NBA Barometer: More Injuries Create Opportunity

NBA Barometer: More Injuries Create Opportunity

This article is part of our NBA Barometer series.

GUARDS

GAINING VALUE

Tyus Jones, MIN: Jeff Teague (foot) and Derrick Rose (elbow) are both out for the rest of the season, leaving Jones in firm possession of the starting point guard job. Jones has already been producing with extra minutes, scoring between 10 and 16 points in seven of his last eight while dishing out at least seven assists in five of those contests. With north of 30 minutes in his last four contests, Jones looks primed for similar opportunity and production over the Timberwolves' final eight games.

Seth Curry, POR: C.J. McCollum remains out for at least the next four games, which should continue affording Curry the extra 8-10 minutes per contest above his normal workload. The fifth-year veteran already has a pair of 20-point efforts in those games, as well as double-digit point tallies in all four. Additionally, with Jusuf Nurkic going down with compound leg fractures in Monday night's overtime win against the Nets, there's even more of an overall scoring void for the Trail Blazers that Curry can help fill.

ALSO GAINING VALUE: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL; Delon Wright, MEM

FORWARDS

GAINING VALUE

Ersan Ilyasova, MIL: Nikola Mirotic remains out for the next several weeks due to a thumb injury, a development that's pushed Ilyasova into a part-time starting spot while Giannis Antetokounmpo slides over to the three. Ilyasova brings a similar floor-spacing style to that of his ailing teammate and is currently sporting his best three-point success rate (38.0 percent)

GUARDS

GAINING VALUE

Tyus Jones, MIN: Jeff Teague (foot) and Derrick Rose (elbow) are both out for the rest of the season, leaving Jones in firm possession of the starting point guard job. Jones has already been producing with extra minutes, scoring between 10 and 16 points in seven of his last eight while dishing out at least seven assists in five of those contests. With north of 30 minutes in his last four contests, Jones looks primed for similar opportunity and production over the Timberwolves' final eight games.

Seth Curry, POR: C.J. McCollum remains out for at least the next four games, which should continue affording Curry the extra 8-10 minutes per contest above his normal workload. The fifth-year veteran already has a pair of 20-point efforts in those games, as well as double-digit point tallies in all four. Additionally, with Jusuf Nurkic going down with compound leg fractures in Monday night's overtime win against the Nets, there's even more of an overall scoring void for the Trail Blazers that Curry can help fill.

ALSO GAINING VALUE: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL; Delon Wright, MEM

FORWARDS

GAINING VALUE

Ersan Ilyasova, MIL: Nikola Mirotic remains out for the next several weeks due to a thumb injury, a development that's pushed Ilyasova into a part-time starting spot while Giannis Antetokounmpo slides over to the three. Ilyasova brings a similar floor-spacing style to that of his ailing teammate and is currently sporting his best three-point success rate (38.0 percent) since the 2014-15 season. He typically offers plenty on the rebounding front, as well, and even though the Bucks also have the versatile D.J. Wilson to help soak up minutes, Ilyasova should continue seeing a nice bump in playing time for what remains of the regular season. Milwaukee went with Sterling Brown as the starter in Tuesday's win over Houston, but that was likely due to the Rockets' undersized lineup.

Chandler Parsons, MEM: It's been a highly unusual year for Parsons, who was away from the team for an extended period while both parties contemplated his future. However, he's been back since the All-Star break, and after middling production for most of his first 10 games, he's looked much more like his old self recently. The 30-year-old has posted 12.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists over his last five games, while averaging 24.8 minutes. Parsons has taken no fewer than eight shot attempts in any of those contests, and he carries as much, if not more, offensive upside as starter Justin Holiday.

ALSO GAINING VALUE: Shaquille Harrison, CHI; Maxi Kleber, DAL

LOSING VALUE

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, BKN: RHJ's decline has been a steep one. The fourth-year veteran has logged DNP-CDs in six of his last nine games, and he's seen no more than 17 minutes in any of the three contests in which he's played. Rodions Kurucs, DeMarre Carroll and even Treveon Graham all appear to be preferred options for coach Kenny Atkinson at the four.

CENTERS

GAINING VALUE

Enes Kanter, POR: Jusuf Nurkic's devastating leg injury Monday night thrusts Kanter back into the spotlight. The veteran, offensive-minded big man will have a chance to put his experience to use going forward, and as he's proven in the past, he's well-equipped to produce fantasy-relevant numbers when the opportunity is there. Portland's system been heavily reliant on Nurkic as a roll man alongside Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum (knee), and with the latter also sidelined indefinitely, Kanter could see even more elevated usage in the short-term. If he's in line for a starter's workload moving forward, Kanter will be a threat for a double-double any time he steps on the floor.

Brook Lopez, MIL: Lopez has already been coming on during the latter portions of the season, but the current absences of both Malcolm Brogdon (foot) and Nikola Mirotic (thumb) have only boosted his usage. Lopez has scored in double digits in all six games without Brogdon, a span that also includes Mirotic's four absences. Lopez is averaging averaging 7.2 three-point attempts per contest during that stretch (compared to a career-high 6.4 for the season), as he looks to help make up for the lost production from behind the arc. Furthermore, Lopez continues to record blocks at a career-best clip this season. He's now up to 2.2 rejections per contest -- by far his best per-game number since 2012-13.

LOSING VALUE

Ante Zizic, CLE: Tristan Thompson finally returned to action three games ago after an extensive absence due to a foot injury and already worked back up to 19 minutes in one of those contests. Meanwhile, Zizic's minutes were already down to 14 in a scoreless effort versus the Clippers last Friday, and he's been a dreaded DNP-CD in each of the last two games, with Thompson and Larry Nance handling the minutes at center.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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