NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 3/8

Mar 8th 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

  • Kevin Durant (ankle) — Out

  • Jusuf Nurkic (calf) — In

  • Michael Porter Jr. (illness) — Available

  • Monte Morris (back) — Available

  • Kevin Love (rib) — Available

Recent NBA News

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Atlanta Hawks News

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

With coach Snyder directing rotations during the last four contests, Saddiq Bey has attempted 6.0 threes per game and averaged 29.5 minutes. While Collins has averaged just 21.4 minutes as Bey has been favored, Bogdan Bogdanovic's role has also been negatively affected. Bogdanovic averaged 23.3 minutes during that span after averaging 27.5 minutes during his previous 15 games.

Washington Wizards News

Confirmed Lineup: Delon Wright, Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma, Kristaps Porzingis, Daniel Gafford

  • Monte Morris (back) — Available

Portland Trail Blazers News

Confirmed Lineup: Damian Lillard, Matisse Thybulle, Cam Reddish, Jerami Grant, Jusuf Nurkic

  • Anfernee Simons (ankle) — Out

  • Jusuf Nurkic (calf) — In

  • Ryan Arcidiacono (back) — Out

  • Ibou Badji (knee) — Out

  • Justise Winslow (ankle) — Injured

Portland's defense has suffered as they've posted the worst defensive rating (123.4), second-worst rebound rate (46.1%), and allowed the third-most points in the paint per game (56.0) during Nurkic's absence. Drew Eubanks and Trendon Watford will play reduced time when Nurkic is cleared to return, albeit with a probable restriction. 

Boston Celtics News

Confirmed Lineup: Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford

  • Jayson Tatum (knee) — Not on injury report

  • Al Horford (back) — Not on injury report

  • Payton Pritchard (heel) — Out

  • Robert Williams (hamstring) — Injured

  • Danilo Gallinari (ACL) — Injured

Boston recorded the 15th-best offensive rating (115.7) league-wide as they went 5-5 during their last 10 games, but they'll have an opportunity to correct course against a Trail Blazers team that recorded the second-worst defensive rating (122.9) during their last 10 contests. The Celtics boast a 15-1 record against teams with bottom-ten defensive ratings this season, scoring the most points per 100 possessions (127.4) and allowing the fourth-fewest (110.3) during those games.

Cleveland Cavaliers News

Confirmed Lineup: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen

Mitchell has been on a tear lately, averaging 34.8 points while recording an increased 34.4% usage rate and a 58.7 eFG% during the last four matches. However, he's struggled against the Heat this season, averaging 14.5 points while logging 24.5% usage and a 46.6 eFG%.

Miami Heat News

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

  • Kevin Love (rib) — Available

  • Kyle Lowry (knee) — Injured

  • Nikola Jovic (back) — Injured

All five Heat-Cavs matchups during the last two seasons have finished with 212 points or less, and four featured 201 or fewer points. Max Strus started but played 22.4 minutes, and Caleb Martin played 27.7 minutes with Love sidelined Sunday. Strus, Martin, and Duncan Robinson could absorb Love's minutes again if he remains out.

Dallas Mavericks News

Confirmed Lineup: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr., Josh Green, Dwight Powell

  • Reggie Bullock (quad) — Out

  • Maxi Kleber (injury recovery) — Out

  • JaVale McGee (ankle) — Out

Although rest has factored, it's notable how much Dallas has struggled during the second games of back-to-back sets this season. During those contests, they've posted a 2-8 record (1-7 on the road) and allowed the sixth-most points per 100 possessions (121.1).

New Orleans Pelicans News

Confirmed Lineup: CJ McCollum, Herb Jones, Brandon Ingram, Trey Murphy, Jonas Valanciunas

  • Josh Richardson (personal) — Not on injury report

  • Larry Nance Jr. (ankle) — Injured

  • Jose Alvarado (leg) — Injured

  • Zion Williamson (hamstring) — Injured

Though Jones, Trey Murphy, and the reserve guards should play fewer minutes as Richardson returns, they can retain additional time if coach Green continues experimenting with lineups featuring Jones at center. Jones was deployed at the five for about 5.0 minutes as Valanciunas returned Monday. Those lineups could excel against a perimeter-centric Mavs team that posted the second-lowest offensive rebound rate (21.1%) and scored the fourth-fewest points in the paint per game (44.0) during their last 10 matches.

Chicago Bulls News

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

  • Javonte Green (knee) — Injured

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) — Injured

Though Beverley isn't a ball-dominant point guard, his 17.1% assist rate through six starts exceeds Ayo Dosunmu's 13.7% season-long rate. Additionally, Coby White has played more of a facilitating role since Beverley debuted, posting a 21.8% assist rate in 23.1 minutes per game. As a result, LaVine recorded a 14.2% assist rate during that span after posting a 17.6% clip during his first 55 games.

Denver Nuggets News

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

  • Michael Porter Jr. (illness) — Available

  • Vlatko Cancar (wrist) — Out

  • Zeke Nnaji (shoulder) — Injured

Oklahoma City Thunder News

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

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (injury management) — Out

  • Jalen Williams (wrist) — Out

  • Kenrich Williams (wrist) — Injured

  • Aleksej Pokusevski (leg) — Injured

  • Chet Holmgren (foot) — Injured

Tre Mann, Ousmane Dieng, and Dario Saric are candidates to provide additional shot creation off the bench. Dort (27.3%), Mann (25.9%), and Giddey (25.9%) have posted the highest usage rates on the team while Giddey has led active Thunder players with a +5.1% assist rate differential with Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams off the court this season.

Phoenix Suns News

Confirmed Lineup: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Josh Okogie, Torrey Craig, Deandre Ayton

  • Kevin Durant (ankle) — Out

  • Landry Shamet (foot) — Injured

Coach Williams said, "I just left him in there" when asked about Durant playing a team-leading, fully unrestricted 40.4 minutes during Sunday's win. Okogie shot three-for-13 from the field in 21.8 minutes during that contest as he acutely regressed, and Williams played five different reserve wings as he searched for answers.

Toronto Raptors News

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

  • Will Barton (illness) — Out

  • Otto Porter (toe) — Injured

The Clippers allowed the most points off turnovers per game (23.5) and the fourth-most fast break points per game (17.3) during their previous 10 matches. While Toronto has struggled in half-court sets, they have continued to excel at creating points off turnovers and in transition, ranking first and third, respectively, in those categories across the entire season.

Los Angeles Clippers News

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

  • Norman Powell (shoulder) — Injured

  • Brandon Boston Jr. (tailbone) — Out

Leonard has uncharacteristically struggled in five games against the Raptors since joining the Clippers, averaging just 16.6 points on reduced 22.0% usage. Zubac secured at least 11 rebounds in five of his last six matchups against teams starting Jakob Poeltl, with the outlier caused by foul problems.