Ten Before Tip: NBA news from Wednesday night
POSTED: Feb 5, 2014 6:02 PM ET
UPDATED: Feb 5, 2014 9:41 PM ET
• The Clippers will be without starting shooting guard J.J. Redick when they host the Heat tonight at Staples Center. Redick, fourth on the team in scoring at 15.7 points, has a sore back and hip, according to coach Doc Rivers. Redick has played 13 games since sitting out 21 with right hand and wrist injuries. After averaging 17.2 points and shooting 46.8 percent from 3-point range in his first 11 games back, Redick cooled off the last two, shooting 5-for-17 overall and combining for 13 points. Jamal Crawford, the team's third-leading scorer (18.1) behind Blake Griffin (23.3) and the injured Chris Paul (19.6), will move into the starting lineup in place of Redick. Crawford, the Sixth Man of the Year in 2009 with the Hawks and runner-up last season with the Clippers, shot a lower percentage as a starter when Redick was out earlier this season.
• Dwyane Wade of the Heat has combined for 71 minutes in two games since Saturday and has played in four straight overall, but the veteran guard will be in the starting lineup for his 700th NBA game tonight. Wade has rested his sore knees on occasion this season and it has impacted the Heat's performance, as they've lost to the likes of Detroit, Chicago, Sacramento and Brooklyn without Wade in the lineup. Wade is coming off a 30-point, nine-rebound performance Monday against the Pistons, his second 30-point game of the season, and is 23-for-34 from the floor in the last two games combined.
• DeMarcus Cousins returned to action on Monday night after missing the previous six games with a left ankle sprain. The Kings starting center didn't miss a beat, scoring 25 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and handing out four assists in 34 minutes. "To come out after missing that much time and get 25 and 16 and to do so in an efficient manner was impressive on his part," coach Michael Malone said.
• The Timberwolves injury situation is critical tonight against the Thunder. All-Star power forward Kevin Love is banged up and sore from last night's hard fall against the Lakers. He is a game time decision. Small forward Corey Brewer, their best wing defender is out. Luc Mbah a Moute will start for him and center Nikola Pekovic is out with bursitis in his right ankle.
• The Bucks will be shorthanded against the fast-paced Nuggets. Guard Gary Neal (back spasms) is a game-time decision but will likely not play, while rookie Nate Wolters is starting despite suffering from a cold. With G O.J. Mayo already out and F Caron Butler not on the trip with a left ankle sprain Milwaukee's backcourt is going to rely on rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brandon Knight to play heavy minutes. "We'll probably have to shuffle people around," Milwaukee coach Larry Drew said. Guard Luke Rindour could see more playing time against Denver.
• Memphis guard Nick Calathes will make his third consecutive start in place of Mike Conley, who is out with a sprained left ankle. It will be Calathes' first start against the team that held his draft rights until trading him to the Grizzlies in the off-season. In his two starts, Calathes is averaging 15 ppg, including a career-high 22 against Milwaukee. He also has no turnovers in the last two games. The Grizzlies will also be without guard Tony Allen, who has a sprained left wrist.
• The Pelicans added forward Luke Babbitt to their roster Tuesday, a nod to New Orleans' injury situation at the position. Forward Ryan Anderson hasn't played since herniated a disc in his back on Jan. 3 while forward/center Jason Smith saw his season end when surgery was required to clean out lose cartilage from his right knee. "He's a guy that can shoot the ball and also has the ability to play the three," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said Wednesday. "In a pinch, he can play some four. I worked him out. ... He's a serious kid and I'm looking forward to getting him in."
• Speaking of injuries, the Pelicans (20-27) could be without guard Tyreke Evans, who injured his ribs during Monday night's loss to San Antonio. Evans is averaging 12.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season. "He got some treatment (Tuesday) and he went through some of the workout this morning," Williams said. Evans wasn't in the locker room during pregame media availability.
• Wednesday's matchup between the Rockets and Suns could prove to be an important contest in regard to playoff seeding in the Western Conference, as Phoenix (29-19) would clinch the season series and the associated head-to-head tiebreaker with a victory. Houston (32-17), meanwhile, is looking to even the season series and extend its lead over the Suns in the standings to 3.5 games with a win.
• Kenyon Martin will miss a second straight game with a sore left ankle and Mike Woodson does not expect him to play at all this week. "He's still getting treatment and we're gonna wait it out today to see if he needs to go back in and have it looked at," Woodson said. "Maybe we'll get another opinion and see where he is, but he won't play this week, though."
• The Knicks will start Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. Andrea Bargnani remains out for the Knicks.
• Houston reserve forward Francisco Garcia will return to the rotation after missing the last eight games with a sore left knee, offering McHale more flexibility with how he mixes his lineups and distributes playing time. "We haven't had our whole group together very much, so I think we have a lot of room to grow," McHale said. "We still have yet to see how that whole group plays together, and I doubt that they're going to have instant chemistry. I think it might take a little bit of getting together, but like the other night, I was really happy to have [more players] healthy, because it just gives you more flexibility."
• The Lakers only have nine players in uniform as point guards Steve Nash (back nerve irritation) and Jodie Meeks (right ankle sprain) will not play. Nash returned from a 39-game absence Tuesday in Los Angeles' 109-99 loss to Minnesota, but is being held out of back-to-back contests as a precautionary measure. Meeks was injured in the first quarter against the Timberwolves and is expected to miss at least two games. Power forward Jordan Hill (cervical strain) is active and working out on the court at Quicken Loans Arena, but will be a game-time decision.
• Lakers shooting guard Steve Blake (right ear drum rupture) will start despite suffering a significant ear injury in the first half at Minnesota. "You just can't talk to him on the (right) side, which isn't a bad thing because I'm not sure he likes to listen to me anyways," Los Angeles coach Mike D'Antoni quipped. "Not really, though, he's fine. Steve gives us the toughness that we need, so we're glad to have him available."
• After the Washington Wizards lost to the San Antonio Spurs for the 15th straight time in November, forward Nene harshly called out his teammates. They've played better since. "You don't always want it in a public setting, but that's part of being a professional team," coach Randy Wittman said. "That's always very important in building a team that's united. It seems like two years ago that happened."
• Forward Trevor Booker returns after missing Monday's game for personal reasons.
• Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wasn't aware of his team's long winning streak against the Wizards. "I don't even think about any kind of streak we have against them. The only thing that means is that the percentages are probably with them to do well," Popovich said.
• Jameer Nelson returns to the Magic starting lineup after missing two games with a sore left knee.
• Pistons center/forward Josh Harrellson will miss a second straight game due to a sore knee.
• Kyle Singler will get his second start of the season for the Pistons at shooting guard, replacing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
• Celtics forward Gerald Wallace is active and available to play. He had been dealing with a personal issue.
• The Sixers recalled reserve guard Lorenzo Brown from the Delaware 87ers, their affiliate in the NBA Development League.