NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 2/28

Feb 28th 2023

Connor Learn

Each day, this column will provide live updates for all NBA news. Enjoy up-to-the-minute alerts for injuries and lineup confirmations. The Key News to Watch section will highlight notable injuries to monitor for the current NBA slate.

Key NBA News to Watch

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (quad) — Available

  • Anthony Davis (foot) — Available

  • De'Aaron Fox (wrist) — Out

  • Kristaps Porzingis (knee) — Out

  • Jamal Murray (back) — Available

  • Rudy Gobert (illness) — Available

  • Kevin Porter Jr. (foot) — Out

  • Aaron Gordon (rib) — In

  • Michael Porter Jr. (injury management) — Available

  • D'Angelo Russell (ankle) — Out

  • Ivica Zubac (calf) — In

  • Draymond Green (knee) — Available

  • Tre Jones (foot) — Out

  • Monte Morris (back) — Out

Recent NBA News

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Washington Wizards News

Confirmed Lineup: Delon Wright, Bradley Beal, Deni Avdija, Kyle Kuzma, Daniel Gafford

  • Monte Morris (back) — Out

  • Kristaps Porzingis (knee) — Out

Gafford and Avdija should continue playing additional time while Beal and Kuzma shoulder more offensive responsibilities with Porzingis expected to remain out. Beal has logged a +3.9% assist rate differential in games Morris has missed this season, including when he led the Wizards with eight assists Sunday.

Atlanta Hawks News

Confirmed Lineup: Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, De'Andre Hunter, John Collins, Clint Capela

The makeup of Atlanta's offense should remain fairly similar despite Quin Snyder taking over. The Hawks have finished possessions through pick-and-roll ball handlers at the highest frequency of their possessions (21.3%) this season. The Jazz led the league in that regard last season, with pick-and-roll ball handlers finishing possessions at a 22.9% clip.

Milwaukee Bucks News

Confirmed Lineup: Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (quad) — Available

  • Wesley Matthews (calf) — Injured

Holiday and Lopez should be less central to the offensive effort while Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles primarily lose time with Antetokounmpo expected to rejoin the lineup.

Brooklyn Nets News

Confirmed Lineup: Spencer Dinwiddie, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nic Claxton

  • Edmond Sumner (personal) — Out

  • Yuta Watanabe (back) — Out

  • Ben Simmons (knee) — Injured

Dinwiddie hasn't yet committed to playing aggressively in his second Nets stint. Despite his 71.0 touches per game during the last six matches leading the team by a wide margin, he's logged 21.6% usage and a 26.0% assist rate. Dinwiddie posted 29.7% usage and a 42.0% assist rate when asked to play a similar role with Luka Doncic sidelined for the Mavs this season.

Chicago Bulls News

Confirmed Lineup: Patrick Beverley, Alex Caruso, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic

  • Goran Dragic (knee) — Injured

  • Javonte Green (knee) — Injured

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) — Injured

DeRozan has never scored 30 or more points against the Raptors, and he's averaged 14.5 points on a severely diminished 16.2% usage rate in two games against Toronto so far this season despite LaVine missing one of those matches.

Toronto Raptors News

Confirmed Lineup: Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl

  • Fred VanVleet (personal) — In

  • Christian Koloko (ankle) — Available

  • Dalano Banton (thumb) — Out

  • Juancho Hernangomez (waived) — Out

  • Will Barton (signee) — Available

  • Otto Porter (toe) — Injured

Opportunities will decline across the lineup in VanVleet's return, but Siakam and Gary Trent Jr.'s roles should decrease most sharply. The Raptors and Bulls played two games that finished with 217 points or less in November, long before Chicago's defense improved dramatically.

Los Angeles Lakers News

Confirmed Lineup: Dennis Schroder, Malik Beasley, Troy Brown Jr., Jarred Vanderbilt, Anthony Davis

  • Anthony Davis (foot) — Available

  • D'Angelo Russell (ankle) — Out

  • LeBron James (foot) — Injured

Schroder, Beasley, Davis, and Austin Reaves should assume expanded facilitating roles, with Schroder taking the lead. Davis (32.2%), Beasley (28.7%), and Schroder (24.4%) have led the Lakers in usage with James and Russell Westbrook off the court this season.

Memphis Grizzlies News

Confirmed Lineup: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Xavier Tillman

  • Steven Adams (knee) — Injured

Denver Nuggets News

Confirmed Lineup: Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic

  • Jamal Murray (back) — Available

  • Aaron Gordon (rib) — In

  • Michael Porter Jr. (injury management) — Available

  • Zeke Nnaji (shoulder) — Out

Bruce Brown has typically started when Murray hasn't been available this season, but Murray hasn't missed a game since Reggie Jackson made his team debut. If Murray is ruled out against the Rockets, Brown would still project to start, but Jackson could play a more prominent sixth-man role.

Houston Rockets News

Confirmed Lineup: Jalen Green, Daishen Nix, KJ Martin, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun

  • Jalen Green (groin) — Not on injury report

  • Kevin Porter Jr. (foot) — Out

  • Jae'Sean Tate (injury maintenance) — Out

  • Willie Cauley-Stein (signed) — TBD

Green and Porter Jr. fully practiced Saturday, which could help their chances of avoiding a stringent restriction. Fewer shots will be available with Green rejoining the lineup, and Houston's offense would be increasingly guard-centric if Porter Jr. also returns. Sengun could cease to act as an offensive hub in that event after posting a +5.4% assist rate differential in games Porter Jr. has missed this season.

Sacramento Kings News

Confirmed Lineup: Davion Mitchell, Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, Domantas Sabonis

  • De'Aaron Fox (wrist) — Out

Davion Mitchell has averaged 27.6 minutes while starting the five games Fox has missed this season but recorded 14.8% usage and an 18.5% assist rate during those contests. As a result, there were additional opportunities to claim during those games: Malik Monk (+3.0%), Barnes (+2.8%), and Huerter (+2.7%) logged positive usage differentials, while Sabonis led the starters with a 25.8% assist rate.

Oklahoma City Thunder News

Confirmed Lineup: Josh Giddey, Isaiah Joe, Lu Dort, Jalen Williams, Jaylin Williams

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle, abdominal, health protocols) — Out

  • Ousmane Dieng (G League) — Out

  • Lindy Waters (G League) — Out

  • Aleksej Pokusevski (leg) — Injured

  • Chet Holmgren (foot) — Injured

Primarily due to Dort (24.7%), Joe (23.0%), and Jalen Williams (21.9%) leading the Thunder in usage with Gilgeous-Alexander sidelined during the last two matches, the Thunder have attempted an additional 5.3 threes per game more than their season-long average. That included shooting 16-for-40 (40.0%) in their 124-115 loss to the Kings on Sunday. Sacramento should remain vulnerable from downtown, and they've allowed the second-most made threes per game (14.5) during their last 15 matches.

Indiana Pacers News

Confirmed Lineup: Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner

Dallas Mavericks News

Confirmed Lineup: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Justin Holiday, Reggie Bullock, Dwight Powell

  • Maxi Kleber (hamstring) — Available

  • Davis Bertans (calf) — Injured

Holiday was given a surprise start Sunday, finishing with six points and zero rebounds on two-for-five shooting from three in 28.4 minutes. As a result, Tim Hardaway Jr. (24.2) and Josh Green (15.6) logged reduced minutes.

San Antonio Spurs News

Confirmed Lineup: Malaki Branham, Keldon Johnson, Keita Bates-Diop, Jeremy Sochan, Zach Collins

  • Tre Jones (foot) — Out

  • Romeo Langford (adductor) — Out

  • Isaiah Roby (ankle) — Out

  • Devin Vassell (knee) — Injured

  • Khem Birch (knee) — Injured

Though Jones will likely be restricted if cleared to return, Keita Bates-Diop or Malaki Branham would likely be demoted to the bench. Devonte' Graham and Blake Wesley also stand to play reduced time as facilitating responsibilities for the remaining starters will decrease in that event.

Utah Jazz News

Confirmed Lineup: Talen Horton-Tucker, Ochai Agbaji, Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, Walker Kessler

  • Jordan Clarkson (thumb) — Out

  • Collin Sexton (hamstring) — Injured

Kris Dunn was sharp off the bench Saturday and played nearly equal minutes to Horton-Tucker. Both players and Olynyk should handle additional facilitating responsibilities with Clarkson joining Sexton on the inactive list. Markkanen, Olynyk, and Horton-Tucker's usage figures to increase most until Clarkson rejoins the lineup.

Portland Trail Blazers News

Confirmed Lineup: Damian Lillard, Matisse Thybulle, Cam Reddish, Jerami Grant, Drew Eubanks

  • Ryan Arcidiacono (back) — Out

  • Ibou Badji (knee) — Out

  • Anfernee Simons (ankle) — Injured

  • Jusuf Nurkic (calf) — Injured

  • Justise Winslow (ankle) — Injured

While Grant, in particular, should be given additional offensive opportunities, and Lillard won't score 71 points again, Lillard could be poised for another strong game. An Oakland native, Lillard has averaged 31.0 points in his last five road games against the Warriors, who remain without three of their top perimeter defenders. Additionally, Golden State has allowed the ninth-most points per 100 possessions (117.3) and the seventh-most made threes (13.0) per game across their previous 10 contests.

Golden State Warriors News

Confirmed Lineup: Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney

  • Draymond Green (knee) — Available

  • Andrew Wiggins (personal) — Out

  • Andre Iguodala (hip) — Out

  • Gary Payton II (adductor) — Injured

  • Stephen Curry (leg) — Injured

The Trail Blazers have posted the worst defensive rating (124.9) by a significant margin as they've allowed the sixth-most made threes (13.8) and the fifth-most points in the paint per game (55.7) since shaking up their roster for the last six matches. However, Matisse Thybulle has typically defended lead guards while in the starting lineup for Portland, which creates potential for additional usage to funnel from Poole to Thompson and DiVincenzo.

Minnesota Timberwolves News

Confirmed Lineup: Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Kyle Anderson, Rudy Gobert

  • Rudy Gobert (illness) — Available

  • Taurean Prince (personal) — Available

  • Jaylen Nowell (knee) — Out

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) — Injured

Due largely to coach Lue's insistence on utilizing smaller lineups to space the floor against Gobert's teams, Gobert has averaged 16.8 points and 16.6 rebounds in five games against the Clippers during the last two seasons.

Los Angeles Clippers News

Confirmed Lineup: Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris, Ivica Zubac

  • Ivica Zubac (calf) — In

Nicolas Batum secured seven rebounds in 30.7 minutes in his one game against the Timberwolves this season because of Lue's preference to go small against Gobert. George grabbed 11 boards, and Leonard finished with eight rebounds in their only games against Minnesota this season because of the reliance on smaller lineups.