NBA Projected Starting Lineups, Matchups, Injury News – 12/19/18

 

For live betting information on all games, click here.

Injury News

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

Bulls: Jabari Parker (illness) is day-to-day. Zach LaVine (ankle) is out.

Bucks: Ersan Ilyasova (nose) is out. Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) is questionable.

Cavaliers: None

Celtics: Al Horford (knee) is out, Jaylen Brown (hand) is questionable.

Grizzlies: Mike Conley (hamstring) and Joakim Noah (heel) are questionable. Kyle Anderson (hip) is probable.

Hornets: None

Kings: Bogdan Bogdanovic is questionable with a sore right foot. Iman Shumpert (hip) is questionable. Marvin Bagley III (knee) remains out.

Knicks: Mitchell Robinson (ankle) and Allonzo Trier (hamstring) are out. Tim Hardaway Jr. (heel) is a game-time decision.

Jazz: None

Magic: None

Nets: Allen Crabbe (knee) is day-to-day.

Pacers: None

Pelicans: Julius Randle (ankle) and Nikola Mirotic (ankle) are out. Ian Clark (ankle) is questionable.

Pistons: None

Raptors: Kyle Lowry (thigh) and Serge Ibaka (knee) are questionable. Fred Van Vleet (back) is probable. Pascal Siakam (back) and Norman Powell (shoulder) should play.

Rockets: None

76ers: None

Spurs: None

Suns: Kelly Oubre Jr. is expected to play.

Timberwolves: Jeff Teague (ankle) is out.

Thunder: None

Trail Blazers: None

Warriors: None

Wizards: Otto Porter Jr. (knee) is out.

Today’s NBA Matchups

Indiana Pacers (20-11) vs. Toronto Raptors (23-9)

Line: Raptors -5, O/U: 208.5

Pacers: 106 ppg, second-ranked defense, bottom-five pace

Raptors: 115 ppg, seventh-best defense, below average pace

Notes:

  • The Pacers had won seven straight games, but the streak was shockingly snapped by Cleveland last night. They averaged 109, but the league’s worst defense held them to just 91.
  • Victor Oladipo has played four games since his return to the floor, and scored just 12 points on 4/15 shooting in the loss against Cleveland after an impressive 26 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 steals in his previous game.
  • The banged-up Raptors just went 2-2 on a tough west coast swing, beating Golden State and the Clippers but falling to Portland and Denver. The defense held everyone except Portland under 100.
  • The Raptors might be without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, so it’s a good thing Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Norman Powell are expected to play.
  • For a full preview, click here.

Cleveland Cavaliers (8-23) at Charlotte Hornets (14-15)

Line: Hornets -12.5, O/U: 216.5

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

Hawks: 108.5 ppg, fourth-worst defense, fastest pace in NBA

Notes:

  • The Cavs are .500 in their last six games, and have already won more games in December than they did all of November.
  • Cleveland has had the worst defense in the league all season, but held Indiana to 91 last night.
  • Charlotte won the first matchup 126-94, and the Cavs blew them out 113-89 in the last game.
  • The Hornets have given up an average of 127 points in their last two games, both losses.

New York Knicks (9-23) at Philadelphia 76ers (20-12)

Line: 76ers -14, O/U: 228

Knicks: 109 ppg, second-worst defense, average pace

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

Notes:

  • The Sixers are 14-3 at home, while the Knicks are just 5-13 on the road.
  • This game features a center matchup between two of the most prolific smack-talkers in the NBA right now in Enes Kanter and Joel Embiid, so expect some fireworks. They’re also both pretty good at playing basketball, with Kanter averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds and Embiid posting 26 and 13.

San Antonio Spurs (16-15) at Orlando Magic (14-15)

Line: Spurs -1, O/U: 207.5

Spurs: 111 ppg, 23rd-ranked defense, slow pace

Magic: 104 ppg, 13th-ranked defense, slow pace

Notes:

  • The Spurs are just 4-10 on the road, but seemed get everything clicking on a 5-1 home-stand. They started the year with the worst defense in the league, but held every opponent under 100 and had the best defense in the NBA over the past six games.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge scored just 14 in a losing effort the last time these teams played. He has powered past a rough start to the season, scoring 22 points per game on 61% shooting through nine games in December.
  • Nikola Vucevic has averaged 21 points per game on the season for the Magic, so the center matchup will be key.
  • The Magic should be well-rested. They have not played since Saturday, a solid win over the Jazz.

Phoenix Suns (7-24) at Boston Celtics (18-11)

Line: Celtics -11.5, O/U: 219

Suns: 103 ppg, fifth-worst defense, slower than average pace

Celtics: 111.5 ppg, third-ranked defense, slower than average pace

Notes:

  • The Suns have won three straight games, and Devin Booker‘s return to the court has a lot to do with that. He scored 28 his first game back, then tied his season high with 38 in the next game.
  • The recently-acquired Kelly Oubre Jr. is expected to make his debut with the Suns.
  • Al Horford will miss his sixth-straight game with a knee injury, and Jaylen Brown might miss this one with a bruised hand.
  • The Celtics have not played since Detroit ended their eight-game winning streak on Saturday.
  • For a full preview, click here.

Brooklyn Nets (14-18) at Chicago Bulls (7-24)

Line: Nets -2, O/U: 214

Nets: 111 ppg, 22nd-ranked defense, slower than average pace

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

Notes:

  • The Nets have their first six-game winning streak since 2015, including huge wins over Toronto, Philadelphia, and LeBron’s Lakers last night.
  • D’Angelo Russell hit a dagger three last night to cap off a 22-point, 13-assist performance.
  • The Bulls are in the midst of a 2-11 slide since Thanksgiving. They’ve been held under 100 points in nine of those games.

Washington Wizards (12-19) at Houston Rockets (15-14)

Line: Houston -11, O/U: 224.5

Rockets: 109 ppg, bottom-five defense, slowest pace in the NBA

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

Notes:

  • The Rockets have won four straight, games, and Washington’s only win in the past five games came against a Lakers team on the second night of a back to back.
  • James Harden is averaging 39 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds over his last five games. Somebody please check if that is good.
  • The Wizards lost in Atlanta to a pretty bad Hawks team just last night.
  • Otto Porter Jr. will miss his fifth straight with a knee injury.
  • The newly-acquired Trevor Ariza played 38 minutes in his Wizards debut, adding 19 points on 35% shooting, 8 boards, 4 assists and 6 steals.

New Orleans Pelicans (15-16) at Milwaukee Bucks (20-9)

Line: Bucks -8.5, O/U: 231.5

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

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

Notes:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis face off in a matchup between two of the league’s best and most freakishly athletic players, and best players period.
  • Each had a 44-point game this week, even though they hit only one jump shot each.
  • Go check that last one again, just to make sure you read it correctly. Ponder it if you dare, then watch the film breakdowns on two of the premier interior scorers in the league.
  • Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle are both out with ankle injuries, so expect Cheick Diallo to help the Brow to shoulder the bulk of the big man responsibilities.

Detroit Pistons (14-14) at Minnesota Timberwolves (14-16)

Line: Timberwolves -5, O/U: 218

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

Pistons: 109 ppg, above average defense, average pace

Notes:

  • The Timberwolves are 12-4 at home. They went on an 0-4 skid on the road before bouncing back with a 132-105 win when hosting Sacramento on Monday night.
  • Blake Griffin is coming off of a quadruple dubious on Monday night, posting 19 points, 10 boards, 11 dimes, and 10 turnovers in a 107-104 loss to Milwaukee.
  • The Pistons beat Golden State on December 1 to move to 13-7. They have gone 1-7 since.

Memphis Grizzlies (16-14) at Portland Trail Blazers (17-13)

Line: Bucks -8.5, O/U: 231.5

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

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

Notes:

  • Damian Lillard went nuclear in Portland’s win over the Clippers on Monday night in Los Angeles, dropping 39 in the game and 22 in the third quarter.
  • Mike Conley is questionable tonight after missing his first game of the year on Monday night. Jevon Carter and Shelvin Mack each played 25 minutes in that game.
  • The Grizzlies have lost five of their last six, but the one win came one week ago in Memphis when they held this Portland team to 83 points.

Golden State Warriors (21-10) at Utah Jazz (14-17)

Line: Warriors -2, O/U: 221.5

Warriors: 116 ppg, average defense, faster than average pace

Jazz: 107 ppg, eighth-ranked defense, slower than average pace

Notes:

  • Steph Curry is averaging 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists since returning to the floor at the beginning of December, hitting a league-leading 5 treys per game on the season.
  • The Warriors have won six of their last seven, and the only loss came against the East-leading Raptors.
  • Utah has lost four of their last five, with the only win coming a week ago hosting a struggling Miami team.
  • For a full preview, click here.

Marquee Matchup

Oklahoma City Thunder (19-10) at Sacramento Kings (16-14)

Line: Thunder -5.5, O/U: 234.5

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

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

Notes:

  • The Kings averaged 121 per game in their last five coming into Monday night’s game in Minnesota, and they got walloped 132-105.
  • Sacramento might be missing Iman Shumpert and Bogdan Bogdanovic, who average a combined 25 points at the shooting guard position. This could mean more production from De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, and more minutes for Yogi Ferrell and Frank Mason III.
  • The Thunder are just .500 over their last six games. They have the best defense in the league for the season, but gave up 109 per game over that stretch.
  • Russell Westbrook is averaging 21 points and 10 assists per game, deferring more to Paul George, who is averaging 29 points and shooting 54% from the floor and 53% from deep over the last five games.
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.

Hot NBA Stories