Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Conley
- 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 Friday night: the Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz.
- This piece will detail the impact of the injuries to Mike Conley, Ricky Rubio and more.
There are 10 NBA games tonight with a lot of injuries to note and questionable players. We’ll analyze two key situations in this piece: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz at Cleveland Cavaliers.
Grizzlies PG Mike Conley (shoulder) is questionable.
Update at 5:45 p.m. ET: Conley is on track to play tonight.
Injury background: Conley is dealing with a sore left shoulder from Wednesday’s loss and is officially listed questionable to suit up on Friday. He was able to go through practice on Thursday while regaining some flexibility in his shoulder.
Tonight’s impact: Despite missing 109 games due to injuries over the prior three years, Conley has been durable this year, missing just one contest due to a sore left hamstring.
In that game, Shelvin Mack entered the starting lineup but failed to do much damage with 18.5 DraftKings points in 26 minutes. The Grizzlies predictably struggled on the offensive end without their leading scorer and winded up losing by 17 points.
No starter exceeded 26 minutes of playing time in the loss. Backup point guard Jevon Carter led the bench with 25 minutes, and he has been recalled from the G League in advance of Friday’s game.
Marc Gasol saw his assist rate climb to 42.9% and recorded 32 DraftKings points in 26 minutes, while Kyle Anderson benefited from a +10.5% usage rate increase, per the NBA On/Off tool. Both players would become intriguing options if Conley is unable to suit up, as the Nets currently rank 23rd in Defensive Rating this season.
Tensions could still be high after Wednesday’s loss — the team’s eighth in the last 10 games — which resulted in a physical altercation postgame in the locker room. The Grizzlies then executed a trade to acquire small forward Justin Holiday from the Bulls. Holiday seems unlikely to debut just a day after the trade became official.
An update should be provided on Conley’s status following shootaround, and a #gamedayfocus tweet would all but solidify his availability tonight.
Even if Conley is able to play, his downside is readily apparent after his shoulder injury limited him to his first career game of zero points scored with at least eight field goal attempts.
Jazz PG Ricky Rubio (foot) is questionable.
Injury background: Rubio is listed questionable for Friday’s game against the Cavs due to a sore left foot. He recently missed a game with a back and knee contusion but was able to return and log 31 minutes on Tuesday. Grayson Allen (ankle) remains sidelined.
Tonight’s impact: In Rubio’s previous absence, Dante Exum entered the starting lineup and recorded 13 points and 13 assists in just 26 minutes. His minutes were even capped by the 32-point blowout win, so he’d be a core cash-game play if Rubio is downgraded to out.
After seeing his playing time drastically cut lately, Raul Neto logged 20 minutes off the bench and contributed 19.25 DraftKings points. He’d once again see steady minutes as the backup point guard.
Regardless of who draws the start at point guard, it should be a priority to target opposing guard Collin Sexton. The Cavs are dead last in defensive efficiency allowed to point guards, and Sexton ranks 471st out of 472 players in Defensive Real Plus-Minus this season.
Cleveland also carries the league’s worst Defensive Rating by a considerable margin this season and has lost nine of its last 10 games.
With Rubio off the court this season, Utah has seen its Offensive Rating drop from 105.6 to 103.1. However, value could be found by taking the over, as the Jazz are currently implied to score just 108.0 points — a total barely above their season average despite the advantageous matchup.