NBA Injury Report: Impact of Draymond Green, Steph Curry Injuries vs. Rockets
- 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 multiple injuries to analyze on Thursday night: the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks.
Thursday’s slate features just three games, headlined by Warriors-Rockets at 8 p.m. ET on TNT. Stephen Curry will miss the affair, and Draymond Green is currently questionable. Below I’ll break down the impact of those injuries.
Golden State Warriors
Injuries: Draymond Green (toe) is questionable, and Stephen Curry (groin) is out.
Injury background: Green missed two games last week because of a sprained right toe before playing 43 minutes in Monday’s overtime loss. He was then suspended for Tuesday’s game, and he’s presently listed as questionable against the Rockets with last week’s injury.
Stephen Curry (groin) remains sidelined for the upcoming three-game road trip.
Tonight’s impact: Green starts games at power forward and closes them at center. Jonas Jerebko started two of the three games Green sat recently, and Jordan Bell started the other. Bell got in foul trouble in that one as Giannis Antetokounmpo’s primary defender.
Kevon Looney started the final four games of the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Rockets after Andre Iguodala suffered a knee injury. Looney has exceeded salary-based expectations in four of the last five games, and even if coach Steve Kerr continues to bring him off the bench behind Damian Jones, he could be a valuable punt option at less than $4,000 on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Quinn Cook exceeded 30.0 DraftKings points in the two games Curry and Green both missed. In the overtime loss, Green and Durant relegated Cook into a low-usage spot-up shooter.
Durant will dominate usage whether Green sits or plays, but Cook’s role will change for the better if Green is unavailable. When Cook has played with Green, he’s averaged 0.53 DraftKings points per minute, per the FantasyLabs on/off tool. However, with Green off the court, Cook’s per-minute average has doubled to 1.06.
When Curry and Green have been off the court this season, Durant has registered team-high marks of 36.8% usage, (2.9% higher than that of league-leader James Harden), 43.3% assist rate (second in the league) and 1.65 DraftKings points per minute. His salary hasn’t budged over the last week, and paying up for him or Harden may rest on Green’s availability.
Injuries: Alex Len (ankle) is questionable, John Collins (ankle) is doubtful and Dewayne Dedmon (personal) is out.
Injury background: Dedmon remains away from the team due to the impending birth of his child.
Collins received an injection in his left ankle on October 8 to fix mild inflammation and missed the final three preseason contests. He’s finally been upgraded from out, but he’s currently doubtful to make his season debut.
Len was a new addition to the injury report due to a sprained left ankle.
Tonight’s impact: Len has started every game at center this season and was given the job at the start of the season because Dedmon was sidelined with an ankle avulsion.
Miles Plumlee has been the primary backup center in the games Dedmon has missed this season, and in the last two games Dedmon played, coach Lloyd Pierce utilized all three centers.
In November, Len has ranked third on the Hawks with a 21.9% usage rate, and he’s one of six Hawks averaging between 20-30 minutes per game. With Dedmon out of the mix the last two games, Len played 27 and a season-high 32 minutes.
Plumlee and Omari Spellman, the current starting power forward, would likely consume most of the center minutes if Len and Collins are ruled out. Spellman would likely slide up to center with the second unit, yielding more minutes for Vince Carter and Alex Poythress in the frontcourt rotation.
Poythress has received a few minutes at center this season, and he played seven more minutes than Spellman in Tuesday’s loss. Listed at 6-foot-7, Poythress isn’t a long-term solution at the 5, but he costs the minimum on DraftKings and may enter the radar as a flier.
Since the Nuggets run Nikola Jokic and Mason Plumlee at center, Miles Plumlee would likely receive substantial minutes to match their size if Len is unable to play. Plumlee has notched a team-high 1.08 DraftKings points per minute sans Len and Dedmon.
When Len and Dedmon have been off the court this season, the Hawks have recorded a 90.4 Offensive Rating and 113.9 Defensive Rating, per Cleaning the Glass. Neither mark bodes well for the Hawks on the road against the Nuggets, a team presently favored by 12 points and riding a four-game losing streak in which their Defensive Rating (114.6 points allowed per 100 possessions) has ranked 29th.