The Golden State Warriors versus Los Angeles Clippers rivalry didn't live up to the hype, Tim Frazier recorded a triple-double, and T.J. McConnell filled in for Sergio Rodriguez and finished one assist shy of recording one himself. What a crazy week in the NBA.
Here's a list of the most fantasy-relevant news and notes for all 30 teams around the league heading into the eighth week of the season:
Atlanta Hawks: Kent Bazemore (knee) is expected to return to the court this week after missing the past two games, but he was limited in practice Monday and his status for Tuesday's game against Orlando remains uncertain. If Bazemore doesn't feel well enough to play in shootaround, Tim Hardaway Jr. is expected to start his third game in a row.
Boston Celtics: Isaiah Thomas has missed the past three games because of a groin injury but hopes to return to the court against San Antonio on Wednesday. Celtics coach Brad Stevens offered no further details about the chances of the point guard playing against the Spurs, saying, "No idea about Wednesday." If Thomas is unable to go, expect Marcus Smart to again play extended minutes after being on the court for 36 minutes in each of the past two games.
Brooklyn Nets: Jeremy Lin (hamstring) makes his long-awaited return to the court on Monday after a six-week absence. His presence in the rotation will allow the 6-16 Nets to rely less on rookie Isaiah Whitehead and early-season surprise Sean Kilpatrick going forward. Lin averaged 15 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.4 assists in five games with Brooklyn before the injury.
Charlotte Hornets: Marvin Williams returned from a six-game absence last week and re-entered the Hornets' starting lineup, moving Frank Kaminsky to the bench. If Williams is going to keep his job as the starter, though, he is going to have to improve on his career-low 34.4 percent shooting. Never in Williams' previous 11 NBA seasons has he shot under 42.3 percent.
Chicago Bulls: Doug McDermott returned to the court last Thursday against San Antonio following an 11-game absence due to a concussion suffered from a nasty fall near the basket. McDermott is mostly a 3-point specialist by fantasy standards, but has made multiple 3s in only five of the 11 games he has played this season and is 1-for-6 from long distance in the two games since his return.
Cleveland Cavaliers: J.R. Smith returned to the Cavs' lineup on Saturday and played 32 minutes in a win over Charlotte, which is slightly more than his season average of 29.5. A month and a half into the season, the biggest issue with Smith continues to be his poor shooting. The veteran is a career 42.2 percent shooter and enters the week shooting just 31.2 percent.
Dallas Mavericks: J.J. Barea hasn't played in a game since Nov. 16 because of a calf injury, and though he's on track with his recovery, his return to the court is still at least a week away. Meanwhile, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle indicated on Monday that Dirk Nowitzki is going to ramp up his activity but is "still out indefinitely" as he works his way back from a strained right Achilles. Nowitzki has been out since Nov. 25.
Denver Nuggets: It has been a disastrous month so far for Denver's second-year point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. The No. 7 overall pick in 2015 is shooting just 28.9 percent and playing only 22.6 minutes per game, losing time to Jameer Nelson. Nelson missed one game last week because of a sprained ankle but returned to play 23 minutes against Orlando on Saturday. He'll need to become more efficient on the offensive end or he runs the risk of losing minutes to Nelson and rookie Jamal Murray going forward.
Detroit Pistons: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is expected to return to the lineup Wednesday when the Pistons play the Mavericks, giving Detroit the perimeter defender it lacked in Sunday's lopsided loss to Philadelphia when KCP sat with a knee contusion.
Golden State Warriors: Kevon Looney stepped into the starting center spot Sunday against Minnesota when Zaza Pachulia was scratched with a wrist injury. Looney managed just four points and three rebounds in 18 minutes, but it's worth noting that veteran JaVale McGee, who many expected to get the starting nod with Pachulia out, logged only six minutes.
Houston Rockets: Hat tip to ESPN's Marc Stein on this one: Houston is suddenly +14.2 points per 100 possessions when Harden is off the floor since Patrick Beverley's return on Nov. 17. Beverley is one of the better glue players in the league, and his value is clear on a team like the Rockets that had chemistry problems in previous years.
Indiana Pacers: Monta Ellis hadn't missed a game since joining the Pacers before last season, playing in 95 straight contests. Ellis has also played in at least 80 games in each of the past four seasons. But both those streaks are coming to an end, as the Pacers announced the veteran 2-guard will be out for at least the next four games because of a groin injury. Glenn Robinson III will take his place in the starting lineup for Monday's game against Charlotte.
Los Angeles Clippers: Austin Rivers will miss Monday's game against Portland with a mild concussion, but the Clippers are expected to get Raymond Felton back. The veteran Felton had missed the previous two games attending his grandmother's funeral.
Los Angeles Lakers: Lou Williams isn't a huge fantasy threat when the Lakers are at full-strength as they are with D'Angelo Russell, Nick Young and Julius Randle back in the lineup, but what a week the veteran guard had. Williams is averaging 32.2 points in his past five games, shooting 51.6 percent and making 3.6 3-pointers per game in the process. Keep an eye on him throughout the season, especially any time Russell, Young or Jordan Clarkson are out of the lineup.
Memphis Grizzlies: The injury-ravaged Grizzlies are one of the better stories of the season, overcoming the extended absences of Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons to move to a 17-8 record. They enter the week fresh off a convincing 110-89 win over the Warriors. How are they doing it? With defense, that's how. The Grizzlies lead the league in defensive efficiency, allowing 99.5 points per 100 possessions.
Miami Heat: The seemingly minor wrist injury that was initially expected to keep Justise Winslow out for only a few games has now cost him a month, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Monday that Winslow is "getting pretty close" to being cleared for full-contact practices. Wayne Ellington, Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder will continue to log extended minutes until Winslow and Dion Waiters return to the lineup.
Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker is shooting a respectable 46.1 percent on the season, but the skilled power forward has made 50 percent of his shots only once in the past 10 games dating back to Nov. 21. Parker shot 49 percent or better in each of his first two seasons in the league, so this could be something to keep an eye on in the months ahead.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Much has been made about some of the things Andrew Wiggins hasn't done since entering the NBA, but the fact is he's a 21-year-old with a career 44.7 shooting percentage who is averaging 22.2 points in his third season. If there's one area where he has been very disappointing this season, it's his lack of steals (0.5 SPG). It's hard to fathom that someone with Wiggins' quickness and athleticism, playing over 36 minutes per game, could have registered zero steals in 14 of the team's 24 games thus far.
New Orleans Pelicans: Rookie first-rounder Buddy Hield was a superstar in the college game last season, but his first year in the NBA is off to a rough start. He enters the week shooting 36.8 percent in his first 25 NBA games, and on Sunday he was benched in favor of veteran Reggie Williams in the second half. Further struggles could limit Hield's role going forward -- especially once Tyreke Evans returns -- but one encouraging sign is that he's shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range in his past five games, draining 12 3-pointers in that span.
New York Knicks: Courtney Lee has made multiple 3-pointers in three straight games and in 11 of 22 games this season. He is also third in the league in 3-point percentage (47.8), which is a big step up for the career 38.8 percent shooter from distance.
Oklahoma City Thunder: X-rays on Victor Oladipo's wrist came back negative, but his status remains in doubt for Tuesday's game in Portland. He didn't participate in practice on Monday, and if he's unable to play against the Trail Blazers, it will leave the Thunder without one of their premier perimeter defenders in the matchup against Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Orlando Magic: Nikola Vucevic is listed as questionable for Tuesday's game against Atlanta, and his availability will come down to how his sore back feels leading up to the game. The big man participated in non-contact drills at practice on Monday. If he's unable to play against the Hawks, Orlando is expected to go with Bismack Biyombo as the starting center for a second straight game.
Philadelphia 76ers: Nerlens Noel's return to the lineup could mean many things for the 76ers, but the one player who is least impacted is Joel Embiid, the clear-cut starting center. Noel's presence in the rotation will likely cut into Ersan Ilyasova's, Jahlil Okafor's and Richaun Holmes' minutes, while rookie Dario Saric is expected to continue to see more minutes at small forward.
Phoenix Suns: If Alex Len is ever going to live up to the lofty expectations that came with being drafted No. 5 overall in 2013, he's going to need to find some consistency. The 7-foot-1 center came through with a huge 14-point, 13-rebound, 5-block effort in a win over the Lakers on Friday, but followed that up with six points and four rebounds in 15 minutes against New Orleans.
Portland Trail Blazers: McCollum buried seven 3-pointers against Indiana on Saturday, bumping his average to 2.8 treys per game on the season. He's on pace to top his previous high of 2.5 3PG from last season and is also shooting a career-high 47.3 percent from long range.
Sacramento Kings: DeMarcus Cousins is averaging career highs in a number of important statistical categories -- points (28.2), assists (3.6) and 3-pointers made (1.7) -- but his shooting percentage is all the way down to 44.8 percent. Cousins hasn't shot that poor from the field in a season since his second year in the league back in 2011-12.
San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan may be retired from the NBA, but The Big Fundamental made news on Monday when he took on current Spurs big man Pau Gasol in a game of one-on-one during practice. It's probably a stretch to assume that Duncan is considering coming out of retirement, but this certainly gets a lot of people thinking.
Toronto Raptors: Steven Loung of sportsnet.ca points out that the Raptors have won eight of their past nine games and now have an offensive rating of 114.2 points per 100 possessions, tying them with Golden State for tops in the league. Toronto remains one of the slower teams in the league, however, averaging 97.3 possessions per game (No. 23 in the league).
Utah Jazz: Injury updates continue to dominate the news for the Jazz. Gordon Hayward returned from a one-game absence due to a finger injury, but George Hill (toe) and Derrick Favors (knee) continue to work their way back to the court. Hill shed his walking boot but didn't practice Monday and might still be a week away. Favors, who has been out since Nov. 14, could return as soon as Wednesday at home against the Thunder.
Washington Wizards: Second-year swingman Kelly Oubre Jr. poured in 19 points and added nine rebounds and three steals in a win over Milwaukee on Saturday, one day after his 21st birthday. Oubre has worked his way into the sixth man role in Washington and is earning more minutes as of late; he's averaging 21.2 minutes in his past five games and 27 in his past two games. If he's going to become a factor in fantasy this season, it's going to be as a scorer, rebounder and 3-point shooter.