NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 12/17

Dec 17th 2023

J.J. Calle

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

  • Markelle Fultz (knee) — Out

  • Jalen Suggs (wrist) — In

  • Malik Beasley (illness) — Out

  • Eric Gordon (leg) — Probable

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Orlando Magic News

Confirmed Lineup: Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Goga Bitadze

  • Markelle Fultz (knee) — Out

  • Jalen Suggs (wrist) — In

  • Joe Ingles (ankle) — Out

  • Wendell Carter Jr. (hand) — Injured

Suggs suffered a sprained left wrist during the first half of the 17-point loss to the Celtics and didn’t start the second half before being cleared to return. He led the team with 19 points despite clearly being impacted by the ailment.

The rematch with the Celtics two days later will include the returns of Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford after they missed the second game of a back-to-back set. The Magic could be in trouble if Suggs, who didn't practice Saturday, doesn't play, and the Celtics are the only team yet to lose at home this season.

Boston Celtics News

Confirmed Lineup: Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Kristaps Porzingis

  • Dalano Banton (illness) — Available

  • Luke Kornet (adductor) — Injured

New Orleans Pelicans News

Confirmed Lineup: CJ McCollum, Herb Jones, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Jonas Valanciunas

  • Matt Ryan (elbow) — Injured

  • Larry Nance Jr. (rib) — Injured

San Antonio Spurs News

Confirmed Lineup: Malaki Branham, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan, Victor Wembanyama

  • Tre Jones (illness) — Available

  • Zach Collins (knee) — Available

  • Charles Bassey (knee) — Injured

Wembanyama starting at center over the last four games has resulted in a top-five Defensive Rating (110.2) over that span. Prior to the change, their 119.6 Defensive Rating ranked 27th. The distribution of touches and ballhandling responsibilities has flattened among the new starters. Branham has been the nominal point guard while Keldon Johnson's rebound rate has dropped precipitously as Wenbamyama has led all NBA players with 16.5 rebounds since the new alignment.

Houston Rockets News

Confirmed Lineup: Fred VanVleet, Jalen Green, Dillon Brooks, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun

  • Amen Thompson (illness) — Out

  • Jae'Sean Tate (illness) — Available

  • Victor Oladipo (knee) — Injured

Milwaukee Bucks News

Confirmed Lineup: Damian Lillard, Andre Jackson Jr., Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez

  • Malik Beasley (illness) — Out

  • TyTy Washington (ankle) — Out

  • Jae Crowder (adductor) — Injured

Middleton is slated to rejoin the lineup after resting during Saturday’s 32-point win. None of the normal starters played more than 30 minutes, and Beasley's status remains unclear. Coach Griffin said the team would reassess Pat Connaughton's status before determining if he'll play on zero days rest.

The Bucks are one of four teams with a top-five Offensive Rating but a bottom 10 Defensive Rating. Two recent lopsided victories over the Knicks and Pistons have boosted their Net Rating from +2.3 to +4.4, which still ranks behind that of the Rockets (+5.1), their current opponent. The Rockets boast the second-best Defensive Rating (107.5), and they've recorded a magnificent 98.8 Defense Rating during their five-game winning streak.

Washington Wizards News

Confirmed Lineup: Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Deni Avdija, Kyle Kuzma, Daniel Gafford

  • Landry Shamet (rib) — Out

  • Johnny Davis (calf) — Injured

  • Delon Wright (knee) — Injured

  • Ryan Rollins (knee) — Injured

Phoenix Suns News

Confirmed Lineup: Devin Booker, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little, Kevin Durant, Jusuf Nurkic

  • Eric Gordon (leg) — Available

  • Nassir Little (knee) — Available

  • Josh Okogie (hip) — Out

  • Bradley Beal (ankle) — Injured

  • Damion Lee (knee) — Injured

Beal is likely to miss a few weeks after turning his ankle on Donte DiVincenzo’s foot on Friday. He’s played two three-game segments before succumbing to injury. The Suns have gone 7-3 in games Booker and Durant have played without Beal, and they went 2-4 in games Beal played.

Games without Beal have become the norm, likely leading to a game script where Booker runs the offense and shares a high-usage role with Durant. It helps the Suns are facing a Wizards team with a league-worst 123.7 Defensive Rating.

Golden State Warriors News

Confirmed Lineup: Stephen Curry, Brandin Podziemski, Klay Thompson, Jonathan Kuminga, Kevon Looney

  • Draymond Green (suspension) — Out

  • Gary Payton II (calf) — Injured

Thompson has scored at least 24 points in two straight games for the first time this season. When he has shared the court with Podzeimski in Green’s absence, Thompson has achieved a +3.86% true shooting differential. Thompson’s usage has remained flat in those minutes, and when he hasn’t shared the court with Green, Payton II, and Andrew Wiggins, Thompson has posted a certified +10.89% true shooting differential in 163 minutes.

Portland Trail Blazers News

Confirmed Lineup: Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, Toumani Camara, Jerami Grant, Deandre Ayton

  • Robert Williams (knee) — Out for season