NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 4/20

Apr 20th 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 (knee) — Out

  • Andrew Wiggins (shoulder) — In

  • Jordan Poole (ankle) — In

Recent NBA News

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Philadelphia 76ers News

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

  • Jalen McDaniels (illness) — Available

The Nets have successfully limited Embiid in this series by applying pressure to limit his touches in the high post and frequently applying a double-team when he begins to back down his defender. That strategy has resulted in Harden (10.5), Maxey (9.0), De'Anthony Melton (6.0), and Tucker (4.5) attempting more threes per game than their regular season averages. Since Brooklyn has generally fared well defensively, they aren't likely to change their approach for the remainder of the series.

Brooklyn Nets News

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

  • Ben Simmons (back) — Injured

This series moving to Brooklyn could provide some hope for the Nets to recover offensively, but they scored 5.3 more points per 100 possessions on the road than at home after the All-Star break. The Nets came out firing from downtown in Game 2, with Johnson, Bridges, and Royce O'Neale attempting at least nine threes as they shot 13-for-42 (31.0%) from range as a team. They could change course after their lack of success in that approach, but more isolation possessions for Bridges could be their only real answer for doing so. Johnson, O'Neale, and Finney-Smith will again attempt a higher volume of threes if Brooklyn's offensive dynamic remains stable.

Sacramento Kings News

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

  • Domantas Sabonis (sternum) — In

  • Matthew Dellavedova (finger) — Injured

Fox (20.0) and Malik Monk (14.0) have led the Kings in drives per game by a wide margin through two contests of their series and could find more success without Draymond Green's help defense factoring in Game 3. Murray has averaged just 16.1 minutes through two playoff games; Davion Mitchell and Monk should be assured of continuing to play additional time at Murray's expense as the Warriors project to deploy smaller lineups sans Green. However, Mitchell likely doesn't match the 28.3 minutes he played in Game 2, provided Huerter avoids foul trouble.

Golden State Warriors News

Confirmed Lineup: Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney

  • Andrew Wiggins (shoulder) — In

  • Draymond Green (suspension) — Out

  • Jordan Poole (ankle) — In

  • Gary Payton II (illness) — Out

  • Andre Iguodala (wrist) — Injured

  • Ryan Rollins (foot) — Injured

The Warriors allowed the Kings to score 57.0 points in the paint per game in the first two games of the series, which would have been the most league-wide in the regular season. Missing Green could exacerbate that issue, potentially causing Payton II, Jonathan Kuminga, Donte DiVincenzo, and JaMychal Green to absorb more of Draymond Green's minutes than Jordan Poole or Moses Moody in an effort to bolster their defense. Curry (+6.7%) and Thompson (+2.7%) recorded positive assist rate differentials with Green, Poole, and Ty Jerome off the court this season.

Phoenix Suns News

Confirmed Lineup: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Torrey Craig, Kevin Durant, Deandre Ayton

  • Cam Payne (back) — Out

Phoenix's reserves have scored just 11.5 points per game through the first two matches of their series. Though their bench unit will be more capable once Payne is cleared to return and Craig is due for shooting regression, the Suns' starters should continue being tasked with shouldering more of their offense than any other playoff team. Durant and Booker have averaged over 44.0 minutes per game in the playoffs and should similarly be heavily relied upon.

Los Angeles Clippers News

Confirmed Lineup: Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Norman Powell, Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac

  • Kawhi Leonard (knee) — Out

  • Paul George (knee) — Injured

Norman Powell and Terance Mann played at least 25.6 minutes in Game 2 as coach Lue further reduced minutes for Batum and Mason Plumlee. Powell and Mann could play additional time if Lue goes smaller to switch more defensively after Phoenix found success against drop coverages in their series-tying victory. Westbrook and Leonard should continue to dominate the ball, but Los Angeles' offense could be more balanced if smaller lineups are deployed.