NBA Projected Starting Lineups, Matchups, Injury News – 1/18/19

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Injury News

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Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson (foot) is out.

Celtics: None

Clippers: None

Grizzlies: Marc Gasol (elbow) is day-to-day. Kyle Anderson (ankle) is out 2-4 weeks.

Heat: Wayne Ellington (illness), Josh Richardson (illness), and Tyler Johnson (illness) are questionable.

Jazz: Ricky Rubio (hamstring), Dante Exum (ankle), Thabo Sefolosha (hamstring) and Raul Neto (groin) remain out.

Magic: Mo Bamba (foot) is expected to play.

Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr. (illness) is questionable. JJ Barea (Achilles) is out for the rest of the season.

Nets: Jared Dudley (hamstring) is out.

Pelicans: None

Pistons: Ish Smith (adductor), Stanley Johnson (hamstring), and Khyri Thomas (back) are probable. Henry Ellenson (ankle) is questionable.

Spurs: None

Timberwolves: Tyus Jones (ankle) is out.

Trail Blazers: Mo Harkless (knee) is questionable.

Warriors: DeMarcus Cousins will make his season debut.

Today’s NBA Matchups

Memphis Grizzlies (19-25) at Boston Celtics (26-18)

Line: Celtics -11, O/U: 208

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

Grizzlies: 101 ppg, top ten defense, bottom five pace


  • Kyrie Irving publicly called out his younger teammates during a three-game losing streak, then led them to victory over the league-leading Raptors with 27 points and 18 dimes.
  • The Grizzlies have lost nine of their last ten, including three in a row.
  • Marc Gasol banged his elbow in a loss against the Rockets in which he scored just 5 points, and it seemed to bother him as he managed just 5-13 from the floor in the next game against Milwaukee.

Brooklyn Nets (23-23) at Orlando Magic (19-25)

Line: Magic -1, O/U: 217

Magic: 104 ppg, average defense, slow pace

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


  • Brooklyn spoiled a season-high 58 from James Harden and came back from a 7 point deficit in the final two minutes TWICE in Houston, first in regulation and then in overtime.
  • Spencer Dinwiddie scored 33, 25 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime.
  • The Magic are coming off a much less impressive overtime result: losing in Detroit.
  • The Nets are now .500 later in the season than they have been since 2012-13, and they’re currently seventh in the Eastern Conference.
  • Both teams have beaten the Rockets and Celtics this week.

Miami Heat (21-20) at Detroit Pistons (18-24)

Line: Pistons -2, O/U: 208

Pistons: 107 ppg, above average defense, average pace

Heat: 106 ppg, top ten defense, slower than average pace


  • There seems to be a bug going around the Miami locker room as Wayne Ellington, Josh Richardson, and Tyler Johnson are all questionable due to illness. They combine for 35 points and 8 assists per game, so Dwyane Wade will need to step up if they miss this one..
  • The Pistons started the year 13-7, and they’ve gone 6-17 since.
  • Two of those wins have come in the last three games, first when Blake Griffin scored 44 in his return to Staples Center against the Clippers and then an overtime win over Orlando.
  • Griffin is averaging 27, 5 and 5 in his last ten games.

San Antonio Spurs (25-20) at Minnesota Timberwolves (21-22)

Line: Timberwolves  -1.5, O/U: 225

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

Spurs: 112 ppg, average defense, slower than average pace


  • The Spurs had lost three of four games with Rudy Gay nursing a sprained wrist, but bounced back with a 19-point comeback win in Dallas in his return.
  • DeMar DeRozan has averaged just 14 points per game on 37% shooting in the past five games, but he asserted himself in the fourth quarter and proved instrumental in San Antonio’s biggest comeback of the year.
  • Minnesota is 2-2 since firing Thibs, and his head probably would have exploded if he was patrolling the sidelines as they were routed 149-107 in Philadelphia. That’s the most points the Timberwolves have allowed, including overtime games, since they hired the defense-minded Thibodeau in 2016.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins combined for 25 points on 8-24 shooting as Jimmy Butler stared through their souls and got eight buckets of his own.

Cleveland Cavaliers (9-36) at Utah Jazz (25-21)

Line: Jazz -15.5, O/U: 215

Jazz: 108 ppg, top ten defense, slower than average pace

Cavaliers: 103 ppg, worst defense in the NBA, bottom five pace


  • The Jazz have won 5 straight despite some key injuries thanks to Donovan Mitchell, who is averaging 31 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds while shooting 50% from the floor and 40% from deep.
  • Cleveland has lost nine of their last ten games, and they’ll be without their best player, Tristan Thompson, for this one.

New Orleans Pelicans (21-23) at Portland Trail Blazers (26-19)

Line: Trail Blazers -3, O/U: 233

Trail Blazers: 112 ppg, average defense, average pace

Pelicans: 117.5 ppg, bottom-third defense, third-fastest pace


  • The Pelicans have righted the ship a bit winning six of their last ten, but they’re just 6-18 on the road and 1-2 on this current west coast road trip.
  • Anthony Davis in the last ten games: 34 ppg, 15 rpg, 4 apg, 2 stpg, 2 blkpg.
  • The Blazers have gone 19-7 at home this year, including winning their last five  in the friendly confines.
  • Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic are combining for 58 points and 15 assists in January, and four other Blazers are averaging 9 points or more.

Marquee Matchup

Golden State Warriors (31-14) at Los Angeles Clippers (24-20)

Line: Warriors -7.5, O/U: 242

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

Warriors: 117 ppg, average defense, faster than average pace


  • DeMarcus Cousins is set to make his Warriors debut tonight. He averaged 25 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists per game before rupturing his Achilles last year.
  • Boogie joins a starting lineup with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. It was already the most stacked starting lineup of all time with Kevon Looney at center.
  • The Warriors haven’t lost in regulation since Christmas, and they’re scoring 134 per game in January.
  • Los Angeles has lost four in a row, including three straight at home. Perhaps they should try some more Boban.
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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