Wednesday’s NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Devin Booker and Spurs Injuries
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker
- Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is questionable for tonight's game against the Utah Jazz (9 p.m. ET) due to a hamstring injury.
- We break down the betting and DFS impact in Wednesday's NBA Injury Report.
Wednesday’s night’s NBA slate features seven games with injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze the following two:
- Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz: 9 p.m. ET
- San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors: 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Suns G Devin Booker (Hamstring) is out.
Injury background: Booker sat the final six minutes of Monday’s loss because of a tight right hamstring.
Following the game, Booker said:
“It feels good. Just a little tightness. Just caught (it) before anything gets further than what it was, but it’ll be fine.”
Tonight’s impact: The Suns are already without starters De’Anthony Melton (ankle) and TJ Warren (ankle), both of whom have been sidelined the past two weeks. Over that stretch, the Suns are tied for last with a 121.9 Defensive Rating while allowing no fewer than 116 points.
The Jazz are presently implied to score 117.5, a mark they easily exceeded two games earlier against the Hawks, the other team with a 121.9 Defensive Rating.
When Booker, Warren and Melton have been off the court, Josh Jackson has averaged a team-high 30.2% usage rate combined with 1.09 DraftKings points per minute, per the NBA On/Off tool. Conversely, Mikal Bridges has averaged a ghastly 0.49 DraftKings points per minute and experienced a -20.1% effective field goal differential.
Coach Igor Kokoskov managed a tight eight-man rotation Monday, and starting point guard Elie Okobo played less than 20 minutes for the second time in three games.
Jamal Crawford and Kelly Oubre, two possible replacements in the starting lineup if Booker can’t play, have consistently played upwards of 30 minutes, and Crawford is getting run as the backup point guard.
Troy Daniels may enter the rotation if Booker is unavailable, but he’s strictly a three-point shooter facing a team with the third-lowest three-point attempt rate allowed since the beginning of January.
The Suns have lost 11 straight games. They’re 3-10 when Booker hasn’t played, losing by an average of 16.7 points and winning all three games at home. Playing in Utah doesn’t help their chances of victory, and they’re currently 14-point underdogs.
San Antonio Spurs
Injuries: LaMarcus Aldridge (rest), DeMar DeRozan (rest) and Derrick White (heel) are out.
Injury background: White is reportedly dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right heel, and he’s not expected to return prior to the All-Star break.
Aldridge will sit for the first time this season, and DeRozan is unavailable for the fifth time in the last 10 games.
Tonight’s impact: With White unavailable Monday, Davis Bertans drew the start and coach Gregg Popovich utilized an eight-man rotation. Down three starters tonight, Popovich can go any number of directions.
Pau Gasol or Jakob Poeltl will likely start in place of Aldridge. Gasol has averaged 10.7 minutes per game since missing two months with a stress fracture in his left foot. In six starts during that time, Gasol’s playing time has increased to 13.8 minutes per game. It’s the first game of a back-to-back, which makes Gasol’s DFS case shaky, especially for a 10:30 p.m. ET tip.
Lonnie Walker or Dante Cunningham, who started with White unavailable earlier this season, could get the spot start, and Bertans may remain in the starting lineup for the second straight game. Popovich has refrained from starting Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli this season.
When White, Aldridge and DeRozan have been off the court, the Spurs have registered a +7.4 Net Rating. It’s a deceiving mark as those minutes have come against opposing second units. They’ve done it on incredible shooting, ranking in the 97th percentile with a 57.2% effective field goal mark despite ranking in the bottom-one percentile in frequency of attempts at the rim.
Without all three starters on the court, Rudy Gay has averaged team-highs of 1.59 DraftKings points per minute, a 32.4% usage rate and a +9.6% assist rate differential.
Gay offers plenty of upside as the offensive focal point, Poeltl costs only $3,200 on DraftKings and is in line for plenty of minutes since Gasol hasn’t played more than 23 in any game this season.
The combination of Mills, Belinelli and Bryn Forbes has combined for a FantasyLabs’ +3.85 FanDuel Plus/Minus with a 70.1% Consistency Rating when the Spurs have been implied to score at least 110 points, per the Trends tool.
The Warriors are 6-1 with a league-best +14.6 Net Rating since DeMarcus Cousins’ season debut. They’ve ranked in the bottom-seven in offensive and defensive rebound rate over that span, which could be the Spurs’ only chance of keeping the game competitive.
It’s possible coach Steve Kerr rests a few of the Warriors veterans or gives Cousins the night off. In that case, the 11-point spread projects to shrink. The Warriors have had three days off, and none of their rotation players are currently on the injury report.