By Greg Frank / @G_Frank6
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Here’s a look at some of the relevant scheduling and injury/minutes restriction spots for a few teams and players in the NBA this week (Monday, April 26th through Sunday, May 2nd) that you should be aware of:
The Los Angeles Lakers just played two games in Dallas, won in Orlando on Monday night, travel up to Washington DC for a game on Wednesday against the Wizards and then fly cross country for a Friday home game against Kings.
San Antonio looks destined for the play-in round in the Western Conference. The Spurs are in the midst of a five-game road trip that saw them play in New Orleans on Saturday and win in overtime at Washington on Monday. They go down to South Beach on Wednesday and up to Boston on Friday before returning home to play Philly on Sunday.
Dallas also opened the week with a back-to-back, but on the road - the Mavericks lost to the Kings on Monday and proceeded to route the Warriors in San Francisco on Tuesday.
Utah plays four games this week in three different time zones. The Jazz started the week with an outright loss as big favorites to the Timberwolves on Monday. They now go to the pacific time zone for games against the Kings (Wednesday) and Suns (Friday) before returning home on Sunday to host Toronto on the tail end of a back-to-back on Saturday.
Boston just lost at Charlotte by 21 points on Sunday. The Hornets visit the Celtics for a rematch on Wednesday as Charlotte will be concluding a back-to-back after losing to the Bucks at home on Tuesday.
Portland has a tricky back-to-back against teams currently in its conference’s respective play-in round and should be hungry to battle for wins. The Trail Blazers destroyed the Pacers on Tuesday and go to Memphis to play the Grizzlies on Wednesday after losing twice already to the Grizzlies last week.
Injuries: Most of these players will likely miss the entire week.
Brooklyn guard James Harden remains out indefinitely with a hamstring injury and the likelihood of the Nets resting him until the playoffs increases by the day. We estimate Harden to be worth 3.33 points to the line.
Charlotte is likely to be without Gordon Hayward (1.18 points of estimated line value) and LaMelo Ball (1.23 points of estimated line value) for at least one more week.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine remains in the league’s health and safety protocol list. He's Chicago’s best player and we approximate his line value to be 2.89 points. He reportedly could miss the rest of the regular season.
Pacers big man Myles Turner is without a timetable to return from a toe injury. He's about half a point to the spread.
Clippers wing Kawhi Leonard is expected to be sidelined into May with a foot injury. He's worth 5.21 points.
LeBron James is likely to miss one more week with the Lakers as he nears a return from an ankle injury. He is worth a full five points to the spread.
Heat guard Victor Oladipo is out indefinitely with a knee injury. He's worth approximately one point.
Ben Simmons missed Monday’s game for Philadelphia with an illness. It was his fifth consecutive missed game. While Simmons could return this week, it’s unclear what's going on with the point guard for the Sixers and we wouldn’t be shocked if he missed the whole week. He's worth about two points.
Jazz wing Donovan Mitchell is likely to return at some point next week from his ankle injury. We are estimating his line value to be about 2.5 points to the spread.
Minutes Restrictions: Players just returning from injury and not playing their normal allotment of minutes.
Celtics guard Evan Fournier was limited this weekend in his first two games back from the league’s health and safety protocols. We estimate Fournier to be worth a quarter of a point when fully healthy without limitations.