DFS NBA Playbook:  April 28 Cover Image
DFS NBA Playbook: April 28
Ben Scherr
Jason Smith Headshot

Smith (calf) is cleared to play in Friday's Game 6 against the Hawks, NBA.com's Jason Richmond reports.

Smith bruised his left calf in Game 5 and was considered a game-time decision for Friday's outing. However, he received the green light to play after successfully going through pregame warmups without a problem. With Ian Mahinmi (calf) sidelined, Smith's presence is critical for the Wizards as it allows the team to give starter Marcin Gortat in-game rest.
7:46 pm (EST)
Ian Mahinmi Headshot

Mahinmi (calf) would not play in a potential Game 7 if the Wizards were to lose Friday, J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports.

Mahinmi -- who was already ruled out of Game 6 -- is reportedly doing more in individual workouts than he was previously but still appears to be a ways off before receiving clearance to take the court. At this point in time, it isn't certain if he'll be ready to play at any point in the second round if the Wizards ultimately prevail over the Hawks.
7:14 pm (EST)
Ian Mahinmi Headshot

Mahinmi (calf) has been ruled out for Friday's Game 6 against the Hawks, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reports.

There has been no word of Mahinmi being able to put together any work on the court, so the big man returning any time soon seems doubtful. With Jason Smith dealing with a left calf strain himself and being a game-time decision, the Wizards are facing serious frontcourt depth issues ahead of what could be a series-clinching Game 6. If Smith is also ruled out, Marcin Gortat would likely be forced to play heavy minutes as the starting center.
1:55 pm (EST)
Sam Dekker Headshot

Dekker (wrist) is practicing Friday and says he will be available for Monday's Game 1 battle with the Spurs, Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston reports.

Dekker will practice fully for the first time since fracturing his hand in early April, and while the team has yet to comment on his availability, the young forward appears eager to play in the second-round series. The second-year man has averaged just over 18 minutes per game on the year, solidifying himself as a key cog in the rotation behind starters Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza. However, he may see less action if cleared to play in Game 1, as he may be a tad rusty after missing the past two months. Look for more updates on his status to come over the weekend.
1:36 pm (EST)
Rajon Rondo Headshot

Coach Fred Hoiberg said Friday that Rondo (thumb) is unlikely to return if the Bulls force a Game 7, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune reports.

In hindsight, while Rondo has been known for playing through serious injuries, it looks as if there was never a real chance that the point guard would return to this first-round series after breaking his thumb. Fred Hoiberg will likely continue to use Isaiah Canaan in his starting lineup after his 13-point performance in Game 6, but given that the team's back is against the wall, another change could potentially be in store.
1:10 pm (EST)
LaMarcus Aldridge Headshot

Aldridge compiled 17 points (7-17 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 12 rebounds and one assist across 42 minutes Thursday in a 103-96 win over the Grizzlies in Game 6 of the series.

Aldridge did most of his offensive damage in the third quarter, scoring nine points in the period to give the Spurs a one-point advantage heading into the final 12 minutes. The big man went on to collect his second double-double of the first round as the Spurs closed out the series with the road victory. Aldridge averaged 14.8 points (on 45.3% shooting), 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 37.3 minutes per game over the six contests.
11:39 am (EST)
Pau Gasol Headshot

Gasol failed to score (0-6 FG, 0-1 3Pt) and added four rebounds and one assist across 20 minutes Thursday in a 103-96 win over the Grizzlies in Game 6 of the series.

Gasol was practically invisible throughout the series against his younger brother, as he averaged a meager 6.5 points (on 37.5% shooting), 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 23.2 minutes per game. Coach Gregg Popovich ended up phasing out starting center Dewayne Dedmon during the series, but Gasol didn't play well enough to capitalize on the open minutes, with David Lee instead becoming the primary beneficiary. The Spurs will surely need more offensive firepower from Gasol in their second-round series with the Rockets, who tied for second in the NBA with an average of 112.8 points per game this season.
11:35 am (EST)
James Ennis Headshot

Ennis produced 11 points (4-7 FG, 3-4 3Pt), three rebounds, one assist and one steal across 29 minutes Thursday in a 103-96 loss to the Spurs in Game 6 of the series.

After the Grizzlies took double-digit losses in the first two games of the series, Ennis ended up replacing Wayne Selden in the starting lineup. Ennis' promotion to the top unit seemed to help give the Grizzlies a bit of a lift, as the wing averaged 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 three-pointers and 1.0 assist in 28.0 minutes per game over the final four contests of the series. Ennis benefited from an increased workload in the postseason due to the absences of Tony Allen (leg) and Chandler Parsons (knee), but if the Grizzlies don't re-sign Allen this offseason, Ennis could be a candidate to open 2017-18 in a starting role.
11:31 am (EST)
Kawhi Leonard Headshot

Leonard scored a team-high 29 points (8-19 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 12-13 FT) and added nine rebounds, four assists and three steals across 40 minutes Thursday in a 103-96 win over the Grizzlies in Game 6 of the series.

Leonard lived at the foul line throughout the first round, converting an incredible 59-of-61 attempts (96.7%). Coach Gregg Popovich's decision to manage Leonard's minutes cautiously in the regular season seemed to pay dividends, as the All-Star forward was able to stay consistently productive while playing at least 39 minutes in four games of the series. He averaged 31.2 points (on 54.8% shooting), 6.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.3 three-pointers and 2.0 steals in the first round and should continue to rack up stats across the board in the Spurs' Western Conference semifinals matchup with the Rockets, which kicks off Monday.
11:17 am (EST)
Mike Conley Headshot

Conley put up 26 points (7-18 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 9-10 FT), five assists, two rebounds and one steal across 45 minutes Thursday in a 103-96 loss to the Spurs in Game 6 of the series.

Conley's scoring haul was tops on the Grizzlies, but his poor shooting in the first quarter took a bigger night off the table and may have been the difference between Memphis extending the series to seven games and being eliminated. Though the Grizzlies will exit in the first round at the hands of the Spurs for the second straight season, Conley can hold his head high after turning in 20-plus points in the final five games of the series, marking the longest streak in franchise postseason history.
11:12 am (EST)
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