NBA Projected Starting Lineups, Matchups, Injury News – 12/17/18

Injury News

Bucks: Khris Middleton (finger sprain) and Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) are day to day.

Bulls: Zach LaVine (ankle) is out.

Clippers: None

Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson (ankle) is questionable.

Jazz: None

Kings: Iman Shumpert (hip) is day to day. Marvin Bagley III (knee) remains out.

Knicks: Damyean Dotson (shoulder) and Mitchell Robinson (ankle) are day to day. Frank Ntilikina (ankle), Trey Burke (knee), and Lance Thomas (knee) should be good to go.

Pistons: Zaza Pachulia (illness) is day to day

76ers: Jimmy Butler (groin) should play.

Rockets: None

Spurs: None

Suns: Devin Booker (hamstring) should play. Recent acquisitions Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre Jr. are day to day.

Thunder: None

Timberwolves: Taj Gibson (personal) is expected to play.

Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard (personal) is expected to play.

Warriors: Andre Igoudala (hip) is probable. Shaun Livingston (pelvis) is questionable.

Today’s NBA Matchups

Milwaukee Bucks (19-9) at Detroit Pistons (14-13)

Line: Bucks -3.5, O/U: 222.5

Bucks: 118 ppg, fifth-ranked defense, fifth fastest pace

Pistons: 109 ppg, 12th ranked defense, average pace


  • The Bucks are just 6-6 on the road.
  • The Pistons have lost four of their last five, surrendering an average of 112 per game in that stretch.
  • Reggie Bullock returned for Detroit and kicked in 15 points in 30 minutes in their last contest, a surprising win over the red-hot Celtics to end a six-game skid.
  • The Bucks won the last matchup 115-92 in Milwaukee.
  • Blake Griffin is averaging 30 points, 9 boards and 5 dimes over his last five games.

Matchup link:

Phoenix Suns (6-24) vs. New York Knicks (9-24)

Line: Knicks -1.5, O/U: 218.5

Knicks: 108.5 ppg, second-worst defense, average pace

Suns: 102 ppg, fifth-worst defense, slower than average pace


  • The Knicks lost in Indiana last night and are 1-5 in the second game of a back to back.
  • The Suns have only won one game on the road.
  • The Knicks have averaged 111 points per game in December.
  • Phoenix is on its first two-game win streak of the year, beating the surging Mavericks and then the Timberwolves.
  • Devin Booker returned after missing six games with a hammy, dropping 28 points, 7 boards and 7 assists in a 107-99 win over Minnesota.

Matchup link:

San Antonio Spurs (15-15) vs Philadelphia 76ers (20-11)

Line: Spurs -1, O/U:  225.5

Spurs: 110 ppg, 24th-ranked defense, slower than average pace

76ers: 114 ppg, 14th ranked defense, faster than average pace


  • The Sixers are just 6-8 on the road.
  • Philadelphia lost two games without Jimmy Butler (groin) but he scored 19 in 25 minutes in his return to the floor in a win over Cleveland.
  • The Spurs are 4-1 on their homestand, holding opponents to a league-best 100 points per 100 possessions over that stretch.
  • San Antonio has something to prove after blowing a 21-point halftime lead against the lowly Bulls, scoring just 31 points in the second half.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge is shooting 58% from the floor, averaging 21 points and 7 boards per game in his last 13.
  • Joel Embiid has averaged 30 points and 14 rebounds per game in his last five.

Matchup link:

Sacramento Kings (16-13) at Minnesota Timberwolves (13-16)

Line: Kings +8, O/U: 231.5

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

Timberwolves: 110 ppg, below average defense, faster than average pace


  • The Timberwolves are coming off an 0-4 road trip, including 141-130 in Sacramento and an embarrassing loss against Phoenix.
  • The Kings have averaged 121 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.

Matchup link:

Chicago Bulls (7-23) at Oklahoma City Thunder (18-10)

Line: Thunder -13, O/U: 213

Bulls: 101 ppg, 21st-ranked defense, below average pace

Thunder: 111 ppg, best defense in the NBA, above average pace


  • The Bulls stormed back from a 21 point deficit in San Antonio, holding the Spurs’ high scoring offense to just 93 and getting 23+ points and 7 rebounds from both  Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen.
  • Zach LaVine is out again. Ryan Arcidiacono filled in against his former team in San Antonio, adding 12 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals in 39 minutes.
  • The Thunder lost two straight for the first time since opening the season 0-4 but bounced back with a 110-104 win over the Clippers on Saturday night.

Matchup link:

Utah Jazz (14-16) at Houston Rockets (14-14)

Line: Rockets -5, O/U: 213

Jazz: 107 ppg, fourth-ranked defense, average pace

Rockets: 117 ppg, bottom-five defense, slowest pace in the NBA


  • Houston is now officially the slowest team in the NBA, even slower than Memphis. I need a few minutes to process that.
  • Over a three-game Houston winning streak, James Harden has averaged 37 points, 8 assists, and 8 boards. His last two games were triple-doubles, and he dropped 50 in one of them.
  • The Jazz dominated the last matchup between these two by a score of 118-91 in Utah ten days ago.

Matchup link:

Portland Trail Blazers (16-13) at Los Angeles Clippers (17-12)

Line: Clippers -2, O/U: 217.5

Trail Blazers: 112 ppg, fourth-ranked defense, average pace

Clippers: 114 ppg, bottom-five defense, slowest pace in the NBA


  • The Clippers won the last matchup 104-100 in Portland last month, handing the Blazers one of eight losses in their last twelve games.
  • The Blazers last played Friday night in a huge win over the league-leading Raptors.
  • The Clippers have given up 120 points per game in their last five, losing four of them including three straight by an average of 22 points.
  • The Blazers are just 5-9 outside of Portland.

Matchup link:

Marquee Matchup

Golden State Warriors (20-10) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (16-13)

Line: Warriors -11.5, O/U: 210.5

Warriors: 116 ppg, average defense, above average pace

Grizzlies: 102.5 ppg, sixth-ranked defense, second-slowest pace


  • The Grizzlies have lost four of their last five contests, averaging 95 per game and not topping 100 in a single one.
  • Kyle Anderson (questionable) averages 29 minutes in the starting lineup for Memphis, doing all the little things and averaging 7 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal per game.
  • Shelvin Mack played 29 minutes in his first start of the year, scoring just 4 points.
  • The Warriors are 12-3 at home this year and have won five of their last six games.
  • Steph Curry is averaging 29 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists since returning to the floor at the beginning of December, hitting a league-leading 5 treys per game.

Matchup link:

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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