NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 12/21

Dec 21st 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

  • Kawhi Leonard (hip) — Out

  • LeBron James (ankle) — Out

  • Anthony Davis (ankle) — Available

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (foot) — Available

  • Paul George (illness) — In

  • Victor Wembanyama (ankle) — In

  • Zion Williamson (illness) — Out

  • Donovan Mitchell (illness) — Out

  • Myles Turner (hamstrings) — In

  • Jalen Suggs (wrist) — Out

  • Marcus Smart (foot) — Out

  • Jonas Valanciunas (illness) — Available

  • Devin Vassell (illness) — Available

  • Isaiah Stewart (shoulder) — Available

  • Keldon Johnson (back) — Available

  • Herb Jones (illness) — Available

  • Killian Hayes (illness) — Out

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Utah Jazz News

Confirmed Lineup: Kris Dunn, Collin Sexton, Simone Fontecchio, John Collins, Kelly Olynyk

  • Lauri Markkanen (injury maintenance) — Out

  • Talen Horton-Tucker (foot) — Out

  • Omer Yurtseven (illness) — Out

  • Keyonte George (foot) — Injured

  • Jordan Clarkson (thigh) — Injured

The Jazz are playing on the second leg of a back-to-back set, and they are a combined 1-4 in those situations with a dreadful 107.5 Offensive Rating. Coach Hardy mentioned after Wednesday's loss that Markkanen is healthy after missing time with a strained hamstring but playing on zero days rest is a different story.

Detroit Pistons News

Confirmed Lineup: Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley

  • Isaiah Stewart (shoulder) — Available

  • Killian Hayes (illness) — Out

  • Jalen Duren (ankle) — Injured

  • Monte Morris (quad) — Injured

New Orleans Pelicans News

Confirmed Lineup: CJ McCollum, Herb Jones, Brandon Ingram, Trey Murphy III, Jonas Valanciunas

  • Zion Williamson (illness) — Out

  • Jonas Valanciunas (illness) — Available

  • Herb Jones (illness) — Available

  • Cody Zeller (ankle) — Out

  • Matt Ryan (elbow) — Injured

  • Larry Nance Jr. (rib) — Injured

Williamson was limited to 25 minutes the previous game after committing three fouls in the first half, and he was questionable heading into that game because of an illness. Valanciunas has played every game this season, and Jones has played in 18 straight matches.

The usage rates for Ingram and McCollum have increased by an additional 5.0% in games Williamson has missed. When Williamson and Valanciunas have been off the court, Ingram has led the team with a 36.8% usage rate. However, since many of the minutes occurred when McCollum was sidelined due to a collapsed lung, they may not be reflective of perceived roles if Valanciunas and Williamson can’t play.

Jones will likely be the primary defender on Donovan Mitchell if both are available. No Jones would be a boon for Mitchell, who has ranked second on the Cavs with a 26.0% usage rate since Garland underwent jaw surgery. His substandard usage is offset by his 43.1 minutes per game in which he’s attempted a team-high 48 attempts.

Cleveland Cavaliers News

Confirmed Lineup: Craig Porter Jr., Max Strus, Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade, Jarrett Allen

  • Donovan Mitchell (illness) — Out

  • Sam Merrill (wrist) — Said he'll play

  • Evan Mobley (knee) — Injured

  • Darius Garland (jaw) — Injured

  • Ty Jerome (ankle) — Injured

  • Ricky Rubio — NWT

San Antonio Spurs News

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

  • Victor Wembanyama (ankle) — In

  • Devin Vassell (illness) — Available

  • Keldon Johnson (back) — Available

  • Charles Bassey (knee) — Out for season

The second game Wembanyama started as the primary center was against the Bulls, and he recorded 21 points and 20 rebounds. When Zach Collins and Bassey have been off the court, Wembanyama has led the Spurs with a +2.1% rebound rate differential. He has led the league with a 34.1% defensive rebound rate since Collins moved to a bench role, up from 25.1% in the first 19 games.

Chicago Bulls News

Confirmed Lineup: Coby White, Alex Caruso, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, Nikola Vucevic

  • Henri Drell (thumb) — Out

  • Onuralp Bitim (nose) — Out

  • Torrey Craig (foot) — Injured

  • Zach LaVine (foot) — Injured

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) — Out for season

Indiana Pacers News

Confirmed Lineup: Tyrese Haliburton, Bruce Brown, Buddy Hield, Obi Toppin, Myles Turner

  • Myles Turner (hamstrings) — In

  • Andrew Nembhard (knee) — Available

  • Jalen Smith (knee, heel) — Out

The Pacers are playing their fifth game in seven nights, and because of their advancement to the IST championship game, they are playing for the ninth time in 15 days with seven of those contests coming on the road. Their defensive effort has been worse on the road, dropping from a 119.6 Defensive Rating at home to a league-worst 128.0 as a visitor.

Memphis Grizzlies News

Confirmed Lineup: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Vince Williams, Jaren Jackson Jr., Bismack Biyombo

  • Marcus Smart (foot) — Out

  • Derrick Rose (hamstring) — Injured

  • Luke Kennard (knee) — Injured

  • Brandon Clarke (Achilles) — Injured

  • Steven Adams (knee) — Out for season

Orlando Magic News

Confirmed Lineup: Anthony Black, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr.

  • Jalen Suggs (wrist) — Out

  • Joe Ingles (ankle) — Out

  • Markelle Fultz (knee) — Out

Milwaukee Bucks News

Confirmed Lineup: Damian Lillard, Malik Beasley, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (foot) — Available

  • Jae Crowder (adductor) — Injured

Antetokounmpo has missed one game this season. Andre Jackson Jr. started that game but Bobby Portis played 30 minutes off the bench. When Antetokounmpo has been off the court, Middleton has led the team with a +9.3% usage rate differential. He's played at least 28 minutes in five straight games, and it appears his minutes are no longer restricted. He said after Sunday's game that he feels great as his playing time has increased.

Los Angeles Clippers News

Confirmed Lineup: James Harden, Terance Mann, Paul George, Amir Coffey, Ivica Zubac

  • Kawhi Leonard (hip) — Out

  • Paul George (illness) — In

  • Moussa Diabate (hip) — Out

  • Mason Plumlee (knee) — Injured

Oklahoma City Thunder News

Confirmed Lineup: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Lu Dort, Jalen Williams, Chet Holmgren

Los Angeles Lakers News

Confirmed Lineup: D'Angelo Russell, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince, Rui Hachimura, Anthony Davis

  • LeBron James (ankle) — Out

  • Anthony Davis (ankle) — Available

  • Jarred Vanderbilt (heel) — Available

  • Gabe Vincent (knee) — Out

  • Jalen Hood-Schifino (back) — Out

Minnesota Timberwolves News

Confirmed Lineup: Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert

  • Jaylen Clark (Achilles) — Injured

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

Portland Trail Blazers News

Confirmed Lineup: Malcolm Brogdon, Anfernee Simons, Toumani Camara, Jerami Grant, Deandre Ayton

  • Shaedon Sharpe (adductor) — Out

  • Robert Williams (knee) — Out for season