NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 1/2

Jan 2nd 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

  • Joel Embiid (back) — In

  • LeBron James (ankle) — In

  • Jimmy Butler (injury management) — Available

  • Darius Garland (thumb) — Out

  • Fred VanVleet (back) — Available

  • Kawhi Leonard (illness) — Out

  • Jalen Brunson (hip) — Available

  • Jamal Murray (injury management) — Not on injury report

  • Devin Vassell (knee) — Available

  • Evan Mobley (ankle) — Out

  • Jusuf Nurkic (illness) — Available

  • D'Angelo Russell (illness) — Out

  • Alperen Sengun (back) — In

  • De'Andre Hunter (ankle) — Available

Recent NBA News

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Phoenix Suns News

Confirmed Lineup: Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, Mikal Bridges, Torrey Craig, Deandre Ayton

  • Landry Shamet (Achilles) — In

  • Cam Payne (foot) — In

  • Devin Booker (groin) — Injured

  • Cam Johnson (knee) — Injured

There should be reduced usage available due to Shamet and Payne's expected returns. Shamet averaged 25.7 points on 26.4% usage in his last three games, and Payne's +6.8% usage differential in games that Booker has missed is the highest on the Suns.

New York Knicks News

Confirmed Lineup: Jalen Brunson, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson

  • Jalen Brunson (hip) — Available

  • Derrick Rose (knee)— Out

  • RJ Barrett (finger) — Injured

  • Obi Toppin (knee) — Injured

Grimes (+7.0%), Quickley (+5.8%), and Julius Randle (+2.4%) have posted the highest usage differentials on the Knicks during Brunson's absence. Likewise, Quickley (+15.6%) and Randle (+3.5%) recorded the team's highest assist rate differentials during the past three games.

Los Angeles Lakers News

Confirmed Lineup: Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverley, Troy Brown Jr., LeBron James, Thomas Bryant

  • LeBron James (ankle) — In

  • Lonnie Walker (tailbone) — Out

  • Max Christie (G League) — Available

  • Anthony Davis (foot) — Injured

Charlotte Hornets News

Confirmed Lineup: LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, PJ Washington, Mason Plumlee

  • Kelly Oubre (hand) — Out

  • Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle) — In

  • Cody Martin (knee) — Injured

The Lakers have played at the second-fastest pace (102.55 possessions/game) this season, and the Hornets have played at the fastest pace (104.41) since LaMelo Ball returned on December 14th. The pace of their game influenced a final score of 134-130 when they played on December 23rd.

Chicago Bulls News

Confirmed Lineup: Ayo Dosunmu, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, Nikola Vucevic

  • Alex Caruso (shoulder) — Available

  • Javonte Green (knee) — Out

  • Derrick Jones Jr. (ankle) — Available

  • Goran Dragic (rest) — Not on injury report

  • Tony Bradley (personal) — Out

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) — Injured

Usage was fairly even for the Bulls in their 103-102 home loss to the Cavs on Saturday, as seven of their nine players recorded a usage rate of 18.2% or higher. The Cavs have allowed the second-fewest points in the paint per game (45.5) this season, and the Bulls scored 54 points in the paint in the absence of Evan Mobley (ankle).

Cleveland Cavaliers News

Confirmed Lineup: Donovan Mitchell, Caris LeVert, Lamar Stevens, Kevin Love, Jarrett Allen

  • Darius Garland (thumb) — Out

  • Evan Mobley (ankle) — Out

  • Dean Wade (shoulder) — Injured

  • Dylan Windler (ankle) — Injured

  • Ricky Rubio (ACL) — Injured

Kevin Love started in Mobley's stead Saturday, scoring 20 points and securing nine rebounds on 23.4% usage in 33.5 minutes. Mobley has logged an 18.2% usage rate this season, so Mitchell and LeVert could shoulder more of the offense if Mobley returns against the Bulls.

Toronto Raptors News

Confirmed Lineup: Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam

  • Fred VanVleet (back) — Available

  • Precious Achiuwa (ankle) — Available

  • Otto Porter (toe) — Injured

Gary Trent Jr. (+2.7%) and Anunoby (+0.7%) are the only players who have started for the Raptors with VanVleet sidelined for the past two games who have recorded a positive usage differential. Anunoby (+8.1%) and Malachi Flynn (+6.3%) have logged positive assist rate differentials in the past two matches.

Indiana Pacers News

Confirmed Lineup: Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner

  • Daniel Theis (knee) — Injured

Nesmith has started and averaged 27.1 minutes in his past six games. He has averaged 14.8 points on 18.8% usage and a 14.5% defensive rebounding rate in that time.

New Orleans Pelicans News

Confirmed Lineup: CJ McCollum, Herb Jones, Trey Murphy, Zion Williamson, Jonas Valanciunas

  • Larry Nance Jr. (neck) — Out

  • Brandon Ingram (toe) — Injured

McCollum scored 42 points on 31.2% usage and 11-for-16 shooting from three in New Orleans' 127-116 home win over the 76ers on Friday. Williamson scored 36 points on 39.2% usage, and none of the other Pelicans scored over 13 points.

Philadelphia 76ers News

Confirmed Lineup: James Harden, De'Anthony Melton, Tobias Harris, PJ Tucker, Joel Embiid

  • Joel Embiid (back) — In

  • James Harden (injury management) — Not on injury report

  • PJ Tucker (injury management) — Not on injury report

  • Tyrese Maxey (injury management) — Not on injury report

Embiid scored 37 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out five assists on 41.7% usage in Philadelphia's 127-116 road loss to the Pelicans on Friday. Harden scored 20 points and notched 10 assists on an 87.5 eFG% and 22.4% usage, while no other 76ers exceeded 14 points.

San Antonio Spurs News

Confirmed Lineup: Tre Jones, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan, Jakob Poeltl

  • Devin Vassell (knee) — Available

  • Keita Bates-Diop (illness) — Out

Johnson has registered a heightened 29.4% usage rate with Vassell sidelined for the last two games. Romeo Langford has started the past two games in Vassell's stead but played 16.6 minutes Saturday after scoring a career-high 23 points Thursday.

Brooklyn Nets News

Confirmed Lineup: Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, Kevin Durant, Nic Claxton

  • Joe Harris (knee) — Available

  • Royce O'Neale (illness) — Out

  • Markieff Morris (illness) — Out

Dallas Mavericks News

Confirmed Lineup: Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock, Christian Wood

  • JaVale McGee (illness) — Out

  • Dorian Finney-Smith (adductor) — Injured

  • Josh Green (elbow) — Injured

  • Maxi Kleber (hamstring) — Injured

Doncic averaged 42.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 11.5 assists on 41.0% usage and a 64.7 eFG% in two matchups against the Rockets within the last nine days. Wood averaged 14.5 points on 22.9% usage and had the second-most points on the Mavs during those matchups.

Houston Rockets News

Confirmed Lineup: Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green, Eric Gordon, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun

  • Alperen Sengun (back) — In

  • Jae'Sean Tate (ankle) — Injured

Smith Jr. averaged 20.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in two matchups against the Mavs within the last nine days, though his offensive role was expanded with Gordon out for one of those games. Porter Jr. averaged just 15.5 points on 22.7% usage, and Sengun led the Rockets with a 25.8% assist rate in those contests.

Denver Nuggets News

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

  • Jamal Murray (injury management) — Not on injury report

  • Jeff Green (hand, finger) — Injured

Jokic has averaged 11.3 assists and recorded a 44.3% assist rate in the last eight games. He logged a 39.5% assist rate during his first 25 games.

Minnesota Timberwolves News

Confirmed Lineup: Jaylen Nowell, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Kyle Anderson, Rudy Gobert

  • D'Angelo Russell (illness) — Out

  • Naz Reid (back) — Out

  • Jordan McLaughlin (calf) — Injured

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) — Injured

  • Taurean Prince (shoulder) — Injured

Atlanta Hawks News

Confirmed Lineup: Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, De'Andre Hunter, John Collins, Onyeka Okongwu

  • Clint Capela (calf) — Out

  • De'Andre Hunter (ankle) — Available

Collins could potentially play more of his time at center against a Warriors team that has scored the lowest percentage of their points in the paint (37.4%) while playing at the fastest pace (102.98) this season. In addition, Hunter's potential return could enable coach McMillan to further utilize smaller lineups.

Golden State Warriors News

Confirmed Lineup: Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney

  • Andrew Wiggins (illness) — Out

  • Jonathan Kuminga (foot) — Out

  • James Wiseman (ankle) — Out

  • JaMychal Green (leg) — Out

  • Andre Iguodala (injury management) — Out

  • Stephen Curry (shoulder) — Injured

Anthony Lamb, Ty Jerome, and Moses Moody's roles should be further vaulted due to Kuminga being added to the inactive list. Lamb's minutes, in particular, should rise with how depleted Golden State's frontcourt rotation has become.

Detroit Pistons News

Confirmed Lineup: Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren

  • Killian Hayes (suspension) — Out

  • Isaiah Livers (shoulder) — Injured

  • Cade Cunningham (shin) — Injured

Portland Trail Blazers News

Confirmed Lineup: Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Josh Hart, Jerami Grant, Jusuf Nurkic

  • Jusuf Nurkic (illness) — Available

  • Gary Payton II (core) — Not on injury report

  • Keon Johnson (illness) — Available

  • Greg Brown (illness) — Available

  • Justise Winslow (ankle) — Injured

  • Nassir Little (hip) — Injured

Payton II is set to make his team debut Monday but should be restricted for several games. His defense-oriented game should balance nicely with Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons in the backcourt, bolstering Portland's defensive effort.

Miami Heat News

Confirmed Lineup: Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin, Bam Adebayo

  • Jimmy Butler (injury management) — Available

  • Caleb Martin (quad) — Available

  • Gabe Vincent (knee) — Available

  • Duncan Robinson (hamstring) — Available

  • Dewayne Dedmon (health protocols) — Out

  • Nikola Jovic (back) — Out

  • Udonis Haslem (Achilles) — Available

  • Omer Yurtseven (ankle) — Injured

Adebayo has averaged 23.4 points and 11.0 rebounds during his last seven matchups with the Clippers, including a 31-point performance against Los Angeles last month.

Los Angeles Clippers News

Confirmed Lineup: Reggie Jackson, Terance Mann, Paul George, Marcus Morris, Ivica Zubac

  • Kawhi Leonard (illness) — Out

  • Nic Batum (ankle) — Available

The Clippers scored the third-highest percent of their points from three (39.6%) in the league last month after scoring 31.5% of their points from downtown in October and November. The Heat have allowed the third-most made threes per 100 possessions (13.7) this season.