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Posted Jan 13, 2014 6:46 PM - Updated Jan 13, 2014 8:34 PM
• Rajon Rondo is getting closer to a return to the lineup, according to Celtics coach Brad Stevens. He's been cleared to practice with contact for nearly a month now, and could make his season debut as soon as this week. "Nothing concrete. I get the impression it's sooner rather than later," Stevens said Monday. "I'd be guessing. I think you could say possibly [this week], but it wouldn't be anything where I'd be speaking with certainty."
• Chandler Parsons will be back in the Rockets' starting lineup tonight at the Celtics after missing Houston's past three games with a leg injury. The Rockets went 2-1 with him out of the lineup. Coach Kevin McHale said he would keep "a close eye" on Parsons tonight despite his improved condition.
• Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo has been generating buzz with his play lately. At just 19 years and 12 days, Antetokounmpo became the youngest Buck in team history to start when he scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds on Dec. 18 against the New York Knicks. He is now also the youngest player in the NBA to start a game since Andrew Bynum started his first game in 2006 at 19 years and four days old.
• Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough will miss his sixth straight game with a left ankle sprain as his team plays host to the Bucks tonight.
• Tyson Chandler (upper respiratory infection) will miss his fifth straight game for the Knicks, who entertain the Suns tonight. Pablo Prigioni (right big toe) and Metta World Peace (sore left knee) are also out. Beno Udrih (left tibiofibular joint) will dress.
• Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (torn meniscus) is out 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery.
• The Spurs will start guard Manu Ginobili tonight at the Pelicans. Ginobili missed the past two games with tightness in one of his hamstrings. Coach Gregg Popovich said he'll be careful with how he uses the 10th-year guard against New Orleans. "I don't know exactly what it will be," Popovich said. "See how he feels and that kind of thing. We're just starting him basically because he'll already be warmed up. We're just trying to take every precaution there is."
• New Orleans will be without guard Tyreke Evans for the second game in a row as he continues to heal from a left ankle sprain. That means New Orleans is going without three regular contributors once again with Anderson and G Jrue Holiday (stress fracture, right tibia) both sitting out. The injuries are giving several young players a chance to play, including F Darius Miller, who went 4-for-5 on 3-pointers in the Pelicans' loss at Dallas on Saturday.
• Bulls guard Jimmy Butler will play tonight against the Wizards after missing a game with a bruised left thigh. What will be interesting will be to see what Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau does with his second string after rookie Tony Snell played ineffectively as Butler's replacement in the starting lineup Saturday and veteran newcomer Cartier Martin played very well, scoring 11 points, as Snell's backup at the shooting guard position.
• Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters at shootaround that guard Derrick Rose is now walking without crutches and continuing his rehab from a torn MCL. He also said Rose will "probably start traveling in the next couple weeks," meaning he will spend more time with the team than he did last season when he tore his ACL and stayed away for most of the season while rehabbing his knee.
• The Mavericks have played their last four games without Shawn Marion (shoulder/ribs) and will have to wait until game time to find out if tonight against the Magic will be No. 5. "I think it's possible but I don't think it's been determined," coach Rick Carlisle said. "I wouldn't want to handicap it now."
• Wayne Ellington (illness) should be good to go for the Mavs, but Shane Larkin (ankle), who rode the stationary bike during shootaround, is not expected to be available tonight. Larkin's absence would mean big minutes for fellow rookie Gal Mekel.
• The injury-plagued Magic received some good news, as both Jameer Nelson (sprained finger) and Maurice Harkless (knee) are expected to give it a go tonight. Arron Afflalo (foot), however, will not be available.
• Gordon Hayward (hip) will miss his second straight game for the Jazz, who host the Nuggets tonight. Coach Tyrone Corbin said Hayward is getting better every day but is still without a timeline for returning to game action. Alec Burks will once again start in place of Hayward.
• Utah's Marvin Williams missed today's shootaround due to flu-like symptoms but will try to play against Denver. If he can't go, it's likely that Enes Kanter would get the start at center and Derrick Favors would slide to power forward.
• The Nuggets' Darrell Arthur (hip) and Anthony Randolph (ankle) will miss tonight's game, but Wilson Chandler will return after missing two games due to a hip injury, although he will come off the bench.
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