Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Zach Lavine
- 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 Monday night: the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.
- This piece will detail the impact of the injuries to Zach LaVine and Jeff Teague.
Tonight’s eight-game NBA slate doesn’t feature a ton of notable news, but there are situations worth monitoring for the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Bulls SG Zach LaVine (ankle) is out.
Injury Background: LaVine missed Saturday’s contest vs. the Spurs and has already been ruled out for the final games of Chicago’s road trip. He remains without a timetable for return, so it’s possible he could miss games when the team returns to Chicago as well.
Tonight’s impact: Kris Dunn recently returned from an injury of his own and was expected to be eased back into the rotation, but that plan apparently went out the window after the injury to LaVine.
He entered the starting lineup in the Bulls’ last game and ultimately logged 35.75 minutes. He led the starting unit with a usage rate of 27.4%, resulting in 40.75 DraftKings points, and he’s seen a team-high usage bump of +5.9% with LaVine off the floor this season. His salary has skyrocketed on FanDuel, but his $6,200 salary on DraftKings is reasonable and results in a Bargain Rating of 98%.
Lauri Markkanen figures to be another beneficiary of LaVine’s absence. He’s started each of the Bulls’ past six games and is coming off a season-high 36.5 minutes in his most recent contest. He’s averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute since returning from injury, and that figure has increased to 1.11 DraftKings points per minute with LaVine off the court. He looks like a strong value at just $6,500 on DraftKings.
Unfortunately, neither player is in a particularly good spot today vs. the Thunder. They rank first in the league in defensive efficiency, and the Bulls’ resulting implied team total of 99.75 points is tied for the lowest mark on the slate. They’re also massive 13-point underdogs, and the starters will likely play reduced minutes if this game turns into a blowout.
Timberwolves PG Jeff Teague (ankle) is questionable.
Injury Background: Teague popped up on the injury report this morning but has a long history of ankle injuries. He’s also struggled to shoot the ball over his past eight games, making just 33.8% of his shots from the field, so the Timberwolves could choose to exercise caution with him.
Tonight’s impact: Derrick Rose looks like the most likely candidate to replace Teague in the starting lineup, and he’s seen a team-high usage bump of +3.6% with Teague off the floor this season. He’s averaged 1.04 FanDuel points per minute in that situation, and his $6,100 salary comes with a FantasyLabs’ Bargain Rating of 86%.
That said, Rose has played at least 32.5 minutes in two of his past three games, so he doesn’t figure to see much of a boost in playing time if Teague is out of the lineup. Tyus Jones would likely soak up the majority of Teague’s minutes and serve as the backup PG if he’s ultimately unable to suit up.
Karl-Anthony Towns has also seen a bump in usage with Teague off the court this season and is in a great spot vs. the Sacramento Kings. They’ve struggled with opposing big men all season, giving Towns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.93 on DraftKings.
The Timberwolves look like one of the best team targets of the day in an extreme pace-up spot: Their implied team total of 120.0 points is the top mark on the slate by a margin of five points. They would be an extremely appealing target if they’re shorthanded.
Minnesota has been much better since acquiring Robert Covington, outscoring teams by an average of 4.3 points per 100 possessions. They could be slightly undervalued after losing four games in a row, including one on the road vs. the Kings last Wednesday.