NBA Projected Starting Lineups, Matchups and Injury News 3/6/19

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

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Injury News

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

Bulls: None

Cavaliers: Ante Zizic (concussion) is out. Tristan Thompson (foot) is out.

Celtics: None.

Hawks: John Collins (illness) is a game-time decision. Omari Spellman (ankle), Taurean Prince (personal) and Miles Plumlee (knee) are out. Dewayne Dedmon (knee) is doubtful.

Heat: Goran Dragic (calf) is out.

Hornets: Marvin Williams (toe) is doubtful.

Jazz: Ricky Rubio (hamstring) is day-to-day. Raul Neto (hamstring) is out.

Kings: Marvin Bagley III (knee sprain) is out.

Knicks: DeAndre Jordan (ankle) is a game-time decision.

Lakers: Kyle Kuzma (ankle) and Lonzo Ball (ankle) are out. Brandon Ingram (shoulder) and Tyson Chandler (neck) are questionable. Lance Stephenson (toe) is a game-time call.

Mavericks: None

Nets: Treveon Graham (back) is doubtful.

Nuggets: Trey Lyles (hamstring) is out.

Pelicans: Jahlil Okafor (ankle) is questionable.

Pistons: Zaza Pachulia (Achilles) is doubtful.

76ers: Joel Embiid (knee) and Amir Johnson (back) didn’t practice yesterday. Boban Marjanovic (knee) is without a firm timetable for return. Jonah Bolden (illness) is day-to-day.

Spurs: Jakob Poeltl (hamstring) is questionable.

Suns: TJ Warren (ankle) is out.

Timberwolves: Robert Covington (ankle) and Luol Deng (Achilles) are day-to-day.

Wizards: None

Today’s NBA Matchups

Cleveland Cavaliers (16-48) at Brooklyn Nets (33-33)

Line: Nets -9.5, O/U: 228

Nets: 112 ppg, below average defense, below average pace

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


  • The Nets lost 117-88 in Miami to cap off a three-game skid, then won 127-88, beating up a Dallas team that isn’t even really trying anymore.
  • D’Angelo Russell is averaging 25 points and 9 assists per game in his last ten.
  • Allen Crabbe started and finished with 8 points while Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert combined for 34 points and 10 assists off the bench.
  • The Cavs are tanking and the Nets are fighting for the playoffs, so of course, Cleveland has been winning more games lately. They just blew out Orlando 107-93.
  • Kevin Love is all the way back, averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game since returning.
  • Cedi Osman, Jordan Clarkson, and Collin Sexton have all averaged 15+ points per game in the last five.

Dallas Mavericks (27-36) at Washington Wizards (26-37)

Line: Wizards -6, O/U: 234

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

Mavericks: 109 ppg, average defense, average pace


  • Both of these teams are pretty solidly outside the playoff picture in their respective conferences.
  • Dallas has turned the ship tankward, losing eight of their last ten.
  • The team will focus on building around Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and we might see Luka’s minutes come down.
  • The Wizards are in no man’s land: they could either fight like hell for the right to be disemboweled by Giannis in the first round or tank and be the eighth worst team in the league. With John Wall for another year, the choice seems pretty clear.
  • Bradley Beal put up 22 points and 8 assists in a 135-121 win over Minnesota. Bobby Portis led Washington with 26 points and 12 rebounds.

Denver Nuggets (42-21) at Los Angeles Lakers (30-34)

Lakers: 112 ppg, top ten defense, top five pace

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

  • Both of these teams have lost three in a row, but only one of these teams is still 21 games over .500
  • Nikola Jokic had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in a 104-103 loss in San Antonio, but the rest of the Nuggets shot under 39% from the floor. That’s been the pattern in recent losses.
  • Paul Millsap is averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds over the last ten games.
  • Gary Harris has finally completed this Nuggets starting five, but he’s still working on finding his shot since returning to game action.
  • If you thought LeBron didn’t care on defense before, imagine how he’s gonna look now that the playoffs are almost certainly off the table for LA.
  • LeBron keeps putting up big numbers in losses, averaging 27 points, 11 assists and 9 boards in a 3-7 stretch.
  • Kyle Kuzma joins Lonzo Ball on the bench with an ankle injury, and Brandon Ingram could be right behind them with a shoulder.

Miami Heat (29-34) at Charlotte Hornets (29-34)

Line: Hornets -3.5, O/U: 216

Hornets: 111 ppg, below average defense, average pace.

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


  • The Hornets have lost eight of their last eleven, and they need to win winnable games like this one if they’re going to hang on to the last playoff spot.
  • Kemba Walker is averaging 27 points and 6 assists per game in his last ten shooting just 41% from the floor, which is his career average. He managed just 18 on 5-21 shooting in a 118-108 loss to Portland.
  • These teams are in a dead heat for the eighth seed out East. Charlotte owns the tiebreaker and could clinch the season series with a sin tonight.
  • Goran Dragic remains out with a calf issue, but Hassan Whiteside is back.

Minnesota Timberwolves (30-34) at Detroit Pistons (31-31)

Line: Pistons -5.5, O/U: 223

Pistons: 107 ppg, above average defense, average pace

Timberwolves: 112 ppg, below average defense, faster than average pace


  • The Pistons are 8-2 in their last ten, surging into the playoffs after the meat of their season was consumed by a rather ugly slump.
  • Detroit beat Toronto in overtime in a game that wasn’t important enough for Kawhi Leonard to play in.
  • Blake Griffin led the way with 27 points and 7 rebounds, though he had just 1 assist to 5 turnovers.
  • Andre Drummond had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and he was a team-high +27.
  • Minnesota is playing only for pride, but that was enough to beat OKC 131-120 last night, even with Paul George on the floor.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns put up 41 and 14 in the win. He has averaged 36 and 16 in his last five.
  • Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose all added 16+ points, and Teague dished 12 dimes.

New York Knicks (13-51) at Phoenix Suns (14-51)

Line: Suns -4, O/U: 226

Suns: 106 ppg, bottom five defense, average pace

Knicks: 106 ppg, second-worst defense in the NBA, average pace


  • The Suns have won three of their last four, for some reason. They became the worst team ever to beat LeBron, and then they completed a season sweep over the league-leading Bucks with a 114-105 win.
  • Kelly Oubre scored a game-high 27 in that one, averaging 18 points per game in his last five.
  • Deandre Ayton played tremendous defense, which was one of the only knocks on his game coming into the league. He finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks.
  • Devin Booker is averaging 24 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds in his last five, but he’s shooting just 39% from the floor.
  • If you want to watch two of the worst teams in the league go at it, boy are you in luck.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. is averaging 13 points and 6 assists in his last ten.
  • DeAndre Jordan is a game-time call with an ankle.
  • The Knicks will have no relevance until this summer when they can sign two max free agents. Until then, it’s just losing and killing time.

Philadelphia 76ers (41-23) at Chicago Bulls (18-47)

Line: Sixers -5, O/U: 230

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

76ers: 116 ppg, above average defense, faster than average pace


  • The Bulls are 5-5 in their last ten, but they’ve lost two in a row to Atlanta and Indiana.
  • Zach LaVine seems to either underwhelm or completely explode with very little in between. In his last five, he’s scored 11, 30, 47, 12, and 27.
  • Lauri Markkanen is averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds in the last ten games.
  • Joel Embiid could miss another game with a sore knee, but the Sixers have managed to go 4-2 without him to start the second half of the season. Embiid is averaging 27 points and 13.5 rebounds this year.
  • Tobias Harris had 21 points, 12 boards, and 5 assists in a 114-106 win over the Magic yesterday.
  • Ben Simmons added 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists, and JJ Redick led all scorers with 26 points on 6/9 shooting from deep.

San Antonio Spurs (36-29) at Atlanta Hawks (22-43)

Line: Spurs -6, O/U: 235

Hawks: 112 ppg, bottom ten defense, fastest pace in the NBA

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


  • Trae Young is putting together a really fun scorched earth campaign to close the season. He’s averaging 31 points and 9 assists in his last five games, shooting 49% from the floor and 50% from three.
  • The Hawks have been surprisingly good as the season goes on, but they could be missing three key pieces tonight. Dewayne Dedmon, Taurean Prince and John Collins account for 43 points and 20 rebounds per game for Atlanta.
  • The Spurs swept a three-game homestand after a disastrous 1-7 Rodeo Road Trip. They went from struggling defensively to holding the Pistons, Thunder, and Nuggets to an average of 100 points.
  • On a somewhat related note, San Antonio has played bigger against teams with elite big men, starting 7-foot Jakob Poeltl in all three games. He makes a lot of plays that don’t show up on the stat sheet, and he’s questionable tonight with a tight hamstring.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 23 points and 7.5 assists in his last five games, shooting 54% from the floor.
  • DeMar DeRozan looks much better after the All-Star Break, averaging 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists while shooting 56% from the floor.
  • Derrick White does a little bit of everything for San Antonio. He’s a true combo guard who guards the opposing team’s best ball handler, and tonight that is Trae Young.

Utah Jazz (36-27) at New Orleans Pelicans (30-36)

Line: Jazz -4.5, O/U: 230

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

Jazz: 109 ppg, top five defense, average pace


  • Anthony Davis will only play 20 minutes per game or so for the rest of the year, and in the win over Utah, he had 15 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and 3 steals.
  • Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle combined for 60 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists in the win, and they’ve been the two most productive players on the team since Davis’ trade request.
  • The Pelicans just signed Latvian shooter Dairis Bertans, the older brother of Spurs sharpshooter Davis. Dairis shot 50% from three in the EuroLeague.
  • The Jazz had won four in a row before they lost to this enigmatic Pelicans team.
  • Donovan Mitchell, Kyle Korver, Rudy GobertDerrick Favors, and Jae Crowder all scored 16+.
  • Ricky Rubio and Joe Ingles combined for 19 assists but shot just 3-15 from the floor.

Marquee Matchup

Boston Celtics (39-26) at Sacramento Kings (32-31) 

Line: Celtics -2, O/U: 228.5

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

Kings: 113 ppg, bottom-third defense, second-fastest pace

  • The Kings have struggled recently as they push for the playoffs but took care of business against the Knicks 115-108.
  • Buddy Hield had 28 points and 7 assists while Harrison Barnes added 22 points and 10 rebounds in one of his best games in Sacramento so far.
  • De’Aaron Fox is averaging 17 points and 8 assists per game in his last five.
  • Rookie Marvin Bagley III suffered a scary knee sprain, but he could potentially still come back this season.
  • The Celtics had lost five of their last six, but they stormed into Golden State last night and blew the defending champs out 128-95 in their own building.
  • Gordon Hayward scored 30 off the bench and added 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals for his best game of the year.
  • Kyrie Irving put up 19 points and 11 assists, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 17+, and nobody played more than 30 minutes.
  • 6’0″ Terry Rozier was ready to fight 6’10” Boogie Cousins on behalf of 7’0″ Aron Baynes, and that’s good to see on a team that has seemingly dealt with chemistry issues all year.
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.

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