NBA Projected Starting Lineups, Matchups, Injury News – 12/23/18

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Injury News

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Bulls: Cameron Payne (calf) and Jabari Parker (illness) are day to day.

Cavaliers: None

Celtics: Al Horford (knee) and Marcus Morris (knee) are probable.

Clippers: None

Grizzlies: Mike Conley (hamstring) is probable. Omri Casspi (illness), JaMychal Green (hamstring), Joakim Noah (heel) and Dillon Brooks (knee) are questionable.

Hawks: John Collins (ankle) is questionable.

Heat: None

Hornets: None

Kings: None

Magic: Jonathon Simmons (ankle) is day to day.

Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr. (hand) is out.

Nets: Allen Crabbe (knee) remains out.

Pacers: Tyreke Evans (knee) is questionable.

Pelicans: Nikola Mirotic (ankle) is out.

Pistons: None

Timberwolves: Jeff Teague (ankle) is out. Derrick Rose (ankle) is a game-time decision.

Thunder: None

Trail Blazers: None

Warriors: None

Wizards: Otto Porter Jr. (knee) is out. John Wall (illness) is day to day.

Today’s NBA Matchups

Atlanta Hawks (8-23) at Detroit Pistons (15-15)

Line: Pistons -9.5, O/U: 224

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

Pistons: 109 ppg, above average defense, average pace


  • The Hawks are just 3-14 on the road, but they’ve won two straight games
  • John Collins is averaging 19 points and 10 boards per game, and he might miss this one with an ankle.
  • Blake Griffin is averaging 26 pints, 9 rebounds and 7 assists over his last five.

Washington Wizards (13-20) at Indiana Pacers (21-12)

Line: N/A

Wizards: 114 ppg, bottom five defense, fast pace

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


  • The Wizards won in triple overtime last night against the Suns. They’ll probably be fairly tired.
  • John Wall didn’t play last night, so if he feels well enough to go he’ll have his legs.

Chicago Bulls (8-25) at Cleveland Cavaliers (8-25)

Line: Cavs -1, O/U: 201

Bulls: 101 ppg, below average defense, below average pace

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


  • Both of these teams are bad, but the Bulls are coming off of a win against Orlando. They’ve held four of their last five opponents under 100.
  • Cameron Payne and Jabari Parker are questionable, so check the injury wire closer to tip.

Charlotte Hornets (16-15) at Boston Celtics (18-13)

Line: Celtics -7.5, O/U: 221

Hornets: 113 ppg, average defense, average pace

Celtics: 111.5 ppg, top five defense, slower than average pace


  • The Celtics are looking to avoid their first four-game losing skid all year.
  • Boston has been banged up, but Al Horford is expected to make his return after missing seven games with a knee injury.

Phoenix Suns (8-25) at Brooklyn Nets (15-19)

Line: Nets -8.5, O/U: 219

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

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


  • Both of these teams are coming off the end of some surprising winning streaks. Brooklyn had won seven straight before a loss to the Pacers, and Phoenix had won four in a row before a triple-overtime loss in Washington last night.
  • Keep an eye on the injury report to see if players are resting for Phoenix.
  • Rookie Rodions Kurucs started against Indiana and scored a career-best 24 shooting 4/5 from deep.

Miami Heat (15-16) at Orlando Magic (14-17)

Line: Magic -3.5, O/U; 200

Magic: 103 ppg, average defense, slow pace

Heat: 106 ppg, top ten defense, average pace


  • The Heat have won four straight, including two in a row over Milwaukee and Houston.
  • Miami did play last night, but they won’t have to travel far for this one.
  • Orlando has been held under 100 points in their last six games.

New Orleans Pelicans (15-18) at Sacramento Kings (17-15)

Line: Pelicans -1, O/U: 239

Pelicans: 117 ppg, bottom third defense, top five pace

Kings: 116 ppg, bottom third defense, top five pace


  • If you’re wondering why the over/under is so high, it’s because the first game between these two ended 149 129 in regulation, the highest scoring NBA game in the season so far. They both play fast, score a lot, and give up a bunch of points.
  • Anthony Davis is coming off 30 points and 20 boards in a loss during his job interview with LeBron.
  • New Orleans has lost three straight, and they’re just 4-13 on the road this year.

Minnesota Timberwolves (14-18) at Oklahoma City Thunder (21-10)

Line: N/A

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

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


  • The Thunder have won four straight, and the Timberwolves have lost four of their last five.
  • OKC is 12-3 at home, and Minnesota is just 2-13 on the road.
  • With Jeff Teague out and Derrick Rose a game-time decision, Tyus Jones might be the primary point guard for Minnesota.

Los Angeles Clippers (19-13) at Golden State Warriors (22-11)

Line: Warriors -10.5, O/U: 233

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

Clippers: 115 ppg, below average defense, faster than average pace


  • The Clippers won the first matchup in overtime earlier in the season.
  • LA has scored over 124 points for three consecutive games.
  • Both of these teams won last night, the Clippers over the West-leading Nuggets and the Warriors over the Mavericks.

Dallas Mavericks (15-16) at Portland Trail Blazers (18-14)

Line: Blazers -7, O/U: 216

Trail Blazers: 112 ppg, top five defense, average pace

Mavericks: 110 ppg, average defense, slightly faster pace


  • The Mavericks are looking to avoid losing their sixth-straight game, which would tie their longest skid of the season.
  • Dallas lost last night in Golden State, and they’re just 2-13 on the road.

Marquee Matchup

Memphis Grizzlies (16-16) at Los Angeles Lakers (19-13)

Line: Lakers -6, O/U: 208

Grizzlies: 102 ppg, top five defense, slowest pace in the NBA

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


  • The Lakers went 1-3 on a recent road trip but bounced back with a big win over New Orleans.
  • LA is looking to make it seven straight wins at Staples Center, and the Grizzlies are below .500 on the road.
  • Mike Conley is probable, but four Grizzlies are listed as questionable, so check the injury wire closer to tip.
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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