NBA Projected Starting Lineups, Matchups, Injury News – 12/16/18

Injury News

Cavaliers: None

Hawks: Alex Poythress (ankle) and Omari Spellman are out.

Heat: Dwyane Wade (undisclosed) is questionable, Tyler Johnson (hip) is probable.  Goran Dragic (knee) and Dion Waiters (ankle) are out.

Kings: Iman Shumpert (hip) is questionable, Marvin Bagley III (knee) is out.

Knicks: Trey Burke (knee) and Frank Ntilikina (ankle) are probable. Damyean Dotson (shoulder) is questionable. Mitchell Robinson (ankle) is out.

Lakers: Brandon Ingram (ankle) is out.

Mavericks: JJ Barea (ankle) is questionable. Dennis Smith Jr. (wrist) is probable.

Nets: Allen Crabbe (knee) is doubtful.

Nuggets: Will Barton (groin) is out.

Pacers: Tyreke Evans (knee) is questionable.

Pelicans: Nikola Mirotic (ankle) is doubtful. E’Twaun Moore (lower leg) is questionable. Elfrid Payton (finger) is out.

Raptors: Kyle Lowry (thigh) and Pascal Siakam (back) are questionable. Jonas Valanciunas (thumb) is out.

76ers: Jimmy Butler (groin) is questionable.

Wizards: Otto Porter Jr. (knee) is a game-time decision.

Today’s NBA Matchups

Atlanta Hawks (6-23) at Brooklyn Nets (12-18)

Line: Nets +8, O/U: 227

Hawks: 108 ppg, 23rd ranked defense, fastest pace in the NBA

Nets: 110 ppg, 22nd ranked defense, slower than average pace


  • The Nets are on their first four-game winning streak since 2015.
  • The Hawks have lost 16 games by double digits.
  • Nets rookie Rodions Kurucs put up 15 points in 30 minutes in place of the injured Allen Crabbe in Friday’s win over Washington.

Cleveland Cavaliers (7-22) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (19-11)

Line: Cavs +8, O/U: 219.5

Cavaliers: 103 ppg, worst defense in the NBA, third slowest pace

76ers: 114 ppg, 14th ranked defense, 8th fastest pace


  • Both teams are 2-3 in their last five games.
  • The 76ers are only 5-11 on the road.
  • Philadelphia has lost the last two games without Jimmy Butler (Q).
  • Over the past three games, Furkan Korkmaz has averaged 14 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 30 minutes for Philly.

New York Knicks (9-21) at Indiana Pacers (19-10)

Line: Pacers -11.5, O/U:  214.5

Knicks: 109 ppg, bottom-three defense, average pace

Pacers: 107 ppg, second-best defense, bottom-five pace


  • The Pacers have won six straight games with average scoring and a defense allowing just 97 points per 100 possessions.
  • The Knicks snapped a five-game skid with an OT win in Charlotte, climbing back from a 21 point deficit.
  • Trey Burke and Frank Ntilikina are expected to play.
  • Victor Oladipo has averaged 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists in his two games since returning from a knee injury.

Sacramento Kings (15-13) at Dallas Mavericks (15-12)

Line: Mavericks -5.5, O/U: 227.5

Kings: 116 ppg, bottom-third defense, second-fastest pace

Mavericks: 109 ppg, top-third defense, average pace


  • The Mavs are 13-2 at home, and winners of seven of their last ten overall.
  • The Kings have averaged 120 per game in their last five.
  • Sacramento rookie Marvin Bagley III is averaging 12 points and 3 rebounds in 19 minutes per game, and he’ll be out at least ten days with a bone bruise in his knee.
  • JJ Barea is questionable, but Dennis Smith Jr. (28mpg) should play his second game back after missing four with a wrist injury.

Los Angeles Lakers (18-11) at Washington Wizards (11-18)

Line: Lakers +2.5, O/U: 231

Lakers: 113.5 ppg, 11th-ranked defense, fourth-fastest pace

Wizards: 112 ppg, second-worst defense, seventh-fastest pace


  • The Wizards have lost four straight, giving up an average of 120 points in that stretch.
  • LeBron and Lonzo Ball each played over 30 minutes and recorded a triple double in last night’s blowout win over Charlotte.
  • Washington traded Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre to the Suns for Trevor Ariza, and it is unclear if Ariza will be available for this game.
  • Brandon Ingram will miss his sixth-straight game with an ankle injury, and his 30 minutes and 15 points per game will be divvied up amongst Kyle Kuzma, Lance Stephenson, and Josh Hart.

Miami Heat (12-16) at New Orleans Pelicans (15-15)

Line: Pelicans -6.5, O/U: 222

Heat: 107 ppg, top-third defense, average pace

Pelicans: 117 ppg, bottom-third defense, third-fastest pace


  • The Heat will miss both Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic, who average a combined 30 points per game.
  • Josh Richardson filled in for Dragic as the only guard in the starting lineup of a close win on the road over a solid Grizzlies team, kicking in 18 points and 7 assists in 37 minutes.
  • The Pelicans have not played since Anthony Davis’s 44 and 18 against Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
  • New Orleans will miss Nikola Mirotic, who averages 17 points and 9 rebounds in 30 minutes per game. Julius Randle filled in just fine on Wednesday, adding 22 and 12 in 32 minutes.

Marquee Matchup

Toronto Raptors (23-8) at Denver Nuggets (19-9)

Line: Raptors -3.5 O/U: 213

Raptors: 112.5 ppg, seventh-best defense, average pace

Nuggets: 108 ppg, top-five defense, fourth-slowest pace


  • The Nuggets and Raptors both top their respective conferences.
  • The Raptors could be without set-up man Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam, who both average 30+ minutes and 14 points per game. Jonas Valanciunas is another double digit scorer and the team’s second-leading rebounder, and he will be out.
  • Fred Van Vleet has averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds in 30 minutes per game over his last five, coming off 21 and 8 replacing Lowry in the starting lineup against Portland.
  • Kawhi Leonard contributed 28 points, 8 boards and 4 assists in his return from a groin injury.
  • Nikola Jokic put up 24 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists in an impressive win over the Thunder.
  • The Nuggets are starting three big men in Jokic, Mason Plumlee, and Juan Hernangomez. They average a combined 34 points and 21 rebounds per game.
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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