NBA Projected Starting Lineups, Matchups, Injury News – 01/04/19

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Injury News

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Bucks: Sterling Brown (ankle) is probable. Ersan Ilyasova (nose) remains out.

Bulls: Bobby Portis (ankle) was a full participant in practice on Thursday.

Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson is back healthy. David Nwaba (ankle) and Ante Zizic (knee) are out.

Celtics: Kyrie Irving (eye) is out. Marcus Morris (neck) and Robert Williams (groin) are questionable.

Clippers: Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) is out for at least another week.

Grizzlies: Mike Conley (shoulder) is questionable.

Hawks: Taurean Prince (ankle) is out. Jaylen Adams is day-to-day.

Heat: Dwyane Wade (illness) is questionable.

Jazz: Ricky Rubio (foot) is questionable.

Knicks: Mitchell Robinson (ankle) is questionable.

Lakers: LeBron James (groin) and Michael Beasley (personal) are out. Kyle Kuzma (back) is questionable.

Magic: Jonathon Simmons (ankle) is questionable.

Mavericks: None

Nets: Ronadae Hollis-Jefferson (hip) is out. Treveon Graham (hamstring) is available.

Pacers: Doug McDermott (ankle) is expected to play. Myles Turner (nose) is day-to-day.

Suns: None

Thunder: Alex Abrines (personal) is out again, and there is no timetable for his return.

Timberwolves: Derrick Rose (ankle) is doubtful. Robert Covington (ankle) is out. Jeff Teague (ankle) are questionable.

Trail Blazers: None

Wizards: John Wall (heel) is done for the year. Markieff Morris (back) will miss the next six weeks with a back condition called transient cervical neuropraxia.

Today’s NBA Matchups

Utah Jazz (18-20) at Cleveland Cavaliers (8-30)  

Line: Jazz -8.5, O/U: 208.5

Cavaliers: 102 ppg, worst defense in the NBA, third-slowest pace

Jazz: 108 ppg, top ten defense, average pace


  • Tristan Thompson is back and the Jazz are a very average team, so maybe the Cavs have a small chance of snapping a seven-game skid at home.
  • Utah’s assist leader Ricky Rubio might miss this one with a foot injury.
  • The Jazz are looking for their first win in Cleveland since 2011
  • Former Cav Jae Crowder is coming off a career-high 30 points in a loss against the Raptors.

Dallas Mavericks (18-19) at Boston Celtics (22-15)

Line: Celtics -5, O/U: 214.5

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

Mavericks: 111 ppg, average defense, average pace


  • The Celtics are without Kyrie Irving again after he scratched his cornea in a loss against the Spurs.
  • Boston did just fine without him in a 115-102 win over Minnesota, As Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart combined for 18 points, 13 assists, and 7 steals. Gordon Hayward added 35 and 5 assists off the bench.
  • The Mavericks are coming off just their third road win of the year in Charlotte.
  • Luka Doncic is averaging 24, 6 and 6 in his last ten, and he’s behind only LeBron in Western Conference All Star voting.

Washington Wizards (15-23) at Miami Heat (18-18)

Line: Heat -6, O/U: 205

Heat: 107 ppg, top ten defense, slower than average pace

Wizards: 113 ppg, third-worst defense, fast pace


  • John Wall is done for the year in all likelihood, and Tomas Satoransky almost had a triple double in the starting lineup in a win over Atlanta.
  • Dwyane Wade is missing this game with an illness.
  • Josh Richardson is averaging 18 points and 5 assists in his last ten.

Brooklyn Nets (18-21) at Memphis Grizzlies (18-19)

Line: Nets +4, O/U: 203

Nets: 111 ppg, below average defense, slower than average pace

Grizzlies: 102 ppg, top ten defense, bottom five pace


  • The Nets are 7-3 in their last ten games, and the Grizzlies are just 2-8 including a win over the Cavs.
  • Mike Conley leads the Grizzlies with 20 points and 6 assists per game, and he’s questionable with a shoulder injury after scoring 0 points in a home loss against a free-falling Pistons team. Shelvin Mack started the only game Conley missed this year.

Orlando Magic (16-20) at Minnesota Timberwolves (17-21) 

Line: Timberwolves -5, O/U: 212

Timberwolves: 111 ppg, below average defense, faster than average pace

Magic: 104 ppg, average defense, slow pace


  • Karl Anthony Towns is averaging 28 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 blocks in his last five games.
  • Minnesota has leaned on Tyus Jones with Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague dealing with ankle injuries. He’s averaging 12 points, 8 assists, and 3 steals in his last five.
  • After a tough stretch in December, the Magic are starting to score the ball better and gel on the court a bit more.

Indiana Pacers (25-12) at Chicago Bulls (10-28)

Line: -6.5, O/U: 200.5

Bulls: 100 ppg, below average defense, below average pace

Pacers: 108 ppg, best defense in the NBA, very slow pace


  • Myles Turner is recovering from a broken nose, and it’s unclear if he’ll play in this one with one of those dope Rip Hamilton masks.
  • Indiana is averaging 118 during a five-game winning streak over teams with losing records.
  • Bulls are pretty bad, especially on offense, and look flat out exhausted by interim head coach Jim Boylen.

Atlanta Hawks (11-26) at Milwaukee Bucks (26-10)

Line: Hawks +13.5, O/U: 230.5

Hawks: 109 ppg, bottom five defense, fastest pace in NBA

Bucks: 116 ppg, top five defense, top ten pace.


  • This is Mike Budenholzer’s first game against the team he used to coach, and they haven’t been doing so hot without him.
  • Bud’s Bucks are 17-3 at home thanks to the third-best defense in the NBA and MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, who leads the team in points (26), rebounds (13), assists (6), and steals (1). He’s second for blocks behind Brook Lopez.

Los Angeles Clippers (21-16) at Phoenix Suns (9-30)

Line: Clippers -4, O/U 234

Clippers: 116 ppg, below average defense, top ten pace

Suns: 105 ppg, bottom five defense, slower than average pace


  • After opposite starts to the year, these teams are both 4-6 in each of their last ten.
  • The Suns have lost four straight games to OKC, Denver, Golden State, and Philly, which is to be expected.
  • In their last ten games Devin Booker is averaging 29 points and 8 rebounds, and Deandre Ayton is averaging 21 points and 13 rebounds.

New York Knicks (9-29) at Los Angeles Lakers (21-16)

Line: Lakers -7.5, O/U: 224

Knicks: 108 ppg, bottom five defense, average pace

Lakers: 113 ppg, top ten defense, top five pace.


  • LeBron is still out with the groin injury suffered on Christmas Day, and the Lakers are just 1-3 without him. Rondo and Beasley remain out.
  • Kyle Kuzma averaged 25 points, 9 boards, and 5 dimes in the three games without LeBron, but left the loss against OKC early due to a back injury. He’s questionable for this one.
  • The Knicks are 1-14 since Mario Hezonja stepped over the Greek Freak in a win over the Bucks on December 1st.

Marquee Matchup

Oklahoma City Thunder (24-13) at Portland Trail Blazers (22-16)

Line: Even, O/U: 223.5

Thunder: 112 ppg, best defense in the NBA, above average pace

Trail Blazers: 111 ppg, average defense, average pace


  • Here’s a fun one: Paul George and Damian Lillard both lead their respective teams with 26.7 points per game on 45.2% shooting from the floor.
  • Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple double, but he’s the streakiest shooter in the NBA right now. Here are his shooting performances from the last five games: 6-20 (L), 17-29 (W), 4-22 (L), 13-24 (W), 3-20 (W).
  • Jusuf Nurkic is coming off the first 20 point, 20 rebound 5×5 game in history, which came in a 113-108 OT victory over the Kings.
  • This game features four players listed in the early returns for All Star fan voting in George, Westbrook, Lillard, and Steven Adams.
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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