Wednesday’s NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Kyrie Irving, Grizzlies, Warriors Injuries
Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier
- There are 11 games on tonight's NBA slate, many featuring injuries to key players as they enter the All-Star break.
- We break down the betting and DFS impact for four key games in Wednesday's NBA Injury Report.
Wednesday’s NBA slate features 11 games with a plethora of injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze four that matter most:
- Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Memphis Grizzlies at Chicago Bulls: 8 p.m. ET
- Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves: 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers: 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Injury background: Kyrie Irving (knee) missed the second half of Saturday’s loss and didn’t travel for Tuesday’s win in Philadelphia after suffering a sprained right knee.
He’s listed as out tonight, and backup PG Terry Rozier has also been listed as doubtful with an illness.
Tonight’s impact: From our FantasyLabs news feed: Rozier has started every game that Irving has missed this season, and this would be the first game that both have missed if Rozier is unable to suit up.
Jaylen Brown or Gordon Hawyard seem like the most logical candidates to move into the starting lineup, with Marcus Smart shifting over to the PG position. Bradley Wanamaker should also be more involved in the rotation, and he’s averaged a respectable 0.84 DraftKings points per minute this season.
The Celtics haven’t played many minutes with both of their top PG options off the court, but Jayson Tatum has thrived in that situation. He’s seen a usage bump of +7.4% with both Irving and Rozier off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.30 DraftKings points per minute.
Brown, Hayward and Al Horford have also seen large boosts in usage rate and fantasy production in that situation, making the Celtics an appealing team to target on today’s slate.
Injuries: Mike Conley (illness) and Kyle Anderson (shoulder) are TBD.
Update at 5 p.m. ET: Conley will play. Anderson is out. For more information, visit the FantasyLabs news page.
Injury background: Conley was added to the injury report yesterday afternoon and was ruled out 90 minutes before tip.
Anderson will meet with a shoulder specialist during the All-Star break.
Tonight’s impact: Delon Wright drew the start Tuesday in his second game with the Grizzlies, but it was Avery Bradley who exploded for double Wright’s output on 15-of-21 shooting — a performance that can’t be replicated.
Wright could be a decent value option if Conley is ruled out again, and Joakim Noah would hold utility as the second-unit playmaker.
Coach JB Bickerstaff said Ivan Rabb would remain the starting center for some time. Rabb played 13 minutes in Tuesday’s loss after picking up two fouls in the first four minutes. Jonas Valanciunas, in his first game since dislocating his thumb in December, posted 37 FanDuel points in 21 minutes off the bench.
Valanciunas should be on plenty of radars barring a night of rest. Bulls coach Jim Boylen trimmed his rotation to nine players in Monday’s loss and used Otto Porter at center with the second unit. That won’t work against the Grizzlies if they continue to bring Valanciunas off the bench, nor will any other option the Bulls have in reserve.
The Grizzlies are implied to score 100.75 points, yet the Bulls have allowed 120.4 points over the last five games. Unsustainable shooting from Bradley helped the Grizzlies net 107 points last night, but they’ve failed to hit the century mark in six of the previous seven games.
The availability of Kris Dunn, who is currently questionable with a bruised back, could be the key to determining whether to go high or low on the Grizzlies’ team total. Dunn’s 112.6 Defensive Rating since Boylen took over is the highest among current Bulls’ rotation players, and Dunn was clearly laboring Monday after landing on his back.
Injuries: Andrew Wiggins (illness) is questionable. Tyus Jones (ankle) is doubtful. Derrick Rose (ankle) is probable. Robert Covington (knee) is out.
Injury background: Wiggins missed Monday’s win with an illness, and he wasn’t at Tuesday’s practice.
Jones has been sidelined since Jan. 18 with a sprained ankle.
Rose has been battling ankle issues for much of the season.
Okogie briefly left Monday’s game due to a hip pointer, but he wasn’t limited during Tuesday’s practice. He’s not included on the injury report.
Tonight’s impact: Dario Saric replaced Taj Gibson in the starting lineup Monday, and Luol Deng started in place of Wiggins. Deng played 37 minutes for the first time since the 2015-16 season, and his salary has already jumped to $4,100 on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Interim coach Ryan Saunders doesn’t intend to alternate starters, which will leave Saric as the starting forward Wednesday. Saric has been better as a starter this season, dating back to his time with the Sixers. He’ll be a solid value option at $4,600 on DraftKings, and he could be in line for more minutes tonight after picking up two fouls in the first two minutes Monday.
Karl-Anthony Towns has averaged 53.13 FanDuel points in 12 career regular-season games against the Rockets, per the Trends tool. His recent production has ebbed and flowed, but the Rockets are an incredible matchup for frontcourt players.
The Rockets have averaged the second-lowest rebound rate since Clint Capela suffered his thumb injury one month ago, and they’ve yielded a league-high 53.3 points in the paint per game, per NBA.com.
Opponents have converted 67% of their shots at the rim — third-highest mark — in Capela’s absence, and the Wolves have attempted 38% of their shots from that zone over that last month.
Towns has played 296 minutes sans Wiggins and Jimmy Butler, and he’s averaged 1.56 DraftKings points per minute and a 34% usage rate– both team-highs. On a night with plenty of value at center, Towns will offer a pivot play when spending up.
Golden State Warriors
Injuries: DeMarcus Cousins (rest) and Shaun Livingston (rest) are out.
Injury background: The Warriors are playing on consecutive days for the first time since mid-January, prior to Cousins’ debut. He and Livingston will be rested the final game before the All-Star break.
Klay Thompson briefly left Tuesday’s win during the first half after suffering a sprained left ring finger, but coach Steve Kerr confirmed Thompson will play tonight.
Tonight’s impact: Kevon Looney was the starting center after Damian Jones suffered a torn pectoral and before Cousins made his season debut. During that stretch, Looney averaged 21.9 DraftKings points in 23.3 minutes per game.
The Warriors went 1-1 against the Blazers with Looney as the starting center. Those games were played consecutively at the end of December, and Blazers’ center Jusuf Nurkic posted 47.5 and 47.0 DraftKings points as starting centers demolished the Warriors for all of that month.
Looney exceeded salary-based expectations in all three games against the Blazers this season, but his low ceiling establishes his utility toward cash games as a cheap option. Nurkic, on the other hand, possesses immense upside and his salary has dropped to $7,400 on DraftKings for the first time in 2019.
Thompson has averaged 41.93 DraftKings points and a team-high FantasyLabs’ +11.47 DraftKings Plus/Minus, per the Trends tool, in the first three games against the Blazers.