Monday’s NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Blake Griffin, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler Injuries
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Blake Griffin, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler
- The NBA Injury Report details the slate's key injuries and their betting and DFS impact.
- We're focusing on Blake Griffin, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler on Monday.
Monday night’s NBA slate features nine games with injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze the following two:
- Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers: 7 p.m. ET
- Philadelphia 76ers at Dallas Mavericks: 8:30 p.m. ET
Pistons PF Blake Griffin (Knee) Is Out
Injury background: Griffin was an extremely late scratch on Saturday due to a sore left knee, and he’s already been confirmed out for Monday’s game against the Pacers.
Langston Galloway and Luke Kennard are dealing with an illness and weren’t able to participate in shootaround. Both are currently listed as questionable.
Tonight’s impact: The Pistons have gone 1-3 without Griffin this season, and Thon Maker has entered the starting lineup in the past two games Griffin has missed. Glenn Robinson III has entered the rotation to average 19 minutes off the bench but has failed to provide any upside.
Maker has predictably seen the largest increase in playing time as interim starter, but his results also haven’t fared well: In his two starts, Maker has averaged just 0.61 DraftKings points per minute, per the NBA On/Off tool. However, his $3,600 salary on FanDuel is valuable as the lowest score can be dropped and extra cap can be spent on other studs.
If choosing to save at the center position on FD with Maker, then Andre Drummond would be out of the equation. Drummond has a more favorable price on DK, though, where he carries a 93% Bargain Rating. When Griffin has been off the court since the All-Star break, Drummond has averaged a stout 1.56 DK points per minute. Drummond has also averaged a team-high 1.46 DK points per minute in two prior games against the Pacers this season, both of which Griffin also played.
Reggie Jackson has benefitted from a usage rate increase with Griffin off the court, but the Pacers rank first in Defensive Efficiency against opposing point guards this season. Minutes are also an issue, as Drummond and Griffin are the only two players to average more than 27 minutes over the past five games. If Galloway and Kennard are unable to play, Wayne Ellington would make for a viable punt play with a tighter rotation.
The Pacers are without two starters in Darren Collison (groin) and Wes Matthews (hamstring), and the Pistons have a worse Offensive Rating but better Defensive Rating with Griffin off the court this season. These factors have led the total to drop to a slate-worst 204 points, limiting upside for stacking several DFS options on either team.
Sixers C Joel Embiid (Rest) Is Out, SG Jimmy Butler (Back) Is Out
Injury background: Embiid did not travel with the team on its current three-game road trip due to load management. The Sixers are ensuring that Embiid will be as healthy as possible heading into the playoffs, as the team is essentially locked into the third seed.
Butler has been ruled out on Monday with back tightness and will be day-to-day moving forward.
Tonight’s impact: Monday marks just the second game without Embiid and Butler since Butler was acquired in mid-November. Jonah Bolden will make his second consecutive start while James Ennis will replace Butler in the starting lineup.
In Saturday’s win without Embiid, Bolden logged more than 31 minutes and exploded for a season-high 43.5 DK points. He’ll remain an intriguing tournament target with a sub-$5k salary on both DK and FD. Mike Scott led the reserves with 19.9 minutes and backup center Boban Marjanovic was held to just 7.2 minutes.
Tobias Harris has seen a usage bump of +8.0% with both Butler and Embiid off the court since arriving in Philadelphia on Feb. 8, resulting in an average of 1.15 DK points per minute. He’s an elite target at $7,200 on FD given his Bargain Rating of 90%.
Ben Simmons is coming off 52.25 DK points in his last game and has carried a monster workload with Embiid out of the lineup recently. At $9,000 on DK, he represents a fantastic option with a high floor and ceiling thanks to the triple-double bonus.
The Mavs will likely be without Luka Doncic (thigh), leaving three of the game’s top four players on the sidelines. Both teams have experienced a worse Offensive Rating with the injured players off the court, and value could be found on taking the under.