NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Grizzlies, Thunder, Paul Injuries

NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Grizzlies, Thunder, Paul Injuries article feature image

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chris Paul

  • The NBA Injury Report details the slate's key injuries and their betting and DFS impact.
  • With a number of players questionable, including Chris Paul, the Grizzlies, Thunder and Rockets are the key teams being affected by injuries Friday.

There are five games tonight with several injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze three key situations in this article: the Memphis Grizzlies at Charlotte Hornets,  the Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets at Denver Nuggets.

Note: The information below is as of 9:30 a.m. ET. Check out our live news feed and follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis.

Memphis Grizzlies

Injuries: Mike Conley (knee) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (quad) are questionable. Garrett Temple (shoulder) is doubtful. Omri Casspi (knee) is out.

Injury background: Casspi and Temple have missed the past three games. Casspi has been sidelined with a sore right knee, and Temple was projected to miss one-to-two weeks as of last Saturday with a sprained shoulder.

Conley and Jackson Jr. are new additions to the injury report, and Jackson Jr. played Wednesday despite being a game-time decision with an illness.

Tonight’s impact: Conley has missed one game this year, and Jackson Jr. has played every game. Shelvin Mack started the only game Conley missed.

When Conley, Jackson Jr., Casspi and Dillon Brooks (toe) have been off the court, the Grizzlies have manufactured a 91.2 Offensive Rating — placing in the zeroth percentile, per Cleaning the Glass. Most of those minute have come with Mack as the nominal point guard.

The Grizzlies’ pace of 101.17 with Conley off the court is a noteworthy increase from their season average of 96.10. Alas, the additional possessions are likely a result of the Grizzlies’ increased turnover rate sans Conley.

Prior to Wednesday’s loss, Bickerstaff said JaMychal Green, Ivan Rabb, or Joakim Noah could start if Jackson Jr. was unavailable. Jackson Jr. fouled out in 22 minutes, and he’s averaging 5.4 fouls per 36 minutes.

Green missed one of the last three games with a sore left knee, and he was limited to seven and five minutes in the other two. It’s unclear if his limited minutes lately have been injury-related or a result of coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s ever-changing rotations.

Marc Gasol produced a triple-double against the Hornets less than two weeks ago. Even if Conley is ruled out, Gasol is more suited for tournaments. He’s playing through injury, and his mobility is severely compromised. He admitted to spraining the cervicothoracic junction in his back two weeks ago, and it cost him only one game.

The Hornets have provided a stellar matchup for three-point-shooting bigs, and they’ve ranked 28th with a 115.6 Defensive Rating in January sans Cody Zeller. Conversely, the Grizzlies have ranked last over the same period with a 100.2 Offensive Rating, and they lost to the Hornets nine days ago while scoring 107 points — six points more than their current implied total.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Injuries: Steven Adams (ankle) and Terrance Ferguson (back) are questionable.

Injury background: Adams and Ferguson missed Tuesday’s win after being added to the injury report that day. Ferguson was a late scratch after his lower back flared up, and Adams was sidelined with a sprained ankle.

Coach Billy Donovan confirmed Adams and Ferguson practiced Thursday.

Tonight’s impact: Nerlens Noel has started both games Adams missed this season, and Donovan has started Hamidou Diallo, Dennis Schroder, Alex Abrines, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot or Abdel Nader when Ferguson hasn’t played.

Noel and Jerami Grant are the only rotation players who’ve averaged a positive FantasyLabs Plus/Minus in the eight games Ferguson missed this season, per the NBA On/Off tool. Diallo has received four DNP-CDs in those games, and Schroder has played 1.6 more minutes per game.

Alex Abrines played six minutes in Tuesday’s game after a lengthy stint of DNP-CDs. Although he’s not on a firm minute restriction, Donovan remarked it’s hard to play someone like Abrines their customary minutes after an extended absence.

Noel will be the value play at center if Adams is ruled out. Noel played 25 and 34 minutes in his two starts, and he’s averaged 1.13 DraftKings points per minute with Adams on the bench. They’ve played one minute together all season.

Without Adams and Ferguson on Tuesday, the Thunder allowed 117 points to the Magic, a team in the bottom-10 in Offensive Efficiency. Despite posting the best Defensive Efficiency this season, the Thunder sunk to 21st in 14 January games with a 112.6 Defensive Rating.

Houston Rockets

Injuries: Chris Paul (back) is questionable.

Injury background: Early on Thursday, coach Mike D’Antoni confirmed Paul will play Friday and may rest Saturday. D’Antoni added Paul’s minute restriction would be increased. Nonetheless, Paul was later added to the injury report with a sore lower back.

D’Antoni also stated Nene will play Saturday, but it’s unclear if Nene will be available tonight. The Rockets recalled rookie center Isaiah Hartenstein from the G-League on Thursday.

Tonight’s impact: Paul has played two games since returning from a hamstring injury, and he hasn’t played more than 26 minutes in either game. Austin Rivers returned to a reserve role and his minutes have declined slightly.

In the six games Paul and Clint Capela (thumb) have jointly missed, James Harden has averaged 73.75 DraftKings points per game and a 46.9% usage rate. Even in the last two games with a salary above $13,500 on DraftKings and Paul in the starting lineup, Harden exceeded salary-based expectations and produced a usage rate above 40%.

If Paul is unable to play, expect Rivers to rejoin the starting lineup and Harden to reprise his dominance from the previous Paul sojourn. No Paul means almost universal Harden ownership tonight.

If Nene is rested, as he was nine days ago, don’t expect a drastic rotation overhaul. It’s likely Kenneth Faried, who’s played at least 30 minutes in the last three games, gets more than the 26 minutes he played that night sans Nene. D’Antoni utilized an eight-man rotation in that game, and P.J. Tucker was the backup center.

Tucker averaged 32.75 DraftKings points in the first two games against the Nuggets this season, and with Nene potentially resting, Tucker should help round out cash-game lineups.

The Rockets have defeated the Nuggets in 10 straight by an average of 11.2 points, yet they are presently 5-point underdogs. The Nuggets lost the first two games this season by 10 and 12 points, and Paul missed the second match. The Nuggets have a 22-4 home record, but one of those losses came against the Rockets.