Monday’s NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo Injuries
Photo credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: James Harden
- The NBA Injury Report details the slate's key injuries and their betting and DFS impact.
- In this piece, we'll break down the impact of the injuries to James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Otto Porter and more.
Monday’s NBA slate features 11 games with a plethora of injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze a few situations:
- Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls: 8 p.m. ET
- Atlanta Hawks at Houston Rockets: 8 p.m. ET
Update at noon ET: Harden is now probable. Visit the FantasyLabs news feed for more information.
Injuries: James Harden (neck) and Iman Shumpert (knee) are questionable.
Injury background: Harden was held out of Saturday’s win due to a strained cervical and flu-like symptoms.
Shumpert missed the past two games because of a sore right knee.
Tonight’s impact: The Rockets have a 2-2 record sans Harden, and the two losses came with Carmelo Anthony in the starting lineup.
Kenneth Faried drew the start in Harden’s absence Saturday, and he’s averaged 1.09 DraftKings points per minute since joining the Rockets. Much of that has come as the starting center, but he’s maintained his per-minute dominance since Clint Capela returned to the starting lineup.
If Harden is cleared to play, it’s possible Faried continues to start and Eric Gordon is brought off the bench. Gordon has hit at least three 3-pointers in six straight games, he’s averaged 32.54 DraftKings points in his last seven games against the Hawks and Atlanta has allowed 33.5 three-point attempts per game — the fourth-highest this season. Needless to say, it’s a pristine matchup for Gordon whether he starts or comes off the bench.
The Hawks have ranked 28th with a 116.7 Defensive Rating since the beginning of January. They’ve struggled to defend the perimeter and the rim. It’s an elite matchup for the Rockets, a team with a nearly identical Offensive (116.4) and Defensive Rating (114.2) that forces Harden to play a ton of minutes and prolong his streak of 30-point scoring games.
If Harden is unable to play, Gordon, Faried and Chris Paul are solid candidates in most formats due to their increased roles. If Harden is cleared without any restrictions, his declining salary on DraftKings combined with the elite matchup increases his case in cash games.
Injuries: Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is doubtful. George Hill (groin) and Donte DiVincenzo (heel) are out.
Injury background: Antetokounmpo has dealt with right knee ailments dating back two years. The Bucks have decided to proactively rest him before the issue gets worse.
Hill suffered a strained adductor during the first half of Saturday’s win and didn’t return.
DiVincenzo has been dealing with a heel issue for the last two months.
Tonight’s impact: The Bucks have gone 2-2 without Antetokounmpo this season, losing their last two by 27 combined points. With Antetokounmpo off the court and at least two of the other normal starters on, the Bucks have maintained their elite offense and defense.
Ersan Ilyasova started the first three games Antetokounmpo missed, and Tony Snell drew the start in the most recent absence. Pat Connaughton was used in Hill’s spot in the rotation during Saturday’s second half, and he may continue in that role or coach Mike Budenholzer could strip down his rotation to nine.
In the games Antetokounmpo has missed, Eric Bledsoe has averaged a team-high 39.75 DraftKings points in 27.7 minutes per game, per the NBA On/Off tool. Ilyasova has exceeded salary-based expectations in eight straight games and averaged a team-high +10.0 DraftKings Plus/Minus sans Antetokoumpo.
Ilyasova, Snell and newcomer Nikola Mirotic are all options to replace Antetokoumpo in the starting lineup if he is ruled out. D.J. Wilson has fallen out of the rotation since the addition of Mirotic, leaving Ilyasova as a solid cash-game option.
The Bulls have allowed 118.0 points per 100 possessions since the start of February, ranking in the bottom five over that span, per Cleaning the Glass. No Bucks rotation player has averaged fewer DraftKings points per minute with Antetokounmpo off the court, and a team stack may be in order.
Bulls F Otto Porter (leg) is doubtful.
Injury background: Porter missed the second half of Saturday’s win with a strained lower left leg. He’s dealt with leg injuries all season, sitting 10 games with a bruised right knee. Kris Dunn (migraine) is also doubtful.
Tonight’s impact: The Bulls have ranked first with a 120.0 Offensive Rating in February. Porter debuted six games ago, and the Bulls averaged 115.0 points in the preceding four games.
Shaq Harrison started the second half Saturday in Porter’s absence, and he or Wayne Selden appear the likely candidates to start if Porter is ruled out. Neither costs more than $3,600 on DraftKings and FanDuel, and the player who starts will become a cheap punt play.
When Porter has been off the court since debuting, Lauri Markkanen has averaged 1.27 DraftKings points in 63 minutes and Zach LaVine has crafted a team-high +7.4% usage rate differential. Both exceeded 47 FanDuel points against the Bucks earlier this month, and LaVine has cleared that number in two straight against Milwaukee.
Robin Lopez has exceeded salary-based expectations in seven straight games, and he’s been an integral member of the offense, along with Markkanen and LaVine. His $4,100 salary on DraftKings is among the cheapest for projected starting centers, but his restricted ceiling doesn’t translate well in tournaments. Additionally, Brook Lopez costs $500 more and has a more favorable outlook.
The Bulls opened as 11-point home underdogs, but that number has improved to 7.5. They lost to the Bucks by 13 two weeks ago when Giannis Antetokounpo missed a triple-double by two assists. Now that Antetokounmpo is doubtful, the spread seems appropriate. If Porter is cleared to play, the spread may dip even lower.