NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 3/31

Mar 31st 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

  • Nikola Jokic (calf) — Out

  • LeBron James (foot) — In

  • Anthony Davis (foot) — In

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) — Available

  • Jayson Tatum (hip) — In

  • Jaylen Brown (back) — In

  • Kawhi Leonard (personal) — In

  • Anthony Edwards (illness) — Available

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (illness) — Available

  • Jamal Murray (injury management) — Out

  • Kristaps Porzingis (illness) — Out

  • Keldon Johnson (foot) — In

  • Tobias Harris (illness) — Out

  • Kelly Oubre (shoulder) — Out

  • Jarrett Allen (groin) — Out

  • Myles Turner (ankle) — Out

  • Devin Vassell (injury management) — Out

  • Kelly Olynyk (illness) — Available

  • Michael Porter Jr. (injury management) — Out

  • Gordon Hayward (thumb) — Out

  • De'Andre Hunter (knee) — Out

  • KJ Martin (hip) — Available

  • Robert Williams (injury management) — Out

  • Al Horford (back) — Out

Recent NBA News

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Chicago Bulls News

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

  • Alex Caruso (foot) — Available

  • Andre Drummond (personal) — Available

  • Javonte Green (knee) — Available

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) — Injured

Charlotte Hornets News

Confirmed Lineup: Theo Maledon, Bryce McGowens, Svi Mykhailiuk, PJ Washington, Mark Williams

  • Terry Rozier (foot) — Out

  • Kelly Oubre (shoulder) — Out

  • Gordon Hayward (thumb) — Out

  • Dennis Smith Jr. (toe) — Out

  • Kobi Simmons (signed) — TBD

  • Cody Martin (knee) — Injured

  • LaMelo Ball (ankle) — Injured

Theo Maledon led the Hornets with nine assists Tuesday, and Mykhailiuk logged eight. Both players will retain elevated facilitating roles if Smith Jr. remains out. Additionally, Bryce McGowens and JT Thor will continue playing increased minutes if Oubre is sidelined. Washington won't repeat scoring a career-high 43 points on 16-for-24 shooting, but his offensive role will remain similarly vaulted if Oubre is unavailable.

Oklahoma City Thunder News

Confirmed Lineup: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, Jaylin Williams

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) — Available

  • Lindy Waters III (foot) — Available

  • Kenrich Williams (wrist) — Injured

  • Chet Holmgren (foot) — Injured

Joe (+6.9%) and Jalen Williams (+6.3%) have posted the highest usage differentials on the Thunder, while Josh Giddey (+10.3%) and Jalen Williams (+5.2%) have logged positive assist rate differentials in the three matches Gilgeous-Alexander and Waters III have missed this month. Additionally, Aaron Wiggins led Oklahoma City's reserves by averaging 23.5 minutes during those contests, largely due to playing 22.2 more minutes than any other bench player Wednesday.

Indiana Pacers News

Confirmed Lineup: Andrew Nembhard, Bennedict Mathurin, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Jalen Smith

  • Tyrese Haliburton (ankle, elbow) — Out

  • Myles Turner (ankle) — Out

  • Buddy Hield (illness) — Not on injury report

  • Aaron Nesmith (leg) — Not on injury report

  • Chris Duarte (ankle) — Out

Coach Carlisle deployed TJ McConnell strictly as the backup point guard Wednesday, leading to Andrew Nembhard posting a career-high 15 assists. Nembhard could similarly handle more facilitating responsibilities, and Jordan Nwora could start over Hield if Carlisle continues to stress youth development at this point in the season.

Toronto Raptors News

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

  • Gary Trent Jr. (elbow) — Out

  • Will Barton (ankle) — Out

  • Dalano Banton (thumb) — Out

  • Joe Wieskamp (hamstring) — Available

  • Otto Porter (toe) — Injured

Philadelphia 76ers News

Confirmed Lineup: James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, De'Anthony Melton, PJ Tucker, Joel Embiid

  • Tobias Harris (illness) — Out

Harden led the team with 38.4 minutes, and Embiid played 33.1 minutes as they returned Wednesday. Coach Rivers said his goal for the rest of the season is to wind minutes up for the starters instead of ramping them down to get them used to playing 38-to-40 minutes before the playoffs.

Orlando Magic News

Confirmed Lineup: Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr.

  • Kevon Harris (elbow) — Out

  • Jonathan Isaac (adductor) — Injured

Washington Wizards News

Confirmed Lineup: Monte Morris, Delon Wright, Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija, Daniel Gafford

  • Bradley Beal (knee) — Out

  • Kyle Kuzma (ankle) — Out

  • Kristaps Porzingis (illness) — Out

  • Daniel Gafford (foot) — Available

  • Jay Huff (G League) — Available

  • Isaiah Todd (G League) — Available

Avdija has posted 22.3% usage, a 25.5% defensive rebound rate, and a 22.9% assist rate with Beal and Kuzma unavailable for the last four games. He secured 10 rebounds, and Porzingis led the team with 13 as coach Unseld Jr. opted to utilize a smaller starting lineup with Gafford sidelined Tuesday. Avdija and Porzingis will be similarly positioned to lead the rebounding effort if Gaffford remains out.

Utah Jazz News

Confirmed Lineup: Talen Horton-Tucker, Ochai Agbaji, Simone Fontecchio, Kelly Olynyk, Walker Kessler

  • Lauri Markkanen (hand) — Out

  • Kelly Olynyk (illness) — Available

  • Jordan Clarkson (finger) — Out

  • Rudy Gay (back) — Out

  • Collin Sexton (hamstring) — Injured

Horton-Tucker scored a career-high 41 points on 15-for-25 shooting as he and Kris Dunn were the only Jazz players to exceed 12 points in their 128-117 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. While a matchup with the Celtics will prove more challenging, the point guards could remain similarly featured in the offense if Olynyk doesn't return to reclaim a role as an offensive hub.

Boston Celtics News

Confirmed Lineup: Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Blake Griffin

  • Jayson Tatum (hip) — In

  • Jaylen Brown (back) — In

  • Robert Williams (injury management) — Out

  • Al Horford (back) — Out

  • Payton Pritchard (heel) — Available

  • Danilo Gallinari (ACL) — Injured

Griffin will likely lead a three-center rotation if Williams and Horford are sidelined for the second game of a back-to-back set. The Celtics have posted an 8-3 record, the best point differential (+8.4), and the second-best spread differential (+5.0) when playing on zero days of rest this season. That includes when they beat the Hornets and Pistons by an average margin of 26.5 points the two times they played at home for the second leg of a back-to-back set.

Atlanta Hawks News

Confirmed Lineup: Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, Saddiq Bey, John Collins, Clint Capela

  • De'Andre Hunter (knee) — Out

  • Jalen Johnson (hamstring, groin) — Available

Bogdan Bogdanovic will likely start, and Atlanta's perimeter defense will be compromised if Hunter is sidelined. Coach Snyder expanded the rotation to 10 players when Dejounte Murray missed two games and Hunter missed the subsequent match last week, preventing the reserves from playing extended minutes.

Brooklyn Nets News

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

  • Day'Ron Sharpe (ankle) — Available

  • Ben Simmons (back) — Injured

New York Knicks News

Confirmed Lineup: Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson

  • Derrick Rose (illness) — Out

  • Duane Washington Jr. (hip) — Out

  • DaQuan Jeffries (calf) — Out

  • Julius Randle (ankle) — Injured

Toppin has logged a usage rate 11.4% lower than Randle's 27.2% clip and an assist rate 10.4% lower than Randle's 17.8% rate when sharing the floor with Brunson and Barrett this season. As a result, the remaining starters and Immanuel Quickley will be tasked with generating more offense in Randle's absence. Additionally, Grimes, Quickley, and Barrett's roles could be further heightened if Brunson remains less involved in the offense while managing a hand injury.

Cleveland Cavaliers News

Confirmed Lineup: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Caris LeVert, Lamar Stevens, Evan Mobley

  • Jarrett Allen (groin) — Out

  • Isaac Okoro (knee) — Out

  • Dean Wade (illness) — Available

  • Raul Neto (hamstring) — Available

  • Danny Green (health protocols) — Available

Coach Bickerstaff opted to deploy all five starters for at least 33.8 minutes, and four played at least 40.0 minutes with Allen, Okoro, Wade, Neto, and Green sidelined for Tuesday's 120-118 loss. That prevented Ricky Rubio and Cedi Osman from playing increased time in a thinned lineup. The rotation should remain similarly tight, and the starters could again play extended minutes in a matchup that could clinch them the four seed.

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

Ivey's become increasingly ball-dominant as he's led the Pistons with 32.0% usage and 36.1% assist rates during the last four matches. He averaged more touches (66.3) during those matches than Hayes, who averaged 63.3 touches and posted a reduced 27.7% assist rate. Hayes averaged 80.5 touches in the two matches he and Ivey played together prior to the last four contests.

Houston Rockets News

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

  • KJ Martin (hip) — Available

  • Jae'Sean Tate (knee) — Out

  • TyTy Washington (G League) — Out

  • Darius Days (G League) — Out

  • Trevor Hudgins (G League) — Out

Tari Eason will start while Josh Christopher and Daishen Nix play increased minutes off the bench if Martin is sidelined. The starters, Christopher, and Nix will play extended minutes if coach Silas prefers to tighten the rotation to eight instead of including DJ Augustin in that event.

Los Angeles Clippers News

Confirmed Lineup: Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac

  • Kawhi Leonard (personal) — In

  • Marcus Morris (health protocols) — Out

  • Brandon Boston Jr. (tailbone) — Out

  • Paul George (knee) — Injured

Coach Lue said Wednesday that Leonard's absence would likely be only for one game. Westbrook scored a season-high 36 points on 29.6% usage, and Bones Hyland scored 20 points on eight-for-14 shooting off the bench Wednesday. Offensive opportunities will decline across the lineup if Leonard returns, but Westbrook and Hyland's roles will diminish most.

Memphis Grizzlies News

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

  • Desmond Bane (foot) — Not on injury report

  • Jaren Jackson Jr. (calf) — Not on injury report

  • Tyus Jones (foot) — Not on injury report

  • John Konchar (hip) — Out

  • Vince Williams Jr. (shoulder) — Not on injury report

  • Ziaire Williams (foot, ankle) — Injured

  • Brandon Clarke (Achilles) — Injured

  • Steven Adams (knee) — Injured

After both scored at least 30 points and logged usage rates of 31.0% or higher against the Clippers on Wednesday, Morant and Brooks will be featured less in the offensive effort as Memphis' rotation reverts. However, both scored 18 points in the paint during that match, and that success could persist against a Clippers team that allowed the seventh-most points in the paint per game (53.9) during their last 15 contests.

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

  • Mo Bamba (ankle) — Injured

Minnesota Timberwolves News

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

  • Anthony Edwards (illness) — Available

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (illness) — Available

  • Kyle Anderson (illness) — Available

  • Taurean Prince (illness) — Available

  • Austin Rivers (illness) — Out

  • Jaylen Nowell (knee) — Out

  • Matt Ryan (illness) — Available

  • Naz Reid (wrist) — Injured

San Antonio Spurs News

Confirmed Lineup: Tre Jones, Malaki Branham, Keldon Johnson, Keita Bates-Diop, Sandro Mamukelashvili

  • Zach Collins (injury management) — Out

  • Keldon Johnson (foot) — In

  • Devin Vassell (injury management) — Out

  • Jeremy Sochan (knee) — Out

  • Doug McDermott (elbow) — Active

  • Romeo Langford (injury management) — Out

  • Charles Bassey (knee) — Injured

  • Khem Birch (knee) — Injured

Collins has logged an 18.0% assist rate in March. Mamukelashvili recorded 20.2% usage, an 11.8% rebound rate, and a 10.5% assist rate in the four starts he's made in Collins' stead this month. Compared to the rest of their March production, Vassell (+6.3%), Jones (+3.6%), and Johnson (+2.1%) have posted the highest assist rate differentials on the Spurs with Collins off the floor.

Golden State Warriors News

Confirmed Lineup: Stephen Curry, Donte DiVincenzo, Klay Thompson, Jonathan Kuminga, Draymond Green

  • Andrew Wiggins (personal) — Out

  • Andre Iguodala (wrist) — Injured

  • Ryan Rollins (foot) — Injured

Sacramento Kings News

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

  • Matthew Dellavedova (finger) — Out

Portland Trail Blazers News

Confirmed Lineup: Skylar Mays, Shaedon Sharpe, Matisse Thybulle, Trendon Watford, Drew Eubanks

  • Anfernee Simons (foot) — Out

  • Jerami Grant (quad) — Out

  • Jusuf Nurkic (knee) — Out

  • Trendon Watford (ankle) — In

  • Cam Reddish (back) — Out

  • Ryan Arcidiacono (back) — Out

  • Skylar Mays (signed) — Available

  • Shaq Harrison (signed) — Available

  • Damian Lillard (calf) — Injured

  • Keon Johnson (finger) — Injured

  • Ibou Badji (knee) — Injured

  • Justise Winslow (ankle) — Injured

A backup point guard should be available, and Watford could return to reclaim a secondary facilitating role from Eubanks. But it appears the emphasis is on getting Sharpe as many on-ball reps as possible. Sharpe scored 30 points on 10-for-27 shooting, secured seven rebounds, and led the team with seven assists as he played 44.7 minutes in Wednesday's 40-point loss.

Denver Nuggets News

Confirmed Lineup: Reggie Jackson, Bruce Brown, Christian Braun, Aaron Gordon, DeAndre Jordan

  • Nikola Jokic (calf) — Out

  • Jamal Murray (injury management) — Out

  • Michael Porter Jr. (injury management) — Out

  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (illness) — Out

  • Vlatko Cancar (ankle) — Available

  • Jack White (health protocols) — Available

Following Thursday's game, coach Malone said Murray is unlikely to play and added he was about to meet with Denver's medical staff about if Murray, Jokic, and Caldwell-Pope will travel to face the Suns. Gordon (28.7%), Porter Jr. (27.5%), Reggie Jackson (27.2%), and Brown (24.7%) have led the Nuggets in usage with Murray, Jokic, and Bones Hyland off the court this season.

Phoenix Suns News

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

Durant played 28.9 minutes in his return Wednesday, and his restriction will increase moving forward. He looked out of rhythm offensively, scoring 16 points on five-for-18 shooting, and he will find his shot as he plays more time. Coach Williams decided to deploy Booker for the entire first and third quarters in that match, allowing Durant to lead the offense with Cam Payne at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters.