Weekend Recap: LeBron returns, Mavs in trouble, Dame shutdown looming + more fantasy basketball notes

Weekend Recap: LeBron returns, Mavs in trouble, Dame shutdown looming + more fantasy basketball notes

LeBron James is back, Damian Lillard might be done, a suddenly hot Trendon Watford left Sunday's game with a right ankle injury and Luka Doncic is facing a one-game suspension for the reeling Mavericks. Dr. A is back with what you may have missed in the NBA during a busy sports weekend. 

Return of the king

LeBron James returned to action on Sunday after missing 13 games due to a foot injury and played 30 minutes, finishing with 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists in an ugly loss to the Bulls.

James and the Lakers have just seven regular-season games left and don't play again until Wednesday. They do have a back-to-back set on Apr. 4 and 5 and it will be interesting to see if LeBron plays in both of those games. The Lakers need to win games to keep their postseason hopes alive and are currently the No. 9 seed in the West, meaning they'd be in a play-in situation if the season ended today. There are a bunch of teams around them and it's possible the Lakers could actually creep into the real playoffs if they get lucky, or fall out of the playoffs altogether if they continue to lose games.

Either way, it looks like LeBron is back and ready to finish out the season for the Lakers. Make sure he's not sitting on your league's waiver wire and get him into your lineup. 

Damian Lillard done for season? Nassir Little goes off

Shams Charania

LeBron James is back, Damian Lillard might be done, a suddenly hot Trendon Watford left Sunday's game with a right ankle injury and Luka Doncic is facing a one-game suspension for the reeling Mavericks. Dr. A is back with what you may have missed in the NBA during a busy sports weekend. 

Return of the king

LeBron James returned to action on Sunday after missing 13 games due to a foot injury and played 30 minutes, finishing with 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists in an ugly loss to the Bulls.

James and the Lakers have just seven regular-season games left and don't play again until Wednesday. They do have a back-to-back set on Apr. 4 and 5 and it will be interesting to see if LeBron plays in both of those games. The Lakers need to win games to keep their postseason hopes alive and are currently the No. 9 seed in the West, meaning they'd be in a play-in situation if the season ended today. There are a bunch of teams around them and it's possible the Lakers could actually creep into the real playoffs if they get lucky, or fall out of the playoffs altogether if they continue to lose games.

Either way, it looks like LeBron is back and ready to finish out the season for the Lakers. Make sure he's not sitting on your league's waiver wire and get him into your lineup. 

Damian Lillard done for season? Nassir Little goes off

Shams Charania is reporting that the Blazers are "leaning toward" shutting Lillard down for the season due to a calf injury. The Blazers are 4.5 games out of the play-in zone, and chances are very slim that they'll be playing after their regular season ends. While it's not yet official that Lillard is done for the year, I'm dropping him where I can. He's done. 

While we're talking about Portland, Trendon Watford left Sunday's game due to a right ankle injury. He was playing very well in the absence of Jerami Grant but is now iffy for the upcoming week, starting on Monday against the Pelicans. Nassir Little went off for 28 points, six rebounds and three 3-pointers off the bench on Sunday and it feels like he's going to end up being a silly-season hero over the Blazers' last eight games. Do what you can to get Little on your roster. 

The return of Ant Man

After missing three games with a sprained ankle, Anthony Edwards returned to action on Sunday. He started and played 35 minutes but it wasn't all that great, as he hit just 5-of-14 shots for 13 points, four rebounds and three assists. The good news is that he's back and was just shaking off some rust. 

The Wolves have seven remaining regular-season games and their only back-to-back is on April 8 and 9, their final two games of the season. The No. 7 Wolves are just a half-game behind the No. 6 Warriors and half-game ahead of the No. 8 Pelicans, so they have every reason to push for Edwards to play every game down the stretch. 

Mark Williams is back in a big way

Charlotte big man Mark Williams returned on Friday after a six-game absence due to a thumb injury and had 13 points, eight rebounds and a block. He backed that up with a 15-point, 16-rebound double-double in Sunday's win over the Mavericks. He's back and the Hornets have six games remaining in the regular season. Unfortunately, those are split up with three games in each of the next two weeks. But if you're in need of a big man, Williams should go off every time he's in the lineup the rest of the way. 

Kawhi Leonard hopeful to play on Monday

Leonard got hurt on Saturday and was lucky to avoid a concussion. He played 27 minutes in that one but hit just 4-of-16 shots and scored 12 points. With Paul George's regular season likely over, the Clippers need Kawhi to play. He sounds likely to play on Monday and the Clippers play four times this week. They're the No. 5 seed in the West currently but hold just a half-game lead over the No. 6 Warriors and a 1.0 -ame lead over the No. 7 Timberwolves. They need Leonard to play so get him into your lineup. 

Ochai Agbaji not going away 

Agbaji had just seven points on Wednesday and six points on Friday but got back on track with 20 points, three rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three three-pointers on Saturday. He was on fire before those two duds and the Jazz play four games this week. The rookie is only rostered in 2.7 percent of ESPN leagues and is worth grabbing in almost any format. Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton remain out for the Jazz with no clear timetable.

Deandre Ayton is back

Ayton has missed four straight games with a hip injury but is listed as probable for Monday's game against the Jazz. The Suns go four times this week and don't have a back-to-back, meaning Ayton should be activated if you need him. 

Scottie Barnes returns on Sunday

Barnes returned on Sunday after missing a week due to a wrist injury and hit 5-of-14 shots for 13 points, five rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block in 32 minutes. The Raptors play Tuesday, Friday and Sunday this week and Barnes appears to be good to go for the upcoming scoring period if you need him. 

Luka scores 40 in loss, now facing one-game suspension

Luka Doncic went off for 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in a brutal loss to the Hornets on Sunday but is now facing a one-game suspension after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season. He's expected to be suspended for Monday's game against the Pacers but should be back for three games this week: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. 

If you've got Luka, start making plans to be without him on Monday. The No. 11 Mavericks are in trouble, sitting a full game behind the No. 10 Thunder for a possible play-in scenario. But for now they're on the outside looking in at the postseason. Pairing Luka with Kyrie Irving hasn't worked out quite as well as the Mavericks had hoped for. 

Walker Kessler explodes on Saturday

After scoring a combined total of just 15 points on Wednesday and Friday, Kessler went off for a career-high 31 points, 11 rebounds, a steal and a block on Saturday against the Kings. The Jazz have now lost three straight games and are the No. 12 seed in the West, a ½ game behind the reeling Mavericks. They still have a chance to pull off a play-in miracle but it really doesn't matter. Kessler is going to play huge minutes down the stretch either way and the Jazz play four times this week. Get him into your lineups. 

NBA Injury Report

Injuries are rampant in the NBA right now and it will be important for fantasy managers to study the RotoWire Injury Report closely. We update it constantly and whether you're playing DFS or traditional fantasy, at this time of year you simply have to monitor injuries right up until game time. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Alexander
Steve 'Doc' Alexander has been covering hoops for more than 20 years and recently joined Rotowire after spending his entire career at NBC Sports.
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