NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Jimmy Butler, Tristan Thompson Injuries
Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jimmy Butler
- The NBA Injury Report is a daily piece that runs through the slate's key injuries and their betting and DFS impact.
- There are two key teams with injuries to analyze on Wednesday night: the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
- Below I'll detail the impact of the injuries to Jimmy Butler and Tristan Thompson.
There are 11 games tonight with a lot of injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze two key situations in this piece: the Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sixers SG Jimmy Butler (groin) is out.
Injury background: Butler suffered a strained groin in Monday’s win and is out Wednesday vs. the Nets. MRI results showed nothing significant, but there is no timeline on how long he could be sidelined.
Tonight’s impact: If Butler is confirmed out, coach Brett Brown stated that Landry Shamet, T.J. McConnell and Furkan Korkmaz are the three players to fill in for minutes.
Shamet is a candidate to enter the starting lineup after drawing the start in the second half on Monday, while Korkmaz emerged off the bench to supply 30.9 FanDuel points in 26 minutes.
The two primary beneficiaries of Butler’s potential absence will be Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. When Butler has been off the court since making his Sixers debut, Embid has averaged 1.52 DraftKings points per minute and Simmons has added 1.46 DraftKings points per minute.
Both players enter elite DFS cash-game consideration, and Embiid is the highest-rated player overall in the Phan Model on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
In the first nine games with Butler, Embiid averaged 26.3 points and got to the free throw line 9.6 times per game, but recently he has seen his numbers tail off.
He even voiced his concern publicly by stating, “I haven’t been myself lately. I think it’s mainly because of the way I’ve been used. I’m being used as a spacer, I guess, a stretch-5, and I’m only shooting 29% from 3-point range.”
His field goal percentage, points per game, 3-point percentage and free throw rate have all decreased with Butler on the team.
While it’s likely Embiid will get back on track to dominating his opponents, we can take advantage of his increased role in the meantime.
We’re also benefiting from a significant discount on his current price of $10,700 on FanDuel, as he was $11,700 in the same matchup just two weeks ago. In that game, he exceeded his salary-based expectation with 32 points and 12 rebounds, while Simmons added 44.5 FanDuel points in 38 minutes.
Cavs C Tristan Thompson (foot) is out.
Injury background: Thompson suffered a sprained foot during Monday’s loss, and he’s expected to miss 2-4 weeks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Tonight’s impact: The injury is a huge blow to the Cavs frontcourt, as the team is already without Kevin Love (toe) until at least January. David Nwaba, who has logged minutes at power forward, is questionable after missing the previous nine games due to a sore right knee.
Larry Nance Jr. and Ante Zizic will likely claim most of the center minutes until Thompson returns, and it’s likely Nance will draw the start on Wednesday after coming off the bench in five of his last six games.
In eight previous starts, Nance has averaged fewer points starting than off the bench but has seen his secondary stats increase with more playing time. Zizic actually leads the team (counting only currently available players) with 1.15 DraftKings points per minute.
Coach Larry Drew has recently stated that Thompson is the anchor of the team, and it’s a surprise to see the Cavs as current one-point favorites even at home against the Knicks. The lack of second-chance opportunities will likely wind up hurting their chances of winning, as Thompson ranks second in the league with 5.0 offensive rebounds per game.
With Thompson off the court this season, the offense has dropped from a 107.1 Offensive Rating to a 98.4 mark, which would rank worst in the league.
Points will certainly be at a premium in tonight’s game, indicated by the third-lowest total (213) in the 11-game slate, although both teams rank in the bottom three defensively this season.