NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Kyrie Irving, Timbewolves Injuries
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyrie Irving
- 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 Wednesday night: the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves.
There are eight games tonight with several injuries and questionable players involved. We’ll analyze two games in this article: the Charlotte Hornets at Boston Celtics and the Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves.
Celtics G Kyrie Irving (Hip) Is Doubtful
Injury background: Irving missed Monday’s win with a strained left hip. Coach Brad Stevens believes Irving suffered the injury after falling on his hip in the first half of Saturday’s loss.
Stevens called Irving day-to-day prior to Monday’s game, and he didn’t anticipate the injury being a long-term issue.
Tonight’s impact: Terry Rozier has started the seven games Irving missed this season and averaged 33.21 DraftKings points in 31.2 minutes per game, per the NBA On/Off tool. He’ll be a stable option in cash games if Irving is ruled out again. Rozier’s salary has reached a season-high $6,500 on FanDuel, removing his appeal as a value play.
Jaylen Brown has been another beneficiary of Irving’s absences and Rozier’s insertion into the starting lineup. In seven games sans Irving, Brown has averaged a FantasyLabs’ +9.1 DraftKings Plus/Minus, and Marcus Smart has added a +8.3 DraftKings Plus/Minus. Both players averaged around 29 minutes per game without Irving, and Brown is underpriced at $4,700 on DraftKings and FanDuel.
When Irving has been off the court this season, the Celtics have crafted a -0.6 Net Rating, per Cleaning the Glass. The team’s pace differential is negligible with or without Irving, but their assist rate jumps from 59.8% with Irving to a team-high 66.1% when Irving sits, per NBA.com. Coincidentally, the Hornets have allowed the fourth-highest assists per game on the road this season.
The Celtics have gone 5-2 without Irving, and the two losses were on the road. They won the five home games by an average of 15 points. Their smallest margin of victory sans Irving was eight points, and they’ve have won 11 of their last 12 home games.
Without Cody Zeller in January due to a fractured hand, the Hornets have ranked 26th with a 114.2 Defensive Rating. The implied totals for the game have not yet been released, but if the spread is closer to five than 10, fade the Hornets.
Injuries: Derrick Rose (ankle) is questionable. Jeff Teague (foot), Robert Covington (knee), and Tyus Jones (ankle) are out.
Injury background: Rose sat the past two games due to a sore right ankle. He missed seven games near the beginning of January with a sprained right ankle.
Rose participated in the non-contact portion of Tuesday’s practice, and Jerryd Bayless reportedly wore the white jersey — denoting a starter — at practice. That may foreshadow Rose’s chances of playing tonight or simply confirm Rose didn’t participate in the 5-on-5 drills.
Tonight’s impact: The Wolves plan to sign Isaiah Canaan to a 10-day contract, and they assigned Jared Terrell to the G-League on Tuesday. The Wolves may recall Terrell prior to tonight’s game, but that won’t be necessary if Canaan is signed and available.
Terrell has served as the backup point guard the last two-and-a-half games with Bayless starting two straight. Canaan would likely receive point guard minutes if Rose is unable to play. Nonetheless, Canaan is a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. Don’t expect more than a couple assists.
Andrew Wiggins has attempted at least 23 shots in the last three games. He’s led the Wolves with 15.7 drives per game over that span, up from his season average of 7.4. Bayless may bring the ball up nearly every possession while averaging a team-high 86.0 touches per game in the last three, but Wiggins or Karl-Anthony Towns have typically ended possessions. Wiggins has posted a 36.2% usage rate as a primary ballhandler in the last two outings.
When Rose, Teague, Covington, Jones, and Jimmy Butler (traded) have been off the court, Towns has averaged an absurd 1.76 DraftKings points per minute. Historically, however, he’s been limited to 37.32 FanDuel points per game in 12 contests against the Grizzlies.
Towns’ recent production sans Rose is more reflective of his ceiling than his historical numbers against the Grizzlies. Despite the Wolves being limited to 87 points in the first game against Memphis, Towns supplied 45 DraftKings points in 38 minutes.
If Rose is cleared to play, usage rates should deflate for Wiggins and Towns, and Bayless could return to a reserve role. When Rose, Wiggins, and Towns have been on the floor without Teague, Bayless, and Butler, Rose has led the team with a 29.9% usage rate, followed by Towns at 24% and Wiggins at 21.1%.