Thursday’s NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Cavaliers Injuries
Photo credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kevin Love
- 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 Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova.
Thursday’s NBA slate features three games with a few injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze one key situation.
- Cleveland Cavaliers at Sacramento Kings: 10 p.m. ET
Injuries: Kevin Love (shoulder) and Matthew Dellavedova (concussion) are out.
Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: Tristan Thompson has also been ruled out.
Injury background: Love missed the previous two games due to a sore left shoulder. Dellavedova has been sidelined since March 8 and remains in the concussion protocol.
Love has missed five games since the All-Star break, and his replacements in the starting lineup have ranged from David Nwaba to Larry Nance Jr. to Marquese Chriss. The Cavs went 1-4 in those games and 1-6 without Love since he returned to the lineup in February.
In the five games Love missed since the beginning of March, every Cavs rotation player averaged a positive FantasyLabs’ Plus/Minus on DraftKings, per the NBA On/Off tool. Collin Sexton has led them all with 27.8 FanDuel points and 36.4 minutes per game.
Among the frontcourt options, Tristan Thompson has supplied plenty of value as his minutes have increased sans Love. Thompson has played at least 20 minutes in three straight games. Should he continue to play around 25 minutes, he’ll be a reliable value play. Centers have averaged the fourth-highest DraftKings Plus/Minus when projected for at least 20 minutes against the Kings over the last two months, per the Trends tool.
When Love has been off the court during Dellavedova’s hiatus, Thompson has led the Cavs with a +3.7% usage rate differential and averaged a team-high 1.03 DraftKings points per minute — the same per-minute production as Ante Zizic. Thompson has also experienced a +3.3% rebound rate differential sans Love, and Nance Jr. has been the only rotation player whose usage rate hasn’t increased.
The Cavs had a Defensive Rating of at least 123.5 in four of the last five games Love missed — landing in the bottom 13th percentile. When Love has been off the court the last 13 games Dellavedova has missed, the Cavs have recorded a 118.3 Defensive Rating and a better-than-expected -4.4 Net Rating.
The Kings have exceeded 118 points once in their last eight games, and they’ve dropped out of the bottom five in pace since Nemanja Bjelica returned to the starting lineup in March. The Cavs have ranked in the bottom four in pace over the same time frame. The Kings are a clear favorite, and tonight’s suspense will likely hinge on their ability to clear their 118.75 implied total.