It's also a brand new environment for the Wolves, who also added Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson to round out their starting lineup alongside Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Now that the regular season is underway and the first unit is on the floor, there will likely be a short period of adjustment as coach Tom Thibodeau finds ways to best utilize Butler moving forward. While his stat lines may be a bit lighter at present, the team upgrade gives him some upside.

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