NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 12/21

Dec 21st 2022

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

  • LeBron James (ankle) — Available

  • Damian Lillard (wrist) — Available

  • Paul George (knee) — Available

  • Domantas Sabonis (hand) — Available

  • Kyrie Irving (calf) — Out

  • Rudy Gobert (ankle) — In

  • Terry Rozier (hip) — Out

  • Russell Westbrook (foot) — Out

  • Jerami Grant (back) — Available

  • Jusuf Nurkic (calf) — Available

  • Khris Middleton (knee) — Out

  • Franz Wagner (ankle) — In

  • Andrew Wiggins (adductor) — Out

  • Ivica Zubac (knee) — Available

  • Marcus Smart (illness) — Out

  • Killian Hayes (knee) — In

  • Gary Trent Jr. (quad) — Out

  • Josh Giddey (illness) — Available

  • Reggie Jackson (Achilles) — Available

  • Harrison Barnes (quad) — Available

  • Norman Powell (groin) — Available

  • Josh Hart (ankle) — Probable

  • Kyle Anderson (back) — Out

  • Donte DiVincenzo (illness) — Out

  • Quentin Grimes (ankle) — Out

  • Alex Caruso (elbow) — Available

  • Lamar Stevens (knee) — Out

  • Dwight Powell (thigh) — Available

Recent NBA News

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Milwaukee Bucks News

Confirmed Lineup: Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, MarJon Beauchamp, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez

  • Khris Middleton (knee) — Out

Cleveland Cavaliers News

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

  • Lamar Stevens (knee) — Out

  • Dean Wade (shoulder) — Injured

  • Dylan Windler (ankle) — Injured

  • Ricky Rubio (ACL) — Injured

The Cavs have scored 105.3 points per 100 possessions in two matchups against the Bucks this season, which would be the lowest offensive rating in the league over the entire season. Cleveland has been limited to averaging 8.0 offensive rebounds, 17.0 assists, and 38.0 points in the paint in those two games, which are all well below their season-long averages.

Detroit Pistons News

Confirmed Lineup: Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren

  • Killian Hayes (knee) — In

  • Isaiah Livers (shoulder) — Injured

  • Cade Cunningham (shin) — Injured

The Pistons have a 1-6 record on the second game of a back-to-back set this season. The 76ers have a 5-2 record against teams playing on zero days of rest this year.

Philadelphia 76ers News

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

  • Furkan Korkmaz (illness) — Available

  • Tyrese Maxey (foot) — Injured

Chicago Bulls News

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

  • Alex Caruso (elbow) — Available

  • Goran Dragic (ankle) — Out

  • Javonte Green (knee) — Out

  • Derrick Jones Jr. (ankle) — Out

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) — Injured

Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu's minutes should be elevated in Dragic's absence, and their time could be further heightened if Caruso is ruled out.

Atlanta Hawks News

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

  • Clint Capela (calf) — Injured

Collins was limited to 20.1 minutes, and Murray's minutes were seemingly unrestricted with both players returning Monday. Hunter (15.5%) and Bogdanovic (14.8%) recorded reduced usage alongside Young, Murray, and Collins.

Indiana Pacers News

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

  • Daniel Theis (knee) — Injured

Boston Celtics News

Confirmed Lineup: Payton Pritchard, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum Al Horford

  • Jayson Tatum (personal) — Not on injury report

  • Marcus Smart (illness) — Out

  • Grant Williams (illness) — Available

  • Danilo Gallinari (ACL) — Injured

Brogdon played 32.2 minutes and led the Celtics with eight assists during the last game Smart missed. Brogdon's role remained stable, and the starters instead handled additional facilitating responsibilities in the first game Brogdon was available while Smart was out.

Golden State Warriors News

Confirmed Lineup: Jordan Poole, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney

  • Klay Thompson (injury management) — Out

  • Donte DiVincenzo (illness) — Out

  • Andrew Wiggins (adductor) — Out

  • JaMychal Green (health protocols) — Out

  • James Wiseman (thumb) — Available

  • Andre Iguodala (injury management) — Out

  • Stephen Curry (shoulder) — Injured

Poole's offensive role should be further vaulted with Thompson and Curry out, and Wiggins expected to be out against the Nets. Moody and Jerome could be given their most extensive opportunities to create offense this season if DiVincenzo remains out.

Brooklyn Nets News

Confirmed Lineup: Ben Simmons, Joe Harris, Royce O'Neale, Kevin Durant, Nic Claxton

  • Kyrie Irving (calf) — Out

  • Patty Mills (illness) — Available

Toronto Raptors News

Confirmed Lineup: Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Juancho Hernangomez

  • Gary Trent Jr. (quad) — Out

  • Khem Birch (illness) — Out

  • Otto Porter (toe) — Injured

  • Precious Achiuwa (ankle) — Injured

Siakam has been limited to 18.8 points on 29.4% usage and 32.9% shooting in the four games he's played against the Knicks in the last three seasons. VanVleet has averaged 24.2 points on 23.8% usage and 48.2% shooting in five games against New York during that time.

New York Knicks News

Confirmed Lineup: Jalen Brunson, Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson

  • Quentin Grimes (ankle) — Out

  • Obi Toppin (knee) — Injured

The Knicks have scored the second-most points off turnovers per game (19.9) during their eight-game winning streak. Opponents have scored the fewest points off turnovers (12.8) against the Raptors in their last eight games.

Orlando Magic News

Confirmed Lineup: Markelle Fultz, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Moe Wagner, Bol Bol

  • Franz Wagner (ankle) — In

  • Jalen Suggs (ankle) — Out

  • Gary Harris (hamstring) — Out

  • Chuma Okeke (knee) — Injured

  • Wendell Carter Jr. (foot) — Injured

  • Jonathan Isaac (ACL) — Injured

Banchero (+4.2%), Bol (+3.7%), and Mo Bamba (+3.2%) have the highest usage differentials on the Magic with Franz Wagner off the floor this season.

Houston Rockets News

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

  • Garrison Mathews (illness) — Out

  • Josh Christopher (G League) — Out

  • Jae'Sean Tate (ankle) — Injured

The Magic were a one-point loss from the Hawks away from a seven-game winning streak. They limited opponents to shooting the second-lowest percentage from three (29.9%) in that time after opponents shot 4.2% higher from downtown in their first 25 games.

Dallas Mavericks News

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

  • Tim Hardaway Jr. (illness) — Not on injury report

  • Dorian Finney-Smith (adductor) — Out

  • Dwight Powell (thigh) — Available

  • Josh Green (elbow) — Injured

  • Maxi Kleber (hamstring) — Injured

Doncic was limited to 19 points on five-for-17 shooting in 28.4 minutes before being ejected against the Timberwolves on Monday. Reggie Bullock and Frank Ntilikina could absorb a majority of Finney-Smith's minutes.

Minnesota Timberwolves News

Confirmed Lineup: D'Angelo Russell, Austin Rivers, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Rudy Gobert

  • Rudy Gobert (ankle) — In

  • Kyle Anderson (back) — Out

  • Jordan McLaughlin (calf) — Out

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) — Injured

  • Taurean Prince (shoulder) — Injured

Naz Reid has logged 25.5% usage and a 22.7% defensive rebounding rate with Gobert out for the last three games. Gobert's usage is 9.6% lower than what Reid has registered in his absence, so Russell and Edwards could play more significant offensive roles if Gobert returns.

Portland Trail Blazers News

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

  • Damian Lillard (wrist) — Available

  • Jerami Grant (back) — Available

  • Jusuf Nurkic (calf) — Available

  • Josh Hart (ankle) — Available

  • Drew Eubanks (hip) — Available

  • Nassir Little (hip) — Injured

  • Gary Payton II (core) — Injured

Lillard scored 28 points on a 70.6 eFG% Monday and has averaged 29.0 points per game in his career against Lu Dort, who has typically been the lead defender on Lillard in those games. Eubanks secured seven rebounds in 32.0 minutes Monday, failing to take advantage of Oklahoma City's 27th-ranked rebounding rate (48.5%).

Oklahoma City Thunder News

Confirmed Lineup: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, Aleksej Pokusevski

  • Josh Giddey (illness) — Available

  • Darius Bazley (illness) — Available

  • Tre Mann (G League) — Out

  • Jaylin Williams (G League) — Out

  • Ousmane Dieng (wrist) — Injured

  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (ankle) — Injured

  • Chet Holmgren (foot) — Injured

Gilgeous-Alexander would play a less significant on-ball role if Giddey is cleared to return. Aaron Wiggins, Kenrich Williams, and Isaiah Joe figure to lose the most minutes in that event.

Los Angeles Lakers News

Confirmed Lineup: Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker, LeBron James, Thomas Bryant

  • LeBron James (ankle) — Available

  • Russell Westbrook (foot) — Out

  • Austin Reaves (ankle) — Out

  • Anthony Davis (back) — Injured

  • Juan Toscano-Anderson (ankle) — Injured

James (+5.7%), Schroder (+5.7%), and Walker (+2.0%) have recorded positive usage differentials with Davis and Westbrook off the floor this season.

Sacramento Kings News

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

  • Domantas Sabonis (hand) — Available

  • Harrison Barnes (quad) — Available

Chimezie Metu, Richaun Holmes, and Neemias Queta have all served as reserve center options in the past two games, and Fox has logged a +11.0% assist rate differential with Sabonis off the floor this season.

Charlotte Hornets News

Confirmed Lineup: LaMelo Ball, Kelly Oubre, Gordon Hayward, PJ Washington, Mason Plumlee

  • Terry Rozier (hip) — Out

  • Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle) — Injured

  • Cody Martin (knee) — Injured

Oubre (32.3%) and LaMelo Ball (31.8%) dominated usage with Rozier out Monday. While their roles could decline if the Hornets have a more balanced approach, they figure to remain in elevated offensive roles until Rozier returns.

Los Angeles Clippers News

Confirmed Lineup: Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris, Ivica Zubac

  • Paul George (knee) — Available

  • Reggie Jackson (Achilles) — Available

  • Ivica Zubac (knee) — Available

  • Norman Powell (groin) — Available

  • Moussa Diabate (G League) — Out

  • Brandon Boston (G League) — Out

  • Jason Preston (G League) — Out