NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Kyrie Irving, Clint Capela Injuries
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving.
- 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 Monday night: the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets.
- This piece will detail the impact of the injuries to Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Clint Capela and more.
There are six NBA games tonight with a lot of injuries to note and questionable players. We’ll analyze two key situations in this piece: the Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets and the Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets.
Injuries: Kyrie Irving (quad) and Marcus Smart (illness) are out.
Injury background: Irving was added to the injury report Sunday with a quad contusion after coming down awkwardly on his leg during Saturday’s loss. He didn’t show any ill effects from it down the stretch, though, scoring 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, so it’s a bit surprising that he’s been ruled out.
Smart was added to the injury report Monday morning.
Tonight’s impact: The Celtics have fared very well in their last three games without Irving, going 3-0 with a +47 scoring margin while covering the spread in all three games.
The caveat, however, is that they all came at home.
They’ve had major struggles away from TD Garden as of late, dropping five of their last six road games. Their defense has been the biggest culprit, as they’ve posted a ghastly 115.4 Defensive Rating during that stretch, which would rank 28th among all teams. The absence of Smart only exacerbates that issue.
Terry Rozier will step into the starting lineup with Irving out and makes for an easy DFS play. He’s averaged 33.6 DraftKings points in his last three starts, and given his $3,700 price tag, he needs just 15.6 points to exceed his salary-based expectation.
Rozier will be among several chalky Celtics on Monday, including Gordon Hayward, who’s averaged 45 DraftKings points and seen his assist rate skyrocket in the last two games Irving has missed.
From a real-life perspective, Rozier’s recent play has been a major concern. His shot selection has been a bigger issue than usual over the past two games, and the Celtics have scored at a far higher rate this season without him. Their Offensive Rating drops from 114.6 (1st) to 103.8 (28th) when he’s on the court.
Rozier’s recent form, combined with the possible return of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin) and the significantly slower pace the Celtics have played at this season without Irving, doesn’t bode well for their offense Monday. The total has adjusted accordingly, moving from 220.5 at open to 218.5, but there’s still some value on the under.
Injuries: Clint Capela (thumb) will miss 4-6 weeks. Brandon Knight (knee) is questionable.
Injury background: An MRI on Capela’s thumb showed ligament damage, and he will miss 4-6 weeks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
He suffered the injury after it was hit on a lob during the third quarter of Sunday’s loss. The Rockets recalled Isaiah Hartenstein from the G League to provide depth at center.
Few teams have run worse with injury luck than the Rockets this season, who will now be without their second, third and fourth-leading scorers.
Losing Capela is particularly devastating since there isn’t another player on the Rockets roster who can come close to replicating his skillset. Capela had just rounded back into shape by shedding some of that offseason weight and was playing huge minutes (36.6 per game) over the past two weeks.
Rockets beat writers aren’t expecting Nene to play much more than 18-20 minutes, so expect coach Mike D’Antoni to go with a full-blown committee Monday with Nene, Marquese Chriss and Hartenstein all getting run at center.
Nene is the DFS cash-game play of choice given he’ll most likely start to match up with Marc Gasol, with Hartenstein as the contrarian GPP option.
Monday’s matchup vs. the Grizzlies is particularly worrisome given Houston can’t compensate for Capela’s loss by moving P.J. Tucker to center in three- or four-guard lineups. They’re forced to play a traditional big man like Nene or Hartenstein given the Grizzlies’ size up front, which doesn’t play to their strengths.
The Grizzlies come in pretty well-rested having played just two games over the past five days, which should benefit Gasol, who’s played through nagging injuries and looked like a shell of himself for the larger part of December.
The spread has come down from 6.5 to 4.5 points since the Capela news, but there’s still some value on the Grizzlies.