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Anthony Davis still ‘not feeling well,’ will miss Los Angeles Lakers’ game vs. Indiana Pacers

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INDIANAPOLIS — Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis will not play against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday because of flu-like symptoms, the team announced.

Davis played through the sickness on Tuesday, arriving at Madison Square Garden less than an hour before tipoff and finishing with 20 points and six rebounds in a 106-100 loss to the New York Knicks.

“Just woke up not feeling well,” Davis said after the Knicks game. “Headache. All flu symptoms, really. Coughing. Fever. Body aching. Everything. Just in the hotel, waiting for my fever to break, and it was a low-grade fever, could be contagious or something like that, they were telling me. So I couldn’t leave until my fever broke.

“And fever broke, got in the car, shot straight here. Like 48 minutes on the game clock. Got in, did as much as I could treatment-wise. Got dressed. Went out to play. That was it.”

It will be Davis’ first missed game of the season.

“His fever returned after the game, and he’s been in bed all day with that fever,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.

Los Angeles will start LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, DeAndre Jordan, Avery Bradley and Talen Horton-Tucker against the Pacers.

It is the Lakers’ 10th different starting lineup through 20 games this season.

“Well we haven’t played a lot of minutes without Anthony,” Vogel said. “He’s been in every game, and it’s a different challenge for us obviously with what he does on both sides of the ball, and this is a big team that we’re playing against, so we will definitely miss his size and length inside. We just have to adjust. We’ve been putting guys in and out of the lineup all year, so it’s no different for us tonight.”

Los Angeles comes into Wednesday 1-3 on its five-game road trip that concludes against the Pacers.

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Milwaukee Bucks bring back veteran Wesley Matthews

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MILWAUKEE — Wesley Matthews is back with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks signed the swingman Friday, bringing him back after he spent the 2019-20 season with them.

Matthews, who played in high school in Madison, Wisconsin, and collegiately at Marquette, started 67 games for the Bucks two seasons ago. He spent last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“Wesley is a proven veteran whose shooting, defense and experience will help us,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said in a statement. “He is familiar with Coach Bud’s system and our team. We’re excited to have him back with us.”

Matthews has averaged 12.6 points in 849 games over 12 seasons.

The Bucks also waived rookie guard Georgios Kalaitzakis.

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Portland Trail Blazers fire GM, president of basketball operations Neil Olshey

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The Portland Trail Blazers have fired general manager and president of basketball operations Neil Olshey following an investigation into workplace misconduct, the team announced Friday.

“Following the conclusion of the independent review of concerns and complaints around our workplace environment at the practice facility, the Portland Trail Blazers organization has decided to terminate General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey, effective immediately due to violations of the Portland Trail Blazers’ Code of Conduct,” the team said in a statement. “Out of respect for those who candidly participated in that privileged investigation, we will not release or discuss it. We are confident that these changes will help build a more positive and respectful working environment.”

Joe Cronin will serve as interim general manager during the Trail Blazers’ search, the team said.

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Fantasy basketball daily notes for Friday

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On a Thursday slate without a marquee matchup, the Memphis Grizzlies provided the buzz in producing the largest win in NBA history, downing the Oklahoma City Thunder by 73 points. Memphis has now won three straight games since losing Ja Morant to a knee injury, with Jaren Jackson Jr. leading the way as he takes his fantasy profile to a new level.

Jackson impressively paced the Grizzlies with 27 points in just 20 minutes of run in the blowout victory and has averaged 20.8 points, 2.3 blocks and 2.8 3-pointers the last six games. In his last two games, Jackson has made an absurd 71% of his 3-pointers while averaging 26 PPG. As I mentioned in our recent fantasy hoops roundtable, Jackson has seen his usage jump a team-high 6.8% with Morant off the floor this season, leading to league-winning per 36 rates of 26.1 points, 8.4 boards and 4.0 blocks in such scenarios.

Beyond Jackson, Memphis has leaned on its unique depth and balance while Morant heals, recording 93 bench points in last night’s historic win, the second most in a game since starters were first tracked in 1970. I’d love to be able to endorse De’Anthony Melton and his awesome defensive and rebounding rates, but the team continues to start Tyus Jones as the lead distributor, curbing hopes of a rewarding new role for Melton. Desmond Bane was cold last night and yet the team still cruised, further evidence this might just be the “JJJ” show until Morant is back in action.

Thursday recap

Highlights

Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs: 15 points (6-16 FG), 7 rebounds, 13 assists, 2 steals

Julius Randle, New York Knicks: 30 points (14-21 FG), 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks

Lowlights

Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls: 8 points (3-14 FG), 5 rebounds, 6 assists

Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors: 8 points (3-16 FG), 8 rebounds, 3 assists

Thursday takeaways

  • San Antonio’s Murray has now compiled five games this season with at least 10 dimes and multiple steals, trailing only Chris Paul in that regard. Last night, he fittingly became just the second Spurs player under Gregg Popovich to produce at least 10 points and 10 assists in the first half, joining franchise icon Tony Parker. Murray, who paces all guards in rebounding this season, currently sits 32nd on the Player Rater amid a breakout fantasy campaign.

  • Speaking of career seasons, Toronto’s Fred VanVleet has been tasked with even more scoring responsibilities with OG Anunoby sidelined, as the dynamic combo guard is up to career-high 20.3 PPG this season after last night’s 29-point performance in a win over the Bucks. He’s making a bid for his first All-Star selection.

  • A less encouraging statistical story from Toronto has been Chris Boucher, who played just 12 minutes last night and can be let go into a free agency in nearly every format. Last season saw Boucher produce an elite block rate and respectable shooting and rebounding results in a busy bench role, but he’s been pushed to the fringes of the rotation this season.

Injuries of note

  • Portland’s backcourt injury issues continued on Thursday, with Anfernee Simons leaving the team’s loss to the Spurs in a walking boot.

  • The Timberwolves list Karl-Anthony Towns as questionable to play this evening due to a tailbone contusion suffered in the team’s last game. Anthony Edwards is probable and would serve as a DFS building block if Towns sits this one out.

  • In a swing of good news for the Rockets, Christian Wood is listed as probable to play against the Magic after suffering an ankle injury earlier this week. Kevin Porter Jr. is questionable due to a thigh injury. Jae’Sean Tate makes for a solid streaming play after he posted one of the best overall fantasy lines of the season in a win over the Thunder on Wednesday (32 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 5 blocks).

  • The Celtics will be without Jaylen Brown due to a hamstring injury. Josh Richardson has seen a sizable leap in fantasy points per minute with Brown off the floor this season.

Analytics advantage for Friday

The Heat will be without Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Markieff Morris for tonight’s matchup against the visiting Pacers. With Butler and Adebayo off the floor this season, Dewayne Dedmon has posted 13 points and 14 boards per 36 minutes for Miami, making him an ideal streaming option at a shallow center position.

DFS discussion

Wendell Carter Jr., Orlando Magic: Facing a smaller Houston lineup could help both Carter and Mo Bamba deliver surplus fantasy value on Friday. Carter has posted between 26 and 48 DraftKings points in six straight, aiding a solid projection in a plus matchup.

Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards: It’s safe to assume Gafford will play a sizable role for the Wizards this evening given his size, as Washington faces a large Cleveland frontcourt that does damage in and around the paint. Gafford has topped 30 DraftKings points in four straight games and yet is found nearly at punt pricing for tonight’s game.

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