Four games (April 8-14)
Note: All teams will play two games from April 15-17, expect the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets, who only play once.
Joe Johnson (heel) was able to practice, but did not return to action Wednesday night and missed his fifth consecutive game. In his place, MarShon Brooks went off for 27 points and seven assists in his first start of the year. Johnson may return Thursday, but Brooks could remain in the starting lineup as an active shooter due to Gerald Wallace's recent foot injury.
Reggie Evans continues to pull down a ridiculous amount of rebounds on a nightly basis. He's also answered the call to score more, totaling eight or more points in three of the last four games, including a pair of monster lines: 22/26 and 15/16.
The injury dominos continue to fall in the Windy City. Taj Gibson (knee) had a clear path to serious minutes due to Joakim Noah's foot injury until he reinjured his left knee, an injury that cost Gibson 10 recent games.
Veteran big Nazr Mohammed made his sixth consecutive start and set season highs with 12 points and 12 rebounds in 36 minutes. The 35-year-old Mohammed will get plenty of action down the stretch as the last center standing.
The Bulls will also need to ride swingman Jimmy Butler due to the absence of both Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain) and Richard Hamilton (back). Over the last five games Butler is doing it all averaging 14.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.4 steals, 1.4 threes and nearly a block per contest.
Marreese Speights has played more than 20 minutes off the bench in three straight contests, averaging 17.0 points and 7.3 rebounds. Look for the Ace of Speights to do a lot of mopping up for the basement-dwelling Cavs as the young frontcourt of Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson isn't seeing a ton of minutes.
Kyrie Irving (shoulder) is back on the court, but is unlikely to play April 10th and 15th as the team will be playing back-to-back frames.
Los Angeles Lakers
After dipping performance and the return of Pau Gasol, Earl Clark was removed from the starting lineup and become a limited part in the rotation. However, Clark played nearly 30 minutes on Tuesday and set monthly highs across the board with 17 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks and three long-distance connections. With Metta World Peace (knee) likely done for the year, the Lakers need anything they can get from Clark right now.
Steve Nash (hip) has missed nearly all of the last two games, but Steve Blake wasn't able to do much with the opportunities. This clearly leaves Nash owners in a scramble to find loose dimes. Blake averaged 13.0 points and four threes but only managed to total a pair of assists sans Nash.
With LeBron James (hamstring) and Dwyane Wade (ankle) sitting out the last two games, Mike Miller scored 12 points on four threes Sunday and 18 points with another four triples on Tuesday, totaling 11 rebounds and nine assists in the pair of contests.
Chris Bosh has played very well while carrying the Heat, but they can't afford to let LeBron and D-Wade collect too much rust before the playoffs begin. Miller is suddenly playing like it's Game 5 of last year's Finals, but check the status of his teammates before deploying him.
With J.J. Redick struggling to hit the mark, Mike Dunleavy has stepped up by scoring 15 points in each of the last two games. The Bucks feature a very solid starting five, so there's not much value coming off the bench with Redick and Dunleavy dealing with inconsistencies.
On Wednesday, Derrick Williams scored 15 points in fewer than 19 minutes of action, the third time in the last eight games he saw such little playing time. Williams continues to show flashes of an intriguing all-around game, but can get ice cold from the field and crush his playing time. If he's able to find some stability, Williams could one day explode onto the fantasy scene.
New Orleans Hornets
Greivis Vasquez looks fine after missing a pair of games last week with an ankle injury. He's dropped nine assists each of the last two games and averaged 20.0 points while squashing any hopes for backup Brian Roberts to contribute after the rookie totaled 18 assists in a recent spot start.
New York Knicks
Tyson Chandler missed 10 consecutive games with different ailments and has been ineffective in two starts since returning. He played less than 24 minutes in each start while scoring a lone field goal to go with six total rebounds.
Kenyon Martin scored nine points and pulled down six rebounds in Chandler's first game back, but was a non-factor on Wednesday. K-Mart put up some decent numbers during Chandler's absence, but is too unreliable to consider right now.
As a starter over the last 13 games, Damien Wilkins has averaged 13.5 points on a crisp 53.1 percent shooting to go along with 3.2 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.8 blocks. Wilkins isn't taking many looks from beyond the arc, but is a useful scorer due to his sudden efficiency.
Two games (April 8-14)