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Posted Jan 11, 2014 6:30 PM - Updated Jan 11, 2014 9:36 PM
• The NBA reportedly had communication with Bulls center Joakim Noah, warning him that he cannot continue his media boycott which he has instituted since the Bulls traded Luol Deng on Tuesday. Deng and Noah were very close, and Thibodeau thinks that should be taken into consideration before Noah is condemned for his silence. "I think he understands that (media) side of the business,'' Thibodeau said. "But they were very close. I think he will be fine."
• Stevens has moved Jared Sullinger to the bench on this trip, and the second-year forward responded with a 21-point, 11-rebound showing against the Warriors. "Last night was his best game in the last six or seven," Stevens said. "He wasn't playing as well up to that point. (Kris) Humphries has been our most consistent 'big' for the better part of the last month. It's not necessarily a long-term move, but it was we thought was best for us at the time. Hopefully, we can get the same kind of production from Sully off the bench tonight."
• Stevens said point guard Rajon Rondo, who has missed the entire season while rehabbing from knee surgery, is "probably a couple of weeks" away from his return. "He can do everything (in practice) now," Steven said. "It's a matter of when he feels it's best" to come back.
• Denver's Wilson Chandler will miss his second straight with a left groin strain. Coach Brian Shaw said Chandler is getting better but the team is being cautious because of his injury history with his left hip. "He's progressing. He said the next day after he tweaked his groin that he was feeling better. We're taking a conservative approach just because of the fact he missed some games at the beginning of the year and he was injured last year," Shaw said. "Everybody else is stepping up and getting the job done." Quincy Miller will make his second consecutive start in place of Chandler.
• The injury bug continues to bite New Orleans, as it enters play without the services of three of its top five scorers. Tyreke Evans sprained his ankle in Friday night's loss to Dallas and is not expected to be available for tonight's game. He joins Jrue Holiday (right tibia, stress fracture) and Ryan Anderson (herniated disc) who will also not be available.
• New Orleans isn't the only team banged up, as Dallas will be without do-everything forward Shawn Marion (right shoulder contusion/upper rib contusion) for the third consecutive game after taking a hard fall on Tuesday against the Lakers. "He's feeling better but he's not there yet," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "I don't have a timetable. He's out tonight and Monday we'll see where things are." Jae Crowder, who played 40 minutes Friday night, is expected to start in Marion's stead. Wayne Ellington (illness) will also not be available.
• The Nuggets will also be without Anthony Randolph due to an ankle injury. Randolph's playing time has diminished, but his absence -- along with G Andre Miller's continuing hiatus for personal reasons -- leaves Denver with 11 available players against the Magic. "I put him in at the end of the last game and he just wasn't moving right," Shaw said of Randolph. "He said his ankle was really bothering him. They sent him out for an MRI. He's in a boot so he'll be out the next couple of days."
• Pistons coach Mo Cheeks is pleased with the recent play of forward Kyle Singler, who had 16 points and eight rebounds against Philadelphia on Friday. "He's making a 3, he's making shots you get that," Cheeks said. "He's gonna run the floor. He's going to defend 2s, 3s and some 4s. You just get a variety of things. I like having him on the floor. I enjoy having him on the floor. There's some days where he's not as good as other days, but for the most part he's going to give you what he got."
• Chauncey Billups, Detroit's veteran guard, will not play on the second night of a back-to-back.
• Bucks coach Larry Drew will change up his starting lineup again, this time bringing in Khris Middleton in place of Luke Ridnour to provide better matchups with the Thunder lineup. Drew said forward John Henson will be a game time decision. He's missed the last few games with a sprained ankle.
• The Thunder are suffering through their worst stretch of the season, two straight losses, 2-4 in the last six games and 5-5 in the last 10. OKC's shots have not been falling these last two games, going just 37.4 percent overall and 20.7 percent on 3s.
• Houston's Chandler Parsons is out for the third straight game with a sore right knee.
• Washington was held to a NBA season-low 66 points on Friday. The Wizards shot an awful 9-for-23 from the free throw line. Coach Randy Wittman said he called Indiana coach Frank Vogel afterward. "I asked him where he came up with that defense on the free throw line. It was some of the best I've seen," Wittman joked.
• Tyson Chandler will be out for the Knicks because of an upper respiratory infection. Guard Beno Udrih will also be out with a left knee injury.
• Knicks forward-center Amar'e Stoudemire is scheduled to play his 700th career game on Saturday.
• The Brooklyn Nets are on a five-game winning streak, most recently knocking off the Heat on Friday 104-95 in double overtime. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett played 80 minutes between them. Nets coach Jason Kidd is keeping Garnett out of the line-up to rest him on the second night of a back-to-back.
• Raptors forward, Tyler Hansbrough will be out of the line-up with a sprained right ankle.
• Tonight is "Drake Night" and the rapper will be introducing the starting lineups and playing a DJ set at halftime.
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