The Walking Wounded – NBA Injuries for Week 20
Lonzo Ball may be back, but he isn’t back at Peak Health yet according to our analytics. He returned from a 15-game absence after the All-Star break, and the two games he’s played since his return have been mediocre, averaging 11 points, 5.5 assists, ad 7 rebounds in the past two games. Part of this is due to the fact that he still has a few restrictions slapped on him, but his Below Average Health Performance Factor suggests his sprained MCL is keeping him from performing at a peak level.
It’s no secret that Ball has been relatively inconsistent so far in his rookie season. His durability has been a question since he was drafted by the Lakers, so it was no surprise when he spent multiple weeks on the bench with an injury. Ball is a High Injury Risk, and his injury risk will be a concern through the end of the season. He may have a few games between now and the Fantasy playoffs that he proves his worth, but playing at less than 100% health is going to make him a risky fantasy option.
Aaron Gordon missed nine games prior to the All-Star break with a left hip flexor strain, but that wasn’t enough time to get him back to 100%. He returned to action after the break, but hasn’t quite looked like himself. He’s had relatively decent stat lines that are just under his season averages of 18.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, but it’s obvious his hip is affecting him.
Lonzo Ball said he did not receive money from agents while at UCLA, but … pic.twitter.com/O4lGChDNXb
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 23, 2018
For the first time since his return, Gordon was listed on the injury report with a sore left hip. It looked obvious in his play that he was hampered by the injury, but the questionable tag confirmed our suspicions. Gordon plans to continue playing through the injury, but he shouldn’t be considered a reliable Fantasy start in daily or season-long leagues. His High Injury Risk makes it likely that he’ll wind up on the bench for an extended period if he keeps playing through the injury, and his Below Average Health Performance Factor suggests his play will continue to be hindered.
A left shoulder strain held Kelly Olynyk out for six straight games, but his return on Tuesday was too early. The Inside Injuries algorithm calculated a 4-6 week Optimal Recovery Time for a grade 2 shoulder strain, but Olynyk was only on the bench for three weeks. His first game back only produced nine points, three rebounds, and three assists, all of which are below his season averages. He played 25 minutes, which is slightly less than his season average, and the Heat will likely continue to limit him for the next week or so.
Olynyk was on a roll before he injured his shoulder, racking up 11 straight games with double digit points. We don’t expect him to get back to that level of play for at least the next two weeks, but his High Injury Risk is also a concern. Playing through an injury before it’s completely healed puts the player at risk of further damage, but it also hampers the performance, hence the Below Average Health Performance Factor. Olynyk isn’t worth a look in DFS, and he should be considered a risky fantasy option in season-long leagues.
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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