Mike Conley and Evan Turner are dealing with some lower body injuries, with Conley already missing a couple games and coming back. Most of the Bucks in the NBA are hoping for some more wins for Christmas since their teams are floundering under the .500 mark. The only former Buckeye whose teams is over the .500 mark is Byron Mullens' Clippers, but he rarely sees the floor for Doc Rivers's squad.
Mike Conley - PG - Memphis Grizzlies
After suffering a thigh injury against Minnesota on December 15th, Conley missed the first two games that the Grizzlies played last week, which turned out to be losses to the Lakers and Mavericks. Saturday afternoon against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden Conley returned and played 34 minutes in the victory but showed lingering effects of the injury. Conley only shot 4-18 from the field and finished with 9 points and 8 assists. The Grizzlies pulled out a 95-87 victory, but Conley said that his thigh got tight during the game which caused fatigue and resulted in the poor shooting numbers. Back in Memphis on Monday night Conley played 37 minutes but was still struggling with his shot, shooting 2-11 from the field, with both makes being three-pointers to finish with 6 points. One area that didn't seem to suffer Monday was on the defensive end, with Conley tying a season-high with 4 steals in the 104-94 victory. It'll be interesting to see if a couple days off over Christmas can help Conley before the Grizzlies return to action on Thursday night at Houston.
Kosta Koufos - F/C - Memphis Grizzlies
The beginning of the week was quiet for Koufos, but he seemed to end the week with some momentum that might see him get some more playing time. In losses to the Lakers and Mavericks Koufos was only able to score a combined 8 points, but he closed the week with 10 points in each game in wins over the Knicks and Jazz. In Saturday's game against the Knicks, Ed Davis got the start for the Grizzlies but Koufos played well off the bench, adding 9 rebounds to the 10 points he scored in 16 minutes. Koufos was back in the starting lineup on Monday night against the Jazz and hit the 20 minute mark in floor time for the first time since the Grizzlies game on December 11th. Even with the dismissed minutes, Koufos has shown to still be a handful on the boards, grabbing at least 6 rebounds in each of the four games that Memphis played last week.
Evan Turner - G/F - Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers only played two games last week, but one of them was an overtime thriller in which Philadelphia beat Brooklyn 121-120 in overtime on Friday night. Turner had a stellar game as he played 47 minutes, put in his second highest point total of the season with 29 points, and added 10 rebounds. The only downside of that game was the 5 turnovers that Turner committed. Turner could have been dealing with some fatigue the next night in the 116-106 loss to Milwaukee, as he only shot 2-15 from the field and finished with 10 points in 33 minutes. Making things even worse for Turner was that he experienced some right knee soreness in the loss and head coach Brent Brown said that Turner pulled up lame in practice on Sunday. Working for Turner is that Philadelphia doesn't return to action until Saturday, which means he should have some time to hopefully recover from the injury.
Jared Sullinger - F/C - Boston Celtics
The Celtics went winless in three games last week, but Sullinger can't be blamed for two of those losses, as he put up strong performances against Detroit and Washington. The first game of the week saw the Celtics narrowly lose to the Pistons 107-106 in Boston. Sullinger accounted for 19 points on 7-14 shooting, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Saturday was an even better performance in the 196-99 home loss against Washington. Again Sullinger shot 50%, going 9-18 from the field on his way to 22 points and 11 rebounds in a losing. Finally, Indiana blew out the Celtics 106-79 the next day in Indianapolis where Sullinger only played 16 minutes. The decrease in minutes in the Indiana game for Sullinger was due to the Pacers holding a sizable lead and Brad Stevens letting his bench guys finish out the rest of the game. Even with the losses, Boston still sits 8th in the Eastern Conference, just a half game behind Toronto for the Atlantic Division lead.
Byron Mullens - F/C - Los Angeles Clippers
Byron Mullens has had more time to work on his Christmas shopping lately, as he didn't play in any of the three games that the Clippers played in last week. With only 11 minutes played in the month of December it seems like Mullens is on Doc Rivers' naughty list this year. Maybe Rivers can show some Christmas spirit and let Mullens play some when the Clippers play against Golden State on Christmas night.