POSTED: Mar 5, 2014 10:07 PM ET
• The Hawks are without three of their top frontline players — centers Al Horford (pectoral muscle), and Gustavo Ayon (shoulder) and power forward Paul Millsap (knee) — and rank 27th in the NBA in rebound percentage. Portland ranks No. 5 and owns a significant size advantage tonight. "We've talked about having all five guys committed to rebounding," Budenholzer said. "Our guards have to get in there and get hits, be physical and grab some long ones. It's going to take a group effort."
• Dallas forward Wayne Ellington is not with the team due to personal reasons, the Mavericks said before the game. "(He's) another wing defender who can shoot," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's been playing well for us, he's a good competitor and he's a guy who's always ready." With Ellington out, his minutes will go to forward Jae Crowder. "Those minutes will be his and we'll need him to do what he does well. With 21 (games) left, we've got to defend, rebound and compete at a high level."
• NBA commissioner Adam Silver dropped by the Nets' locker room before the Grizzlies' game to say hello to Jason Collins.
• The Grizzlies are 17-6 since Marc Gasol returned from injury, and for the second straight home game the Nets will face a massive size disadvantage in the front court, where Paul Pierce will likely guard either Gasol or Zach Randolph. Against the Bulls on Monday, the Nets played excellent swarming defense and forced twenty-eight turnovers, with Pierce guarding Carlos Boozer for much of the night. Nets coach Jason Kidd called the two consecutive matchups, "similar games, very physical."
• Kevin Garnett will sit out a third consecutive game with back spasms. Mason Plumlee will start in his place. Kidd praised Plumlee's energy against the Bulls.
• Magic rookie Victor Oladipo will miss his first game of the season because of a sore left ankle. Oladipo is the only Magic player to have played in their first 62 games.
• Arron Afflalo, Orlando's leading scorer at 19.7 points per game, returns after missing five games with a sprained right ankle.
• Jameer Nelson is sick, giving Ronnie Price his second straight start at point guard for Orlando.
• Bobcats coach Steve Clifford will start Chris Douglas-Roberts in place of injured Gerald Henderson (right calf strain). Henderson is expected to be out the remainder of the week. Other Bobcats inactives are Brendan Haywood (stress facture, left foot) and Jeffery Taylor (ruptured right Achilles tendon)
• Forward Martell Webster (back) is a game-time decision while center Kevin Seraphin (sore right knee) will miss his fifth straight game, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
• Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau plans to start Mike Dunleavy at small forward despite a size disadvantage against Smith. "We feel that one of our strengths is we have guys who can guard multiple positions, so we're fortunate in that regard," he said. "We don't have to adjust. We like the size of the guys we have and we can guard multiple positions, so we prefer not to change."
• The Kings have been finding some success of late playing with 5-9 Isaiah Thomas and 6-3 Ray McCallum together at guard. "I think the NBA is a game of matchups, obviously, and if a team has a very big two-guard it might be hard to do," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "What I liked about last game is we played very small at times with Isaiah and Ray out there and they tried to post up Ray with Tyreke Evans, and Ray more than held his own and showed that he's not going to be easily exploited on the defensive end of the floor. If Ray can continue to hold his own on the defensive end, now you have two play-making guards that can play with the ball in their hands or play off the ball. And in transition it gives us two attacking guards that can make plays for themselves or for their teammates."