NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 3/29

Mar 29th 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

  • Kawhi Leonard (personal) — Out

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) — Available

  • Joel Embiid (calf) — In

  • LeBron James (foot) — In

  • Anthony Davis (foot) — In

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) — Out

  • James Harden (Achilles) — In

  • Ja Morant (thigh) — Not on injury report

  • Anthony Edwards (ankle, illness) — Available

  • Lauri Markkanen (hand) — Out

  • Jimmy Butler (neck) — Available

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) — Available

  • Jalen Brunson (hand) — Available

  • Khris Middleton (injury management) — Out

  • Desmond Bane (foot) — Out

  • Jaren Jackson Jr. (calf) — Out

  • D'Angelo Russell (hip) — In

  • Myles Turner (ankle) — Out

  • Kelly Olynyk (illness) — Out

Recent NBA News

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Milwaukee Bucks News

Confirmed Lineup: Jrue Holiday, Jevon Carter, Grayson Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) — Available

  • Jrue Holiday (personal) — Not on injury report

  • Khris Middleton (injury management) — Out

  • Joe Ingles (injury management) — Available

  • Jae Crowder (injury management) — Out

  • Meyers Leonard (calf) — Out

  • Goran Dragic (knee) — Available

Middleton appears set to sit out one game of Milwaukee's upcoming back-to-back set, and he could be likelier to sit out this match than Thursday's game against Boston. Compared to the rest of their post-All-Star break production, Joe Ingles (+3.7%), Pat Connaughton (+2.5%), and Jevon Carter (+1.9%) have posted the highest usage differentials on the Bucks, while Antetokounmpo (+7.3%) and Ingles (+5.6%) have logged the highest assist rate differentials on the team in the four games Middleton has missed.

Indiana Pacers News

Confirmed Lineup: Andrew Nembhard, Bennedict Mathurin, Aaron Nesmith, Jordan Nwora, Isaiah Jackson

  • Tyrese Haliburton (ankle, elbow) — Out

  • Myles Turner (ankle) — Out

  • Buddy Hield (illness) — Out

  • Chris Duarte (ankle) — Out

Isaiah Jackson and Jalen Smith will likely continue to split center minutes nearly evenly if Turner remains out. In the 103 minutes they've played together with Haliburton and Turner off the court this season, Mathurin (24.5%), Nembhard (23.5%), and Hield (23.2%) have led the Pacers in usage, while Nembhard (+15.2%) has been the only one of the trio to record a positive assist rate differential.

Houston Rockets News

Confirmed Lineup: Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green, KJ Martin, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun

  • Jae'Sean Tate (knee) — Out

  • TyTy Washington (G League) — Out

Brooklyn Nets News

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

  • Royce O'Neale (knee) — Not on injury report

  • Seth Curry (personal) — Not on injury report

  • Edmond Sumner (hip) — Available

  • Ben Simmons (back) — Injured

Miami Heat News

Confirmed Lineup: Gabe Vincent, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love, Bam Adebayo

  • Jimmy Butler (neck) — Available

  • Kyle Lowry (knee) — Out

  • Gabe Vincent (back) — Available

  • Nikola Jovic (back) — Out

Butler should be considered likely to play after missing the first game of a back-to-back set due to a sore neck. He excelled in the first two matchups with the Knicks this month, averaging 34.0 points while leading the team with 32.1% usage and 28.6% assist rates.

New York Knicks News

Confirmed Lineup: Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson

  • Jalen Brunson (hand) — Available

  • Derrick Rose (illness) — Out

  • Duane Washington Jr. (hip) — Out

  • DaQuan Jeffries (calf) — Out

Immanuel Quickley will be demoted to the bench as he, Grimes, and Miles McBride play reduced minutes if Brunson is cleared to return. While fewer opportunities will be available in that event, it remains to be seen how Brunson's facilitating role could be affected by a sprain to his non-shooting hand.

Dallas Mavericks News

Confirmed Lineup: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock, Dwight Powell

  • Maxi Kleber (injury recovery) — Available

  • Frank Ntilikina (knee) — Out

Doncic and Irving were increasingly central to Dallas' offense for their 133-126 home win over the 76ers earlier in the month. Both players scored at least 40 points as they each attempted 22 field goals. Bullock scored 15 points on five-for-12 shooting (five-for-10 from three) and was the only other Mav to attempt more than seven shots as Hardaway Jr. came off the bench.

Philadelphia 76ers News

Confirmed Lineup: James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, PJ Tucker, Joel Embiid

  • Joel Embiid (calf) — In

  • James Harden (Achilles) — In

The remaining starters will continue playing expanded offensive roles if Embiid or Harden remain sidelined. Coach Rivers was more optimistic about Harden's chances of returning than Embiid's following Monday's game. Rivers started and utilized Dewayne Dedmon for 10.3 minutes in a three-center rotation that excluded Montrezl Harrell with Embiid sidelined Monday, a trend that could continue if Embiid remains out.

Los Angeles Lakers News

Confirmed Lineup: D'Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, LeBron James, Jarred Vanderbilt, Anthony Davis

  • LeBron James (foot) — In

  • Anthony Davis (foot) — In

  • D'Angelo Russell (hip) — In

  • Mo Bamba (ankle) — Injured

James logged 29.5 minutes off the bench as he returned for Los Angeles' 118-108 home loss to Chicago on Sunday, and he posted reduced usage (28.8%) and assist rates (17.6%) while looking to find his rhythm. He should remain similarly limited in this contest, but the remaining starters will be featured less in the offense if James is re-inserted into the starting lineup.

Chicago Bulls News

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

  • Alex Caruso (foot) — Available

  • Andre Drummond (personal) — Out

  • Javonte Green (knee) — Available

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) — Injured

LaVine led the Bulls with 32 points on 13-for-19 shooting in Chicago's 118-108 road win over the Lakers on Sunday. DeRozan scored 17 points on seven-for-13 shooting as he uncharacteristically acted as more of a facilitator and led the team with 10 assists despite Vucevic being ejected in the second quarter. Coby White finished with 13 points on five-for-17 shooting, seven rebounds, and six assists in 26.1 minutes but shouldn't be expected to be similarly featured if Vucevic logs a full game.

Los Angeles Clippers News

Confirmed Lineup: Russell Westbrook, Terance Mann, Eric Gordon, Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac

  • Kawhi Leonard (personal) — Out

  • Norman Powell (shoulder) — In

  • Marcus Morris (health protocols) — Out

  • Brandon Boston Jr. (tailbone) — Out

  • Paul George (knee) — Injured

Powell could be limited for conditioning concerns if cleared to play, but he could still serve as a sixth-man and close halves if he doesn't face a stringent restriction. While fewer offensive opportunities will be available when Powell rejoins the lineup, Gordon, Terance Mann, and Bones Hyland's roles should be affected most.

Memphis Grizzlies News

Confirmed Lineup: Ja Morant, Luke Kennard, Dillon Brooks, Santi Aldama, Xavier Tillman

  • Ja Morant (thigh) — Not on injury report

  • Desmond Bane (foot) — Out

  • Jaren Jackson Jr. (calf) — Out

  • Tyus Jones (foot) — Out

  • Xavier Tillman (ankle) — Available

  • John Konchar (hip) — Out

  • Vince Williams Jr. (shoulder) — Out

  • Ziaire Williams (foot, ankle) — Injured

  • Brandon Clarke (Achilles) — Injured

  • Steven Adams (knee) — Injured

Tyus Jones will be demoted to the bench as he, Luke Kennard, and Bane handle fewer on-ball responsibilities with Morant expected to return. The Grizzlies have posted a 4-1 record when playing the second game of a back-to-back set at home this season.

Detroit Pistons News

Confirmed Lineup: Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Isaiah Livers, Marvin Bagley, James Wiseman

  • Alec Burks (foot) — Out

  • Rodney McGruder (foot) — Out

  • Isaiah Stewart (shoulder) — Injured

  • Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles) — Injured

  • Hamidou Diallo (ankle) — Injured

  • Cade Cunningham (shin) — Injured

Oklahoma City Thunder News

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

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) — Out

  • Lindy Waters III (foot) — Out

  • Kenrich Williams (wrist) — Injured

  • Chet Holmgren (foot) — Injured

Isaiah Joe led the Thunder with 33 points on 11-for-18 shooting (six-for-11 from three) with Gilgeous-Alexander sidelined for Tuesday's 137-134 loss after shooting five-for-10 from downtown in the previous game. Giddey and Jalen Williams scored 31 points Tuesday as they and Joe were the only Thunder players to exceed 10.0 minutes and 17.1% usage.

Utah Jazz News

Confirmed Lineup: Talen Horton-Tucker, Ochai Agbaji, Simone Fontecchio, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Walker Kessler

  • Lauri Markkanen (hand) — Out

  • Kelly Olynyk (illness) — Out

  • Jordan Clarkson (finger) — Out

  • Simone Fontecchio (toe) — Available

  • Rudy Gay (back) — Out

  • Luka Samanic (signed) — TBD

  • Collin Sexton (hamstring) — Injured

Olynyk will resume acting as an offensive hub, with Agbaji and Kessler also standing to see a spike in usage if Markkanen is sidelined. In addition, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Johnny Juzang, and Samanic will be candidates to play increased minutes at forward if Markkanen and Fontecchio are unavailable.

San Antonio Spurs News

Confirmed Lineup: Tre Jones, Malaki Branham, Keita Bates-Diop, Julian Champagnie, Zach Collins

  • Keldon Johnson (injury management) — Out

  • Devin Vassell (injury management) — Out

  • Jeremy Sochan (knee) — Out

  • Charles Bassey (knee) — Injured

  • Khem Birch (knee) — Injured

Devonte' Graham (24.6%), Jones (24.0%), and Doug McDermott (23.3%) have led the team in usage, while Collins (+7.8%) has posted the highest assist rate differential among active Spurs with Johnson, Vassell, Sochan, and Josh Richardson off the floor this season. Branham and Bates-Diop will also be asked to generate additional offense, especially if Langford gets the starting nod over Graham.

Minnesota Timberwolves News

Confirmed Lineup: Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert

  • Anthony Edwards (ankle, illness) — Available

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) — Available

  • Kyle Anderson (illness) — Available

  • Taurean Prince (illness) — Out

  • Austin Rivers (illness) — Out

  • Jaylen Nowell (knee) — Out

  • Matt Ryan (illness) — Out

Towns was relatively sharp as he rejoined the lineup, functioning similarly to his pre-injury role and playing 32.1 minutes in his most recent match. Conversely, Edwards didn't face a restriction as he returned to play both sides of a back-to-back set, but he posted reduced 22.4% usage and a 43.1 eFG% as he struggled to find his rhythm offensively.

Phoenix Suns News

Confirmed Lineup: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Josh Okogie, Kevin Durant, Deandre Ayton

  • Kevin Durant (ankle) — In

Durant's time should be limited as he rejoins the lineup, and he logged 26.8 minutes when he made his team debut following his knee injury. Ayton (-11.9%), Paul (-7.7%), and Booker (-1.2%) posted negative usage differentials when they shared the floor with Durant during the first three games of his Suns tenure. All three shared the court with him for at least 22.4 minutes per game despite Durant being restricted for the first two contests.

Sacramento Kings News

Confirmed Lineup: De'Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, Domantas Sabonis

Portland Trail Blazers News

Confirmed Lineup: Shaedon Sharpe, Matisse Thybulle, Nassir Little, Kevin Knox, Drew Eubanks

  • Anfernee Simons (foot) — Out

  • Jerami Grant (quad) — Out

  • Jusuf Nurkic (knee) — Out

  • Trendon Watford (ankle) — Out

  • Cam Reddish (back) — Available

  • Skylar Mays (signee) — Out

  • Damian Lillard (calf) — Injured

  • Keon Johnson (finger) — Injured

  • Ibou Badji (knee) — Injured

  • Justise Winslow (ankle) — Injured

Keon Johnson has led the team with 26.4% usage and 34.0% assist rates during the last three games, averaging 26.3 minutes while splitting lead facilitating responsibilities with Arcidiacono. He played just 21.1 minutes in Portland's lone competitive match. Little (25.3%) and Sharpe (24.8%) led the Trail Blazers' projected starters in usage during those contests. It appears that Johnson will thrive in blowouts, while Sharpe and Little will shoulder more of the offense in competitive matches.