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NBA Injury News & Starting Lineups (Dec. 31): Joel Embiid Probable for Thursday, John Wall Cleared for Season Debut

NBA Injury News & Starting Lineups (Dec. 31): Joel Embiid Probable for Thursday, John Wall Cleared for Season Debut article feature image

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid.

Below are the projected starting lineups for each team playing on Thursday’s slate, along with notable injury news for each squad. For real-time updates to these lineups, check out the NBA Insiders lineups page.

Thursday’s NBA Injury News

The Houston Rockets will finally get some much needed depth back with the return of John Wall, Eric Gordon and DeMarcus Cousins. All three players fulfilled their required quarantine and were able to practice Wednesday.

Joel Embiid is likely to play Thursday against the Orlando Magic, though his pre-game status can sometimes be taken with a grain of salt — especially ahead of a back-to-back.

Per our NBA Insiders tool:

Embiid is listed probable in advance of Thursday’s game as he continues to deal with a sore back. He missed a game due to the injury earlier, but was similarly listed probable heading into Tuesday’s win and played 37.9 minutes without any reported issues.

The Chicago Bulls have listed forward Lauri Markkanen as questionable for tonight’s 5 p.m. ET matchup with the Washington Wizards with a calf injury.

Be sure to check the NBA Insiders tool for real time updates.

Thursday’s Projected Starting Lineups

Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers (3 p.m. ET)

Cavaliers Projected Lineup

PG – Darius Garland
SG – Collin Sexton
SF – Cedi Osman
PF – Larry Nance Jr.
C – Andre Drummond

Injury news: Isaac Okoro (foot), Kevin Love (calf) and  Matthew Dellavedova (concussion) are out

Pacers Projected Lineup

PG – Malcolm Brogdon
SG – Victor Oladipo
SF – Justin Holiday
PF – Domantas Sabonis
C – Myles Turner

Injury news: TJ Warren (foot) is out

Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards (5 p.m. ET)

Bulls Projected Lineup

PG – Coby White
SG – Zach LaVine
SF – Patrick Williams
PF – Lauri Markkanen
C – Wendell Carter Jr.

Injury news: Lauri Markkanen (calf) is questionable

Wizards Projected Lineup

PG – Russell Westbrook
SG – Bradley Beal
SF – Isaac Bonga
PF – Deni Avdija
C – Thomas Bryant

Injury news: Rui Hachimura is active

Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic (6:30 p.m. ET)

Bucks Projected Lineup

PG – Ben Simmons
SG – Seth Curry
SF – Danny Green
PF – Tobias Harris
C – Joel Embiid

Injury news: Joel Embiid is probable

Magic Projected Lineup

PG – Markelle Fultz
SG – Evan Fournier
SF – Dwayne Bacon
PF – Aaron Gordon
C – Nikola Vucevic

Injury news: James Ennis (hamstring) is out

Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets (7 p.m. ET)

Kings Projected Lineup

PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Buddy Hield
SF – Harrison Barnes
PF – Marvin Bagley
C – Richaun Holmes

Injury news: DaQuan Jeffries (ankle) is out

Rockets Projected Lineup

PG – John Wall
SG – James Harden
SF – Danuel House
PF – PJ Tucker
C – Christian Wood

Injury news: DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, and Eric Gordon have all cleared health and safety protocols, Ben McLemore and Mason Jones (ankle) are out.

New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors (7:30 p.m. ET)

Knicks Projected Lineup

PG – Elfrid Payton
SG – RJ Barrett
SF – Reggie Bullock
PF – Julius Randle
C – Mitchell Robinson

Injury news: Alec Burks (knee), Austin Rivers (groin), Immanuel Quickley (hip) are questionable, Kevin Knox (knee) is probable, and Frank Ntilikina (knee) and Dennis Smith Jr (quad) have been ruled out.

Raptors Projected Lineup

PG – Kyle Lowry
SG – Fred VanVleet
SF – OG Anunoby
PF – Pascal Siakam
C – Aron Baynes

Injury news: Nothing new

New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder (8 p.m. ET)

Pelicans Projected Lineup

PG – Lonzo Ball
SG – Eric Bledsoe
SF – Brandon Ingram
PF – Zion Williamson
C – Steven Adams

Injury news: Nothing new

Thunder Projected Lineup

PG – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG – George Hill
SF – Lu Dort
PF – Darius Bazley
C – Al Horford

Injury news: Nothing new

Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz (9 p.m. ET)

Suns Projected Lineup

PG – Chris Paul
SG – Devin Booker
SF – Mikal Bridges
PF – Jae Crowder
C – Deandre Ayton

Injury news: Abdel Nader (concussion) and Jalen Smith (ankle) are out

Jazz Projected Lineup

PG – Mike Conley
SG – Donovan Mitchell
SF – Bojan Bogdanovic
PF – Royce O’Neale
C – Rudy Gobert

Injury news: Derrick Favors is probable

Phan’s Bet to Watch

As of 9 a.m. ET, Justin Phan sees an edge on three New Years Eve matchups and is watching two other bets: 76ers vs. Magic and Knicks vs. Raptors. To get instant alerts when he sees an edge and his analysis on those picks, sign up for our NBA Insiders Tool.

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