NBA reporters fantasy Q&A: Time to turn Lonzo Ball loose?

Each Thursday this season, we ask a series of questions to our ESPN NBA reporters to give you their inside takes on key fantasy subjects.

Dave McMenamin: Love was back to on-court workouts on Thursday for the first time since fracturing his left hand. The team has not adjusted its eight-week injury timeline for him, but it would appear to be a good sign that Love will indeed be back in the lineup with several weeks to go before the end of the fantasy basketball season.

With the Chicago Bulls focused on the lottery, should fantasy managers expect to see players like Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn shut down as the regular season winds down?

Take, for example, Detroit’s 110-87 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday. The Pistons outrebounded Milwaukee 57-35 and outscored the Bucks in the paint 56-34. Detroit had 22 offensive rebounds in that game, including 15 in the first half.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy — formerly the coach of the Heat — said the way his team cuts and drives to the basket frees big men such as Andre Drummond and Eric Moreland to grab offensive boards.

“Even if we are missing shots, bodies are off Andre and Eric, and they are both really good offensive rebounders when that happens,” Van Gundy said.

Indeed, Drummond, a 6-foot-11, 280-pound center, is averaging 15.1 points and leads the NBA in overall rebounding (15.8). He also leads the NBA with 5.2 offensive rebounds per game.

“They deserve a lot of credit for playing as hard as they’re playing. A lot of guys are getting a lot of time out there and, hopefully, that will pay dividends as the season winds down.”

Aldridge has been listed as doubtful for Saturday’s game while Gasol is questionable.

The Lakers run into the Alamo City on Baseball Jerseys Cheap the heels of a 131-113 victory at Miami on Thursday in which Isaiah Thomas scored a season-high 29 points off the bench.

Los Angeles (27-34) has won four straight games and seven of its past 10, a surge that’s helped in advance to within shouting distance of the eighth-seed, and the playoffs, in the Western Conference with 23 games to play in the regular season.

Ingram is coming off an attention-grabbing 50-fantasy point Cheap NFL Jerseys game in Atlanta. The Lakers now head South for a matchup with Miami, the team with the fifth-slowest pace. That’s a downgrade for the Lakers, as is the fact that Miami surprisingly boasts the seventh-best defensive efficiency in the league.

How many Christmas wishes do we get as the next-to-last week of the NFL season approaches? Here are four.

That the NFL doesn’t try to sneak in one last Thursday night game, now that the TNF schedule officially ended last week. That we go a week without an MVP candidate getting knocked out with injury, after two straight weeks of it happening. That there’s not a single appearance of an index card or the phrase did not survive the ground in any game. And that there’s no reason to discuss workplace leg-shaving at any time.

As for the games themselves, 13 of the 16 spread over three days this holiday weekend have playoff implications, including, amazingly, both games that will compete with the NBA on Christmas day.

Certainly, Thomas did his part. His game, especially given his diminutive size, revolves across sacrificing his body on repeated drives to the rim. He averaged more than eight free throws per game last season. Thomas was eventually shut down for the year with a hip injury in Game 2 during the Eastern Conference Finals, but he had played through that exact hip problem earlier in that postseason before it became unmanageable. He also lost his tooth during the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and didn’t even miss the second half.

Another weakness with the NCAA’s sexual assault guidelines is that there is a lack of institutional discipline for schools that lack Title IX coordinators. Each NCAA institution needs a Title IX coordinator something Baylor didn’t have until November 2014. That coordinator resigned in 2016, saying the school’s leadership wouldn’t allow her to fulfill her responsibilities.

One story came from former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, who spoke of being repeatedly molested by USA Gymnastics and Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar, who has since been sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges. Alarmingly, in a lawsuit filed in December, Maroney alleges USA Gymnastics tried to silence her by making her sign an NDA as part of a financial settlement that she needed in order to pay for psychological treatment.

Sure, Green bites on pump fakes and half-heartedly gambles for steals he has no chance on. Sure, he’s prone to dumb heat checks. But Green, a 36.3 percent career three-point shooter, needs no rhyme or reason to rain down buckets upon unsuspecting opponents. For this Houston team, that’s all it’s asking of him.

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