Wednesday’s NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Mavericks, Grizzlies Injuries
Photo credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Conley
- 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 Mike Conley, Luka Doncic and more.
Wednesday’s NBA slate features 12 games with numerous injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze two situations:
- Minnesota Timberwolves at Dallas Mavericks: 8:30 p.m. ET
- Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers: 10 p.m. ET
Injuries: Luka Doncic (thigh) and Dorian Finney-Smith (mouth) are questionable.
Injury background: Coach Rick Carlisle had the skinny on Doncic’s injury prior to Monday’s win:
“He still got swelling in the knee. He took a knee-to-knee hit on Thursday night early in the game, but he finished the game. But he certainly didn’t look like himself the rest of the game. It’s been a little bit slow, so we’re not going to rush it.”
Finney-Smith suffered a mouth laceration late in the fourth quarter in Monday’s win after catching a Jonah Bolden elbow to the face, and he sat the final five minutes.
Tonight’s impact: Courtney Lee has started sans Doncic the last two games, both unlikely wins for the Mavs. Lee didn’t play more than 18 minutes in either start, splitting time with Ryan Broekhoff and Daryl Macon.
The 11-man rotation coach Carlisle has deployed in Doncic’s absence generates caution. Devin Harris went from in the rotation to a DNP-CD on Monday, and minutes for the starters and reserves have fluctuated dramatically.
When Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. (leg) have been off the court since the All-Star break, Trey Burke has led the guards with 1.0 DraftKings point per minute and a 26.6% usage rate. Dirk Nowitzki’s per-minute production has been slightly better compared to Burke’s, and he’s been at a similar usage rate.
The Timberwolves have possessed the highest Defensive Rating (118.1) since the All-Star break, and that figure has increased to 122.5 on the road. Opponents have converted on a league-high 42.5% of their 3-point attempts against the Wolves over that span, and the Mavs have ranked second in 3-point rate.
The Mavs currently have the sixth-worst record (tied with the Grizzlies), and their 2019 draft pick is top-five protected. Carlisle said there is no reason to rush Doncic back from injury, and if the Mavs are intent on retaining their upcoming lottery selection, lineups and minutes could get funky tonight following consecutive wins.
Injuries: Mike Conley (ankle) is doubtful. Joakim Noah (knee) is questionable. Jonas Valanciunas (ankle), Kyle Anderson (shoulder), Avery Bradley (shin), Dillon Brooks (toe), Jaren Jackson Jr. (quad) and C.J. Miles (foot) are out.
Injury background: Valanciunas suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain Sunday, and he won’t play again this season.
Conley missed Sunday’s loss after spraining his ankle in Saturday’s win. He missed four games in March.
Noah missed five of the previous six games with a sore right knee. He was limited to nine minutes in the other game dealing with the injury.
Tonight’s impact: Valanciunas’ absence opens up a ton of usage and plenty of minutes at center. If Noah is cleared to play without restrictions, he could end up being a valuable commodity. He averaged 1.24 DraftKings points per minute in March.
If Noah is ruled out, the attention will shift to Ivan Rabb as the only healthy nominal center on the roster — and he’s listed the same height as Chandler Parsons. Bruno Caboclo, Yuta Watanabe or Julian Washburn could be forced into center minutes if the Grizzlies don’t add anyone before the end of the season.
Conley’s absence will allow Tyler Dorsey and Delon Wright to start in the backcourt for the fourth time this season. The Grizzlies are 1-2 with that duo at the helm. The rest of the guards minutes will likely filter to Jevon Carter and Dusty Hannahs — two uninspiring options.
Dorsey is far cheaper than Wright on FanDuel and DraftKings, and when he’s started in games without Conley this season, he’s averaged 35.42 DraftKings points.
The Blazers have maintained a top-10 Defensive Rating in the last four games without Jusuf Nurkic, and the Grizzlies have etched a 100.8 Offensive Rating when the injured players and those no longer on the roster have been off the court. The Grizzlies’ current implied total of 102.5 appears ambitious and unapproachable.