NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Tristan Thompson, Josh Richardson Injuries

NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Tristan Thompson, Josh Richardson Injuries article feature image

Photo credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tristan Thompson

  • The NBA Injury Report details the slate's key injuries and their betting and DFS impact.
  • There are two key teams with injuries to analyze on Friday night: the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.
  • This piece will detail the impact of the injuries to Tristan Thompson, Josh Richardson and Wayne Ellington.

There are seven NBA games tonight with several injuries to note and questionable players. We’ll analyze two key situations in this piece: the Cleveland Cavaliers at Utah Jazz and the Miami Heat at Detroit Pistons.

Note: The information below is as of 6:30 p.m. ET. For up-to-the-minute news and analysis, check out our live news feed and follow us on Twitter.

Cavs C Tristan Thompson (foot) is out.

Injury background: Thompson will miss Friday’s game due to a sore left foot. He missed 10 games with the same injury in December, and it’s possible the team is playing it safe on the front end of a back-to-back.

Tonight’s impact: In the prior 10 games without Thompson, Larry Nance Jr. drew five starts at center, Channing Frye started three and Ante Zizic started two. However, Nance Jr. remains sidelined with a sprained MCL, leaving the Cavs thin in the frontcourt with Zizic and Frye as the lone available centers.

With Thompson injured, Nance Jr. averaged 32.2 minutes per game, and Zizic will absorb most of those minutes after logging a career-high 27 minutes on Wednesday. His extended playing time resulted in 31.5 DraftKings points, and he makes for one of the slate’s strongest value options at just $3,700 as the likely starter.

David Nwaba (ankle) is still without an exact timetable for return, and Rodney Hood and Alec Burks — both of whom are making their first visiting appearance in Salt Lake City — have benefited from extra playing time, although Hood has been on a minutes limit recently.

With all current injured players off the court this season, Burks has seen a +2.4% usage rate increase, per the On/Off tool. He is also familiar with his former arena, shooting 39.5% from 3 at home last season compared to 25.8% on the road.

Aside from having a thin frontcourt, the Cavs are in trouble facing a Jazz defense that has significantly improved as of late. After a slow start to the season, the Jazz easily hold the league’s best Defensive Rating over the last 10 games.

Outside of Zizic, the Cavs hold little upside in DFS with the second-lowest implied point total (100.0) in Friday’s seven-game slate.

Heat SF Josh Richardson (illness) and SG Wayne Ellington (illness) are questionable.

Update at 6:30 p.m. ET: Richardson is out. Ellington will play.

Injury background: The Heat are dealing with multiple illnesses heading into Friday’s game against the Pistons. Richardson and Ellington were recently added to the injury report and are both questionable to suit up, while Tyler Johnson has been upgraded to available to play.

Tonight’s impact: Richardson, the team’s leading scorer, has missed just one game this season due to a shoulder injury. Bam Adebayo has been the team’s only player to be available in every game this season.

The Heat’s deep rotation has given coach Erik Spoelstra difficulty managing minutes, resulting in an 11-man rotation lately. Ellington has been out of the rotation aside from blowout minutes, while Dion Waiters has publicly voiced displeasure with his lack of playing time.

If Richardson and Ellington are unavailable, Dwyane Wade, Rodney McGruder and Justise Winslow will all likely see an increase in minutes. With Goran Dragic (knee) sidelined, Winslow has excelled as the team’s starting point guard.

Over the last 10 games, Winslow has produced a FantasyLabs’ +5.01 DraftKings Plus/Minus and exceeded 25.0 fantasy points in 12 straight games. His salary has gradually increased, limiting him to just tournament consideration even if Richardson is out.

Wade would also provide tournament value with a trimmed rotation, as he has led the team with a +1.7% usage rate increase with Richardson, Ellington and Dragic off the court this season.

Miami is already implied to score the third-fewest points (102.25) on Friday, and its offense would predictably suffer if Richardson were to be ruled out. With Richardson off the court this season, the Heat’s Offensive Rating has dropped from 106.6 to 98.6.

Both teams are in the bottom third of the league in pace, and value could be found betting the under if Richardson’s status is downgraded.