NBA Projected Starting Lineups, Matchups, Injury News – 12/29/18

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Injury News

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Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo (foot) is probable. Khris Middleton (quad) is a game-time decision.

Cavaliers: Ante Zizic (knee), David Nwaba, and Rodney Hood are day-to-day

Celtics: Robert Williams (groin) is questionable.

Clippers: Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) and Jonathon Motley are day-to-day.

Grizzlies: Dillon Brooks (knee) and Joakim Noah (heel) are probable.

Hawks: None

Hornets: Tony Parker (rest) is out.

Jazz: Ricky Rubio (back/knee) is questionable. Jae Crowder (thumb) and Grayson Allen (ankle) are out. Dante Exum (shoulder) is probable.

Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr. (illness) is questionable.

Nets: Allen Crabbe (knee) could make his return.

Nuggets: Malik Beasley (ankle) and Will Barton (groin) are day-to-day.

Pelicans: Elfrid Payton (finger) and Nikola Mirotic (ankle) are out.

Phoenix: None

Rockets: Chris Paul (hamstring) remains out.

Spurs: Pau Gasol (foot) is cleared to play.

Trail Blazers: None

Warriors: None

Wizards: John Wall (heel) and Markieff Morris (neck) are day-to-day. Otto Porter Jr. remains out.

Today’s NBA Matchups

Brooklyn Nets (17-20) at Milwaukee Bucks (24-10)

Line: Nets +10, O/U: 222

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

Bucks: 116.5 ppg, top five defense, fast pace

Notes:

  • The Nets had won nine of their last ten, but didn’t get much production outside of D’Angelo Russell’s 33 points in a 100-87 loss against Charlotte last night.
  • The Bucks have won six of their last seven, and they’re 15-3 at home.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are both on the injury report, though it looks like Giannis will play.
  • Allen Crabbe has missed eight in a row with a knee injury, but he might return for this one.

Charlotte Hornets (17-17) at Washington Wizards (13-23)

Line: Hornets -2, O/U: 222

Hornets: 113 ppg, average defense, average pace.

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

Notes:

  • The Wizards are 2-8 in their last ten, and just dropped a home game to the lottery-bound Bulls last night. The Hornets also played last night, but they beat a very hot Brooklyn team.
  • John Wall and Markieff Morris might join Otto Porter on the bench for this one.

Houston Rockets (19-15) at New Orleans Pelicans (16-20)

Line: Rockets -2, O/U 228

Pelicans: 116 ppg, bottom third defense, third-fastest pace

Rockets: 110 ppg, bottom third defense,  bottom five pace

Notes:

  • The Rockets have won eight of their last nine, including three straight over the Spurs, Thunder, and Celtics. Those are the first wins without Chris Paul all season.
  • James Harden is averaging 36 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds for the month of December, making a league-high 10 free throws per game.
  • New Orleans snapped a five-game skid with a 114-112 win over Dallas at home last night, getting 48 points and 17 boards from Anthony Davis.

Cleveland Cavaliers (8-28) at Atlanta Hawks (10-24)

Line: Hawks -5, O/U: 218

Cavaliers: 102 ppg, worst defense in the NBA, third-slowest pace

Hawks: 109 ppg, bottom ten defense, fastest pace in the NBA

Notes:

  • The Hawks are on a bit of a roll, winning four of their last five. Last night’s overtime win over Minnesota was their most impressive victory of the season. They got 23 points from Kent Bazemore and double-doubles from Trae Young, Dewayne Dedmon, and John Collins.
  • The Cavs have lost five straight, including last night in Miami.

Boston Celtics (20-14) at Memphis Grizzlies (18-16)

Line: Celtics -2.5, O/U: 201

Celtics: 112 ppg, top five defense, average pace

Grizzlies: 102 ppg, top five defense, slowest pace

Notes:

  • The Grizzlies had lost seven out of eight games before bouncing back with wins over the Lakers with a healthy LeBron and a bad Cleveland team.
  • Kyrie Irving is averaging 26 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds per game in his last five, but only got off 13 shots in a loss to the Rockets.

New York Knicks (9-27) at Utah Jazz (17-19)

Line: Jazz -13, O/U: 215

Jazz: 107 ppg, top ten defense, average pace

Knicks: 108 ppg, bottom five defense, above average pace

Notes:

  • The Knicks have not won in regulation in over a month, going 2-11 in November.
  • The Jazz have been up and down all year, and in their last six have lost to Philly, OKC and Houston while beating Golden State once and Portland twice.
  • Ricky Rubio is banged up and questionable for this one, so Dante Exum might slide into the starting lineup.

Denver Nuggets (22-11) at Phoenix Suns (9-27)

Line: Nuggets -4.5, O/U 215

Nuggets: 110 ppg, top ten defense, bottom five pace

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

Notes:

  • Nikola Jokic added 21/9/9 in a 102-99 win over the red-hot Spurs last night, and Jamal Murray led all scorers with 31. Malik Beasley kicked in 21 off the bench, but he tweaked his ankle and is day-to-day.
  • The Suns are 5-5 in their last ten games, and the West-leading Nuggets are just 6-4.
  • Phoenix is also on the second night of a back to back, losing 118-102 to OKC last night at home.

San Antonio Spurs (19-17) at Los Angeles Clippers (21-14)

Line: Clippers -3.5, O/U: 227

Spurs: 111 ppg, below average defense, slow pace

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

Notes:

  • San Antonio lost by three in Denver last night after shooting 11/20 from the free throw line. Their season free throw percentage of 82% trails only Golden State.
  • The Clippers have won four of their last five, including last night by a score of 118-107 over the LeBron-less Lakers. Lou Williams dropped 36 off the bench.
  • The Spurs are 8-3 over their last 11, playing elite defense and shooting more accurately than every other team in the league in that stretch for a net rating of +16.

Golden State Warriors (23-13) at Portland Trail Blazers (20-15)

Line: Warriors -4, O/U: 224

Warriors: 115 ppg, average defense, average pace

Trail Blazers: 111 ppg, below average defense, slower than average pace

Notes:

  • Both teams are 6-4 in their last ten games, and their last game was Thursday night as Portland stunned the Warriors 110-109 in overtime at Oracle.
  • Steph and KD combined for 55 points, but Klay and Draymond shot a combined 3/13 from deep.
  • Jusuf Nurkic led Portland with 27 points and 12 boards, CJ McCollum kicked in 24, and Dame added 21 including the game-winning three in OT.
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