NBA Matchups, Lineups and Injury News 3/18/19

You can find all today’s starting lineups here. Follow live updates on Twitter.

For live betting information on all games, click here.

Injury News

For the most up to date injury information, click here.

Bulls: None

Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson (foot) and Larry Nance Jr. (ribs) are day-to-day.

Celtics: Al Horford (knee) is probable. Gordon Hayward (concussion) is doubtful.

Heat: Dwyane Wade (hip) and Justise Winslow (thigh) are day to day.

Jazz: Dante Exum (patella tendon) is out indefinitely. Thabo Sefolosha (hamstring) is questionable.

Knicks: Dennis Smith Jr. (back), Frank Ntilikina (groin), and Noah Vonleh (ankle) are day-to-day.

Mavericks: Luka Doncic (knee) is day to day.

Nuggets: None

Pacers: None

Pelicans: Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) and E’Twaun Moore (quad) are out.

Pistons: None

Raptors: Kyle Lowry (ankle) is questionable. Kawhi Leonard (rest) is out.

Spurs: None

Thunder: None

Trail Blazers: CJ McCollum (popliteus strain) is out for at least a week.

Warriors: Kevin Durant (ankle) and DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) are questionable.

Wizards: None

Today’s NBA Matchups

Chicago Bulls (19-52) at Phoenix Suns (17-54)

Line: Suns -2.5, O/U: 228

Suns: 106 ppg, bottom five defense, average pace

Bulls: 104 ppg, bottom ten defense, slower than average pace

Notes:

  • Phoenix pulled out one of the weirdest wins of the year, 138-136 in OT at New Orleans.
  • Devin Booker put up 40 points in the win to go with 13 assists. He hit the game-winning technical free throw after Alvin Gentry Chris Webbered himself at the end of overtime, maybe on purpose?
  • Deandre Ayton bounced back from a 2-point game with 17 and 14 in a 108-102 loss to the Rockets.
  • Kelly Oubre Jr. is putting up 20 a game in the last ten for the Suns.
  • The Bulls have lost five in a row against beatable opponents, just when they had started to play like a professional basketball team.
  • Zach LaVine is averaging 28.5 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in the last ten.
  • Lauri Markkanen has hit a tough skid recently, averaging 5 points per game fewer than his season average and shooting just 39% in his last five games.

Denver Nuggets (46-22) at Boston Celtics (43-27)

Line: Celtics -3.5, O/U: 216

Celtics: 112 ppg, top five defense, slower than average pace

Nuggets: 112 ppg, above average defense, bottom five pace.

  • Both of these teams have won four of their last five to bounce back from some sub-par play.
  • Kyrie Irving was an assist shy of his second 30-point triple double in a row in a 129-120 win over the Hawks.
  • Al Horford and Gordon Hayward both left that game due to injury. Horford is expected to play through some knee discomfort, but Hayward will likely be out with a concussion.
  • Marcus Morris‘ scoring and rebounding numbers are up to 17 points and 8 boards in the last five, but his efficiency is down on a higher volume of shots.
  • Jaylen Brown has scored 22+ in three consecutive games, shooting 60% from the floor and 64% from deep.
  • The Nuggets have won their last two games against Dallas and Indiana by a combined three points.
  • Nikola Jokic hit a leaning floater at the buzzer to beat the Mavs, but he got ejected from the Pacers game after scoring 26.
  • Paul Millsap stepped up and hit a floater in the closing seconds to secure the win for Denver.
  • Jamal MurrayWill Barton and Gary Harris combined for 34 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Injuries have kept the starting lineup from playing together, but they’re getting into a flow at the right time.

Detroit Pistons (35-33) at Cleveland Cavaliers (17-53)

Line: Pistons -7, O/U: 212

Cavaliers: 104 ppg, worst defense in the NBA, bottom five pace

Pistons: 107 ppg, above average defense, average pace

Notes:

  • The Cavs have lost three in a row, but they’re 5-3 in their last eight home games.
  •  Kevin Love is averaging 19 points and 11.5 rebounds per game since returning, but he’s shot just 9-24 in the last two.
  • Collin Sexton has led Cleveland in scoring in each of the last five games, averaging 27 points on 56/52/90 shooting splits.
  • The Pistons are rounding into form, coming off a 110-107 win over Toronto.
  • Blake Griffin led the way with 25 points and 8 assists after a three-game stretch where he shot 8-31.
  • Andre Drummond is the league’s leading rebounder, averaging 16 points and 17 boards per game in his last ten.

Indiana Pacers (44-26) at Portland Trail Blazers (42-27)

Line: Blazers -4.5, O/U: 212

Trail Blazers: 114 ppg, average defense, below average pace

Pacers: 108 ppg, top five defense, slower than average pace

Notes:

  • The Blazers had won three in a row before running into a buzzsaw in San Antonio.
  • CJ McCollum went down after twisting his ankle in that game. He’ll be out at least a week with a popliteus strain.
  • Damian Lillard put up 34 points in that game, but he needed 29 shots to do it.
  • Jusuf Nurkic added 24 points, 16 boards and 4 assists, but he coughed it up 5 times.
  • The Pacers have held things together since losing Victor Oladipo for the year, 12-7 following the losing streak immediately after his injury.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic is averaging 23 points in his last ten, but he managed just 16 in a 102-100 loss against Denver.
  • Thaddeus Young led the team with 18 points and 10 rebounds in that game, and Domantas Sabonis added 16 and 7.

Miami Heat (33-36) at Oklahoma City Thunder (42-28)

Line: Thunder -5.5, O/U: 212

Thunder: 116 ppg, second-best defense in the NBA, top five pace

Heat: 105 ppg, top ten defense, slower than average pace

Notes:

  • The Thunder are stumbling, losers of two in a row and six of their last ten.
  • Russell Westbrook picked up his 16th technical of the season after shooting 2-16 in a 110-88 loss to Golden State, so he’s automatically suspended for this game. He’s averaging 25 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists in his last ten.
  • Paul George is averaging 24 points in his last five, but he’s shooting just 39% from the floor.
  • The Heat are coming off a huge win over the Hornets 93-75 to further their claim to the eighth seed
  • Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic are both coming off the bench right now, and Dragic led the team in scoring that game with 19.
  • Dwyane Wade was listed as questionable for that game, but he had 17 points and 8 boards in that game.

New Orleans Pelicans (30-42) at Dallas Mavericks (28-41) 

Line: Mavericks -5, O/U: 232

Mavericks: 109 ppg, average defense, average pace

Pelicans: 116 ppg, bottom five defense, top five pace

Notes:

  • Both of these Western Coference teams are essentially done for the year. The Mavs are 2-13 in their last 15 games, but they’re coming off a 121-116 win over the Cavs.
  • Luka Doncic has been a little banged up, and he missed that win with a sore knee. Seven Mavs scored in double figures to pick up the slack, and Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way with 22.
  • The Pelicans have lost six straight, coming off an epic 138-136 OT tank job against Phoenix. They didn’t foul up three, gave up a three, called a timeout they didn’t have, and lost on the technical free throw. Masterfully done.
  • Julius Randle is averaging 26 and 8 in his last five, the team’s best player with Anthony Davis playing a limited role and Jrue Holiday
  • Holiday has been out for the last week with an ab strain, and he’ll be out again tonight.
  • Elfrid Payton has recorded a triple double in his last four games, averaging 15, 13 and 13 in those games

New York Knicks (14-56) Toronto Raptors (49-21)

Line: Raptors -11.5, O/U: 213

Raptors: 114 ppg, above average defense, average pace

Knicks: 105 ppg, bottom five defense, average pace

Notes:

  • Toronto is just 5-5 in their last ten, and they lost 110-107 yesterday in Detroit.
  • Kyle Lowry is questionable again with an ankle injury, and Kawhi Leonard is out again for rest purposes. The Raptors have been fine with one or the other, but both primary ball handlers out could be an issue. It’ll be up to former Knick Jeremy Lin and Fred VanVleet, and the former has started but the latter has been more productive.
  • Pascal Siakam is averaging 26 a game in his last five when Kawhi sits.
  • Marc Gasol is the starting center as Serge Ibaka remains out after being suspended. Gasol had 9 points, 11 boards and 8 assists against the Pistons.
  • Mario Hezonja stuffed LeBron at the buzzer yesterday afternoon, then pointed and laughed at the King without his crown like it was the Spongebob Movie.
  • DeAndre Jordan put up 15 points, 17 rebounds and 7 assists, notably stepping up as a facilitator with Dennis Smith Jr. out.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay and Damyean Dotson combined for 53 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists in the starting lineup.

Utah Jazz (40-29) at Washington Wizards (30-40)

Line: Jazz -6, O/U: 228

Wizards: 114 ppg, bad defense, faster than average pace

Jazz: 109 ppg, top five defense, average pace

Notes:

  • The Wizards have won three of four, but the playoffs are almost certainly out of reach.
  • Bradley Beal is coming off back to back games with at least 40, 5 and 5. He’s been really good this year, especially with John Wall out.
  • The Jazz have won three in a row, the last one 114-88 over the Nets.
  • Donovan Mitchell led the way with 24 points, 6 boards and 4 assists, and Rudy Gobert added 23 points, 17 boards and 3 blocks.
  • Ricky Rubio had 12, 6 and 6 in the win, and he’s a steadyign force at point on this team.

Marquee Matchup

Golden State Warriors (47-21) at San Antonio Spurs (41-29)

Line: Warriors -2.5, O/U: 226

Spurs: 112 ppg, below average defense, very slow pace

Warriors: 119 ppg, average defense, faster than average pace

Notes:

  • The Spurs are the hottest team in the league, winners of four straight. Their defense has been suspect at times this year, but over the streak they have the best in the league thanks in part to Derrick White and Jakob Poeltl.
  • DeMar DeRozan is averaging 22, 6 and 6 on 54% shooting since the All Star break.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge had a rare off game in a win over Portland, but he’s still averaging 24 points, 10 boards and 2 blocks in the last five.
  • The Dubs didn’t need Kevin Durant to drop the hammer on his former team 110-88.
  • Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 56 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals in the win.
  • The bench kicked in 31 points without a single player in double figures.
  • DeMarcus Cousins had 9 points, 8 boards and 6 dimes, and he’s also questionable for this one with an ankle.
  
Daily previews of matchups to watch around the league, and film breakdowns of the best performance from the night before. Twitter @RealTomPetrini, Spurs interviews and analysis @projectspurs.

Hot NBA Stories