Fantasy Basketball Injury Report: Playoffs Edition Pt. 4

Kevin Love
Kevin Love
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love Brad Rempel USA TODAY Sports

The finish line is upon us. There’s now only three days remaining of active games. A grievous injury now could spell disaster for your championship dreams. But don’t fret: that’s where XN Sports comes in.

At XN, we compile the injuries with most at stake. And, where appropriate, we give some analysis on who you should remain patient on and who should get tossed overboard.

Kevin Love (elbow) – The Wolves don’t have much to play for but fantasy owners don’t take too kindly to one of the game’s best fantasy weapons being inactive. That was the case Friday but thankfully Whole Lotta Kevin Love returned Sunday as his usual self.

Rudy Gay (back) – There was plenty of speculation that Gay would miss some time to attend to the birth of his child, but so far there have been no updates on that front. Gay is also dealing with a bothersome back which cost him another game Sunday. As a top-30 fantasy performer (at least since the Raptors-Kings trade), Gay was worth taking a chance on up until this point, but can be freely dropped with only one game left on the horizon.

Kemba Walker (groin) – No Kemba on Friday, no Kemba On Saturday. A groin injury is always a tricky situation—for owners and whoever it’s ailing. The Bobcats have already locked a playoff spot, so there’s a good chance they might play it safe with their stellar point who has been averaging double-digit assists as of late.

Isaiah Thomas (quad) – The league’s pint-sized assassin was thought to be done for the season. But not only do good things come in small packages but surprises as well. Thomas took the court Sunday unexpectedly against Minnesota and should see playing time Wednesday.

Josh Smith (knee) – Smith continues to be one of fantasy’s biggest disappointments. Every time it seems like he’s found his groove he slumps into basketball purgatory. With Detroit’s playoff hopes dashed (a long time ago), and a knee ailment bothering him, avoid Smith at all costs.

Pau Gasol (vertigo) – How appropriate that one of the Lakers’ brightest stars is suffering from vertigo. After a horrendous, though somewhat fun, season, plenty of Lakers’ fans are going through the same thing. Gasol has been ruled out for the season. For shame.

Jamal Crawford (calf) – The Clippers just aren’t the same team without someone plugging up the No. 2 spot with some scoring. Of course, Crawford is the best guy for the job. Which is good as he helped L.A. take care of the Kings on Saturday. Use him where he’s available for points, threes, steals, and assists.

David Lee (back) – The double-double contributor looked like he’d be out for the rest of the regular season but returned to take the 4 spot in Golden State Sunday. Still, his health should be monitored going forward. As a good substitute, take a look at Jordan Hill, Jeff Adrien, or Henry Sims.

Reggie Jackson (neck) – OKC can’t catch a break this season when it comes to their point guard health. Jackson was a hot commodity at the 1 ever since Westbrook’s rest regiment was put into place. But with a scary neck injury on Sunday, he can be dropped at will.

Deron Williams (knee) – A DNP? For D-Will? What used to be a frequent occurrence hasn’t happened since January 16. But coach Jason Kidd wanted to give his floor manager some rest on Saturday and no one can blame him given Williams’ injury history. Luckily, D-Will was back to his resurgent self on Sunday, playing a comforting 35 minutes of action.

Amir Johnson (ankle) – Bright news for the Raptors and for fantasy owners looking for a defensive stats contributor who can rebound and provide high field goal percentage: Johnson is back. Swoop him up if you need assistance in the aforementioned as he posted two steals and two blocks on Friday.

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Bogar Alonso
Bogar Alonso is a dedicated student of the hardwood, soccer pitch, boxing ring, and tennis court. He is a regular NBA contributor to XN Sports. His work, involving more than just sports, has appeared on The Creators Project, A&E Networks, XXL Magazine, and others. Follow Bogar on Twitter @blacktiles