NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 4/21

Apr 21st 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 (wrist) — Available

  • Rudy Gobert (back) — In

Recent NBA News

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Boston Celtics News

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

  • Danilo Gallinari (ACL) — Injured

White has been the most productive of Boston's three main guards through two playoff games, recording 21.6% usage, an 11.7% defensive rebound rate, a 17.6% assist rate, and a 72.4% eFG% while averaging 36.1 minutes. Smart has led the trio with a 27.1% assist rate, while Malcolm Brogdon has averaged 24.8 minutes. Barring Brogdon playing increased time, White figures to continue being the most productive Celtics guard for the remainder of the series given the success that he's had scoring against Atlanta's weak interior defense.

Atlanta Hawks News

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

Murray submitted a second straight positive game in Atlanta's 119-106 Game 2 loss, finishing with 29 points on 11-for-24 shooting (seven-for-13 from three) after doing most of his damage in the paint during Game 1. He won't submit a similar shooting performance from downtown, but it's encouraging that Murray found two different ways to succeed. However, the other Hawks must correct course to make this series competitive at home. Young has logged a 38.8 eFG% through two games, while Hunter, Collins, and Saddiq Bey have shot 23.1% or worse from three.

Cleveland Cavaliers News

Confirmed Lineup: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Caris LeVert, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen

  • Cedi Osman (ankle) — Available

  • Dylan Windler (foot) — Out

Okoro started but played just 2.8 minutes in Game 2, with Caris LeVert logging a team-leading 39.9 minutes and Danny Green entering the rotation to play 19.8 minutes instead. LeVert could continue coming off the bench in Game 3 to more fully stagger his minutes from Garland and Mitchell, but it appears Okoro likely continues to play reduced time and doesn't close halves. LeVert playing increased minutes and the potential for Garland to remain aggressive after succeeding in Cleveland's Game 2 win could again prevent Mitchell from shouldering the offense like he was forced to in the series-opener.

New York Knicks News

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

  • Jericho Sims (shoulder) — Out

Josh Hart played on a sprained ankle in Game 2 after initially being listed as doubtful but failed to match his Game 1 impact, securing just four rebounds and scoring five points on two-for-three shooting in 26.8 minutes. Hart's health will improve as the series progresses, but Barrett, Grimes, and Immanuel Quickley will need to provide more spark after recording effective field goal percentages of 34.6% or worse through two games. Additionally, Barrett, Grimes, and Quickley's offensive production will be even more essential if Cleveland defends Brunson with the same aggression they did in Game 2.

Denver Nuggets News

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

  • Nikola Jokic (wrist) — Available

Jokic fought hard to finish Denver's Game 2 win with 29 points on 10-for-19 shooting, nine rebounds, and nine assists, but his wrist injury didn't appear to be a substantial issue. It was helpful that Murray scored 40 points on 13-for-22 shooting (six-for-10 from three) in Denver's 122-113 win. The Timberwolves should adjust their defensive scheme after that performance, but a drastic change isn't likely because they have typically remained in a drop scheme on the perimeter when Rudy Gobert (back) is on the court.

Minnesota Timberwolves News

Confirmed Lineup: Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert

  • Rudy Gobert (back) — In

  • Jaylen Nowell (knee) — Available

  • Josh Minott (ankle) — Available

  • Jaden McDaniels (hand) — Injured

  • Naz Reid (wrist) — Injured

Towns has attempted 13.5 field goals per game in this series, shooting just 29.6% from the floor as 44.4% of his shots have been threes. His mobility hasn't looked right to this point, and Aaron Gordon will continue having an edge as Towns' primary defender if Towns remains similarly perimeter-oriented. Edwards scored 41 points on 14-for-23 shooting (six-for-10 from three) in Game 2 and will need to again shoulder more offense if the Timberwolves don't scheme more favorable looks for Towns. Though Edwards' three-point shooting performance will prove to be an outlier, he could succeed more in getting into the paint for the remainder of this series.