Thursday’s NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Trevor Ariza, Darren Collison Injuries
Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Darren Collison
- The NBA Injury Report details the slate's key injuries and their betting and DFS impact.
- In this piece, we'll break down the impact of the injuries to Trevor Ariza, Darren Collison and more.
Thursday’s NBA slate features six games with several injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze two situations:
- Denver Nuggets at Washington Wizards: 7 p.m. ET
- Indiana Pacers at Golden State Warriors: 10:30 p.m. ET
Wizards F Trevor Ariza (groin) is out.
Injury background: Ariza missed the second half of Wednesday’s overtime loss after suffering a strained left groin. The Wizards haven’t issued an update on Ariza’s status for tonight’s game.
Coach Scott Brooks called Ariza day-to-day following the loss.
Tonight’s impact: Troy Brown Jr. started the second half Wednesday in Ariza’s absence, and Jabari Parker played ahead of Jeff Green for the final 21 minutes. Wesley Johnson played for the first time since March 3, and Sam Dekker was a DNP-CD for the fourth time in six games. If Ariza is unable to play, Brooks may have to patch his rotation with Johnson or Dekker.
Brown Jr. joined the rotation 12 games ago and has served a utility role with occasional minutes as the primary facilitator. He’s averaged 0.93 DraftKings points per minute during that span and ranked third on the team with a 19.1% assist rate and 14.7% rebound rate, per the NBA On/Off tool.
He’s exceeded salary-based expectations in 10 of the 12 games, and he’s played at least 20 minutes in three straight. At $3,100 on DraftKings and the minimum on FanDuel, Brown should be recognized as a viable punt play.
When Ariza has been off the court since the trade deadline, Bobby Portis, Bradley Beal and Jabari Parker all averaged between 1.13 and 1.23 DraftKings points per minute. Over that 18-game stretch, the Wizards have ranked sixth with a 113.8 Offensive Rating, per Cleaning the Class.
Since Portis replaced Thomas Bryant in the starting lineup on February 23, Parker has averaged 33.13 DraftKings points in 27.0 minutes per game and exceeded salary-based expectations in 12 straight games. Decoupling Parker and Portis in the second unit has greatly benefited Parker’s outlook.
The Wizards are currently home underdogs, and they’ve gone 6-3 at home since the trade deadline. The Nuggets haven’t played since Monday, which is a clear advantage as the Wizards are playing on the second leg of a back-to-back after an overtime match.
In four games on zero days rest since the trade deadline, the Wizards have recorded the second-best offense at 120.9 points per 100 possessions. However, they’ve also allowed 120.0 points per 100 possessions and gone 2-2. Expect a high-scoring affair as the 228.5 current total denotes.
Pacers G Darren Collison (quad) is out.
Injury background: Collison suffered a bruised right quad during Monday’s loss to the Blazers, and he missed his first game of the season Tuesday.
Tonight’s impact: Coach Nate McMillan will miss the game for personal reasons. Dan Burke will be the acting head coach for the second time in his career. He coached a 133-126 loss to the Hornets last season. All his starters played at least 29 minutes, and Burke used a nine-man rotation.
Tyreke Evans recently met with McMillan about his role and said:
“I need to be the aggressor. I talked to him and I told him that’s the way I want to play. Put the ball in my hands and create. Put the pressure on the defense.”
That was evident Tuesday. Cory Joseph started in Collison’s absence, but he sat the entire fourth quarter and Evans posted 38.0 DraftKings points in 29 minutes — nine more minutes than Joseph played. Evans missed a triple-double by two rebounds and three assists, and he led the team in points and field goal attempts.
McMillan added after the game:
“[Evans] played a different role. We gave him the ball and really put him at the point without [Collison] being in the lineup. He gave us some good minutes at the point.”
Since the season-ending injury to Victor Oladipo, Evans has played 14 minutes as the primary point guard. All of those minutes transpired Tuesday, and it highlights how much he’s been restricted within the Pacers offense.
Evans is insanely cheap at $3,500 on DraftKings. If Collison is cleared to play, Evans may continue to hold value if Burke grants Evans the freedom he desires to run the second-unit offense. If Collison is sidelined for the second straight game, Evans should instantly elevate to a chalky value option.
The Pacers have gone 7-8 with Collison in the starting lineup since Wesley Matthews debuted last month. Two of those wins occurred with Myles Turner unavailable. When Collison has been off the court over that duration, Evans has led Pacers guards with 0.93 DraftKings points per minute.
The Pacers have ranked 28th in pace over the previous 16 games, per NBA.com stats, and when Evans has been on the court their Offensive Rating has dropped to a team-low 101.3.
In a new role, Evans’ presence should help jumpstart the offense, but the Pacers have struggled with an average of 101.25 points per game over the last eight — a notch below their 104.5 implied total. They’ve gone 3-10 on the road following Oladipo’s injury, and their 103.8 Offensive Rating on the road during that time frame has ranked 29th.