NBA Projected Starting Lineups, Matchups, Injury News – Christmas Day 2018

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Injury News

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

Celtics: Al Horford (knee) will play, Aron Baynes (hand) is out.

Knicks: Mitchell Robinson (ankle) is out. Allonzo Trier (hamstring) is probable.

Jazz: Grayson Allen (ankle) is out.

Lakers: Michael Beasley (personal) and JaVale McGee (illness) are out. Tyson Chandler (back) is questionable.

76ers: Wilson Chandler (quad) is questionable.

Rockets: Chris Paul (hamstring) is out. Austin Rivers will play.

Thunder: None

Trail Blazers: None

Warriors: Kevin Durant (ankle) is probable.

Today’s NBA Matchups

Milwaukee Bucks (22-10) at New York Knicks (9-25)

Line: Bucks -10.5. O/U: 226

Bucks: 117 ppg, top five defense, top five pace

Knicks: 109 ppg, bottom five defense, average pace


  • The Knicks have lost four straight, and the Bucks had won four straight before losing in Miami on the second night of a back to back.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 28 points, 11 boards, 6 assists, and 2 blocks over his last five. He’s coming off his first single-digit scoring night of the season in Miami.

Oklahoma City Thunder (21-11) at Houston Rockets (17-15)

Line: Rockets -1.5. O/U: 220

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

Rockets: 109 ppg, bottom-five defense, bottom five pace.


  • Russell Westbrook is averaging a 20-point triple-double this year, and his former OKC teammate James Harden is averaging 38 points, 9 assists and 6 boards in his last five.
  • Paul George scored 43 on back to back nights earlier this week, and he’s averaging 35 points per game on 53% from the floor and 49% from the arc in his last five.
  • Houston recently acquired Austin Rivers to fill in a bit for the injured Chris Paul. He’ll play his first game in Houston tonight.

Philadelphia 76ers (22-12) at Boston Celtics (19-13)

Line: Celtics -3.5, O/U: 223

Celtics: 111 ppg, top five defense, slower than average pace

76ers: 115 ppg, 14th ranked defense, faster than average pace


  • Joel Embiid has averaged 26 and 13 on the season, and he won’t have to worry about meeting Aron Baynes at the rim.
  • The Celtics won the first matchup 105-87 on opening night in Boston.
  • Philly just blew out the East-leading Raptors 126-101.
  • Boston had lost three straight but bounced back with a win over Charlotte as Al Horford and Marcus Morris returned to the floor.

Portland Trail Blazers (19-14) at Utah Jazz (18-14)

Line: Jazz -6, O/U: 214

Trail Blazers: 111 ppg, top five defense, average pace

Jazz: 107 ppg, top ten defense, slower than average pace


  • The Blazers have won four of their last five, the only loss coming against this Jazz team four days ago in a 120-90 drubbing.
  • Ricky Rubio led all scorers in that game with 24 points, and that doesn’t happen often.
  • This game will also feature some of the most explosive guards in the game in Donovan Mitchell, CJ McCollum, and Damian Lillard, who is shooting 61% from deep in his last five games.

Marquee Matchup

Los Angeles Lakers (19-14) at Golden State Warriors (23-11)

Line: Warriors -8.5, O/U 235

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

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


  • This is the first matchup between a purple and gold clad LeBron and the Warriors.
  • James is 1-3 against Golden State on the past four Christmases.
  • Steph Curry dropped 42 points and the game winner against the Clippers, completely overshadowing Kevin Durant’s 35.
  • Ivica Zubac has averaged 17.5 points in the last two games with JaVale McGee out.
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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