Philadelphia 76ers

Waiver Watch: Injuries Piling Up in Philadelphia

Philadelphia 76ersThe only team yet to win 10 games in the NBA this season suffered a pair of devastating setbacks in the in less than 24 hours.

The 76ers lost their starting forwards, Jahlil Okafor and Robert Covington, to injury on the same day.

Okafor will miss the remainder of the year after undergoing surgery to repair a small tear in the meniscus of his right knee. 

Just hours after revealing the severity of Okafor’s injury, Covington suffered a frightening injury early in the third quarter against Brooklyn.

Nets guard Donald Sloan drove to the basket and was accidentally undercut by 76ers forward Jerami Grant. The collision resulted in Grant inadvertently kicking Covington in the face, leaving him sprawled out on the floor.

To make matters even worse, Thaddeus Young tripped and landed on Covington’s head, leaving him motionless on the floor.

Covington was carried off on a stretcher and sent immediately to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital as doctors checked for a possible neck injury.

The league has entered Covington into a concussion protocol, but the severity of his injuries are still unknown and the team is unsure when he will be back in the lineup.

Philadelphia is averaging just 96.6 points — a full point fewer than anyone else in the NBA — and scoring the ball will be even more of a challenge for the remainder of the season.

Okafor (17.5 points per game) leads the team in scoring and is shooting 50.8 percent from the field.

Just four games ago, Covington poured in 25 points, his fifth 25 point performance of the season, as he combined with Ish Smith to account for half of the offense during a loss against the Heat.

Philadelphia has suffered plenty of losses during the past three seasons, 184 to be exact, and the only hope is to land a promising pick in the upcoming draft.

The only problem is, the 76ers are in desperate need of a win.

Center

Jusuf NurkicJusuf Nurkic– Denver Nuggets

Available in 69% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

Denver closed out a season long seven-game home stand with an impressive performance from Nurkic. The 7-footer scored 17 points — his personal best of the year — along with four rebounds, two blocks, an assist and a steal during a victory over Washington. The only problem was he was forced to leave two minutes before the final buzzer, as he limped off the floor with a knee injury. Nuggets coach Mike Malone believes there is no cause for concern and he is being listed as questionable for Monday’s game in Miami.

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Power Forward

Channing FryeChanning Frye– Cleveland Cavaliers

Available in 97% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

The return of Kevin Love to the lineup Sunday afternoon didn’t prevent Frye from making an impact for the Cavaliers from beyond the arc. After starting in place of Love against the Lakers, Frye poured in 21 points — his highest scoring total since last season — as he connected on 5-of-7 attempts from 3-point range. A second game in Los Angeles produced similar results, as Frye connected on his first five attempts from beyond the arc Sunday afternoon as part if a 15 point, five rebound, two assist effort.

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Small Forward

Justin HolidayJustin Holiday– Chicago Bulls

Available in 100% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

As the Bulls continue to search for the right group of players to lead the team back into the post season, Holiday has unexpectedly emerged as a vital piece for the team. Saturday against the Heat, coach Fred Hoiberg not only placed Holiday into the starting lineup, but left him on the floor for 38 minutes, the most in his career that has included stops in Philadelphia, Golden State and Atlanta. Holiday responded by posting 14 points, four rebounds, two steals, two blocks and an assist. The loss of Jimmy Butler opens up plenty of time for Holiday.

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Shooting Guard

Allen CrabbeAllen Crabbe– Portland Trail Blazers

Available in 90% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

The biggest question mark facing Crabbe is the minutes availability in Portland. As C.J. McCollum continues to make his case for the Most Improved Player in the League, Crabbe has quietly emerged as one of the most reliable players on the Trail Blazers roster, ranking fourth in minutes played and minutes per game this season. Crabbe has logged at least 20 minutes in each of the past 11 games. Saturday against Orlando, the 31st overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft scored 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, marking his highest scoring performance since the final day of January.

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Point Guard

Ray McCallumRay McCallum– Memphis Grizzlies

Available in 91% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

The Grizzlies brought McCallum off the bench in his debut with the team, but he may have played his way into the starting lineup Saturday night in Atlanta. McCallum is playing on a 10-day contract with Memphis, but with Mike Conley expected to miss three-to-four weeks with Achilles tendinitis, he is likely to stay with the team following a 13 point, four rebound, two assist, two steal, one block performance against the Hawks. McCallum hit a trio of 3-pointers, outplaying rookie Briante Weber and even lining up at shooting guard, proving he is deserving of playing time.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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