Friday's Early Injury Report (and its impact)

Raphielle Johnson
Rotoworld

Annually the NBA leaves Thanksgiving Day to the NFL, so there were no games on the schedule for Thursday. With that being the case, this Friday’s Daily Dose will focus on the injury report for tonight’s games. Things could definitely change between now and tip-off, as Thursday’s final injury report was submitted at 8:30 PM Eastern. Below is a quick look at each of the 13 games on the schedule, and the impact that the injuries will have from a fantasy standpoint. 

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Celtics at Nets, Noon EST — Boston and Brooklyn will meet for the second time in three days, with this game taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Nets will be without Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement) for an eighth straight game, which means another start for Spencer Dinwiddie. While he struggled in Wednesday’s loss to the Celtics, in the last seven games Dinwiddie is averaging 23.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.7 three-pointers per. His percentages from the field (40.8%) and from three (26.7%) haven’t been great during this stretch, but Dinwiddie has the ball in his hands plenty and is going to put up numbers. How efficient he’ll be is the question. 

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DeAndre Jordan (right ankle soreness) has missed the last two games and is questionable for Friday night. His status most impacts rookie Nicolas Claxton, who played just over 15 minutes per in those two games. Claxton’s fantasy impact has been minimal (to put it kindly), so even if Jordan is ruled out leave the rookie on the waiver wire. There were no changes to the Celtics’ injury report. 

Hornets at Pistons, 7 PM — While there were no changes to the Pistons’ injury report, Charlotte has two rotation players listed. Malik Monk (finger sprain, left hand) and Cody Zeller (left hip contusion) are both listed as probable. While Monk played in Wednesday’s win over Detroit Wednesday night, Zeller was held out. His absence meant a spot start for Bismack Biyombo, who played 34 minutes and tallied 19 points (8-of-11 FGs, 3-of-5 FTs), nine rebounds one assist and two blocked shots. Zeller’s return would most impact Biyombo, who’s averaging 7.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in just over 14 minutes per game as a reserve. In his two starts, Biyombo’s averaged 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 blocks in 25.8 minutes per game.

Raptors at Magic, 7 PM — It’s likely that both Toronto and Orlando will be shorthanded in the front court Friday, with Raptors backup center Serge Ibaka (right ankle sprain) being listed as doubtful and Magic starting center Nikola Vucevic (right ankle sprain) already ruled out. Ibaka’s absence has meant more minutes for Chris Boucher, who’s averaging 8.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.5 steals and 0.8 three-pointers in just under 18 minutes per game over his last ten appearances. On the Orlando side of things the absences of Vucevic and Aaron Gordon (right ankle contusion) have opened up minutes for Mo Bamba and Khem Birch

Over his last five games Bamba is averaging 7.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.2 blocks in 19.1 minutes per game, while Birch has accounted for 7.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 25.1 minutes per over his last four. Also, Birch has been a better fit next to Jonathan Isaac with Vucevic out of the lineup. The aforementioned Gordon is listed as doubtful for Friday’s game, so Birch and Bamba are likely in line for solid minutes for at least one more game. 

Bucks at Cavaliers, 7:30 PM — Milwaukee will be without two rotation perimeter players Friday, as Sterling Brown (right AC joint sprain) and Kyle Korver (right elbow soreness) have both been declared to be out. Also, George Hill (back soreness) is listed as probable so he stands to take on some of the available minutes. Another player to keep an eye on is Pat Connaughton, who’s averaging 9.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 three-pointers in 21.0 minutes per game over his last five. There were no changes to Cleveland’s injury report which includes John Henson, who is still working his way back from a strained right hamstring.  

76ers at Knicks, 7:30 PM — Philadelphia will be down two bigs, as Al Horford (rest) is getting the night off and Kyle O’Quinn  (left calf strain) has been ruled out as well. In theory that would open up minutes for Jonah Bolden, but that won’t be happening here as he’s listed as out (G-League assignment) as well. Mike Scott and James Ennis should play more minutes Friday night, especially against a bad team like the Knicks.

Josh Richardson (right hamstring tightness) is considered to be doubtful and Shake Milton (upper respiratory illness/G-League) questionable, issues that would open up more minutes on the perimeter for rookie guard Matisse Thybulle. Thybulle’s coming off of his best game of the season, as he tallied 15 points, three rebounds, one assist, four steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers in Philadelphia’s win over Sacramento Friday night. There were no changes to the Knicks’ injury report. 

Hawks at Pacers, 8 PM — Atlanta rookie guard Cam Reddish (left wrist sprain) is listed as questionable for Friday’s game, while Kevin Huerter (left rotator cuff strain) remains out. Reddish has struggled with his shot for most of the season, as he’s making 29.4% of his shots from the field and 21.7% of his shots from beyond the arc. He was limited to just 22 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to Milwaukee, and if he can’t go Friday those minutes would likely be divided up between DeAndre Bembry, Vince Carter and Evan Turner with Bembry moving into the starting lineup. 

Bembry would be a solid pickup in deeper leagues even if Reddish is able to play, due to the Huerter’s absence from the lineup. For Indiana, JaKarr Sampson (back soreness) is considered to be doubtful. He didn’t have much of a fantasy impact when starting as the Pacers were without Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis due to injury, and Sampson’s absence isn’t going to be a major issue for Indiana. 

Warriors at Heat, 8 PM — The only health issue for either team that will affect the lineups Friday is Jimmy Butler being listed as questionable due to illness. He sat out Wednesday’s loss in Houston, with Goran Dragic moving into the starting lineup and Justise Winslow playing 34 minutes off the bench in his return after missing nine games due to a concussion. Should Butler be forced to miss another game, both Dragic and Winslow will see their fantasy values rise due to how much they’re used to initiate things offensively. No changes for the Warriors, although it’s worth noting that Kevon Looney (neuropathy) is getting closer to making his return to the lineup. The hope is that he’ll be back on the court at some point during the team’s upcoming five-game road trip. 

Pelicans at Thunder, 8 PM — New Orleans will be without both Lonzo Ball (illness) and Derrick Favors (personal), as they’ve been declared to be out for Friday’s game in Oklahoma City. Neither played in the Pelicans’ loss to the Lakers Wednesday night, with Favors now having missed the team’s last six games. The absences mean another start for Jaxson Hayes in the middle, while Kenrich Williams would be the likely choice to start in Ball’s place.

Hayes is currently rostered in 13% of Yahoo leagues, and Williams in 11% of Yahoo leagues. Wednesday’s 11-point effort notwithstanding Williams doesn’t get into double figures very often, but his ability to produce as a rebounder and defender makes him an intriguing option in deeper leagues especially in the short-term. Oklahoma City made no changes to its injury report. 

Jazz at Grizzlies, 8 PMEd Davis (left fibula fracture), who has been out since November 1, is listed as questionable for Utah. A timeline of four weeks was given at the time of the injury, but apparently there’s a chance that the veteran center will be able to return slightly ahead of schedule. Eventually Tony Bradley will take the biggest hit when it comes to playing time, with Georges Niang likely to lose minutes as well. 

For Memphis, Kyle Anderson (right heel soreness) is listed as questionable. Anderson hasn’t been much of a factor fantasy-wise this season, but he’s still playing nearly 21 minutes per game. Solomon Hill could see an increase in minutes if Anderson can’t play, with starter Jae Crowder also in line to get a boost. Crowder is ranked just outside of the top-100 in nine-category formats, so he would be the one to pick up if he happens to be available on the waiver wire. 

Clippers at Spurs, 8:30 PM — The Clippers will be without Rodney McGruder (right hamstring strain), as he’s been ruled out after playing nearly 23 minutes in Wednesday’s win over Memphis. Rookie guard Terance Mann could see an increase in minutes as a result of McGruder’s absence, but Mann is unlikely to have much of an impact fantasy-wise as both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will be available to play. For San Antonio, backup guard Patty Mills (left foot soreness) will be available to play. Mills is making a career-best 2.1 three-pointers per game this season while shooting 44.4% from distance, and given some of the non-shooters in the Spurs’ rotation he has value with regard to both points and three-pointers. 

Mavericks at Suns, 9 PM — Dallas has two rotation players listed as probable, as both Dorian Finney-Smith (right finger strain) and Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness) are expected to play. In the case of Porzingis, it’s important to note that the left knee was the one that he injured during the 2017-18 season as a member fo the Knicks. For Phoenix, veteran center Aron Baynes (right hip flexor strain) is listed as probable, which would mean a return to the bench for Frank Kaminsky and likely fewer minutes for Cheick Diallo as well. 

Diallo’s played well recently, averaging 13.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 21.4 minutes per game in his last four appearances. Maybe that’s enough to get Monty Williams carve out a few minutes for Diallo, but it’s unlikely to be enough to turn him into a viable fantasy option. Ricky Rubio (back spasms) is listed as probable after making his return to the lineup in Wednesday’s loss to the Wizards. 

Bulls at Trail Blazers, 10 PM — Chicago had two rotation guards on the injury report, with Ryan Arcidiacono (right elbow sprain) and Tomas Satoransky (left toe contusion) both listed as probable. The Bulls’ perimeter rotation should stay the same as a result, with Satoransky starting alongside Zach LaVine and Arcidiacono being one of the guards off the bench with Coby White and Kris Dunn. Dunn’s value relies on his rebounding and defensive numbers; not much of an offensive player, Dunn didn’t contribute much in Wednesday’s loss to Golden State due to foul trouble. Trail Blazers guard Gary Trent Jr. (right hamstring strain) is listed as probable, but with Damian Lillard back in action his fantasy impact (which was already low) was nullified. 

Wizards at Lakers, 10:30 PMAnthony Davis (right shoulder soreness) is on the injury report, but as has been the case in recent games he’s listed as probable. Davis is going to play his usual minutes, unless the game gets out of hand. Washington will be without C.J. Miles (left wrist), who’s already been ruled out for the remainder of Washington’s road trip. The earliest that he’ll be back on the court is Tuesday night when the Wizards host Orlando. 

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