NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 12/26

Dec 26th 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

  • Victor Wembanyama (ankle) — In

  • Trae Young (shoulder) — Available

  • Nikola Vucevic (adductor) — Out

  • Jalen Williams (illness) — In

  • Deandre Ayton (knee) — Out

  • Mark Williams (back) — Out

  • Jalen Suggs (wrist) — Available

  • Jalen Duren (ankle) — In

  • Marcus Smart (foot) — In

  • Kyle Kuzma (knee) — Not on injury report

  • Brandon Miller (ankle) — Out

  • Keyonte George (foot) — In

  • Josh Giddey (ankle) — Available

  • Shaedon Sharpe (adductor) — Out

  • Bruce Brown (knee) — Out

  • Isaiah Stewart (toe) — In

  • Killian Hayes (illness) — Out

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Brooklyn Nets News

Confirmed Lineup: Spencer Dinwiddie, Cam Thomas, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Nic Claxton

  • Lonnie Walker (hamstring) — Injured

  • Ben Simmons (back) — Injured

Detroit Pistons News

Confirmed Lineup: Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren

  • Jalen Duren (ankle) — In

  • Isaiah Stewart (toe) — In

  • Killian Hayes (illness) — Out

  • Ausar Thompson (illness) — Available

  • Monte Morris (quad) — Injured

Orlando Magic News

Confirmed Lineup: Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr.

  • Markelle Fultz (knee) — Out

  • Jalen Suggs (wrist) — Available

  • Joe Ingles (ankle) — Out

  • Jonathan Isaac (hamstring) — Out

The Magic are 11-0 against teams in the bottom 10 in point differential. They’ve already defeated the Wizards twice this season and recorded season-highs of 35 and 34 assists in both games while converting a season-high 17 threes in one of the wins. Wagner scored 31 points in both games. Conversely, the Wizards are 0-9 in games against teams in the top 10 in point differential, and their 133.1 Defensive Rating in those games is a league-worst.

Washington Wizards News

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

  • Kyle Kuzma (knee) — Not on injury report

  • Johnny Davis (calf) — Not on injury report

  • Delon Wright (knee) — Not on injury report

  • Ryan Rollins (knee) — Not on injury report

Atlanta Hawks News

Confirmed Lineup: Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, Saddiq Bey, Jalen Johnson, Clint Capela

  • Trae Young (shoulder) — Available

  • Jalen Johnson (wrist) — In

  • AJ Griffin (personal) — Out

  • De'Andre Hunter (knee) — Injured

  • Mouhamed Gueye (back) — Injured

Johnson will return following a 14-game absence. The Hawks have gone 7-5 with him in the starting lineup, and they’ve compiled a +5.2 Net Rating when he’s been on the court -- the highest mark among their regular starters. His absence has resulted in a 123.2 Defensive Rating -- the fourth-highest over that span.

Chicago Bulls News

Confirmed Lineup: Coby White, Alex Caruso, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, Andre Drummond

  • Nikola Vucevic (adductor) — Out

  • Henri Drell (thumb) — Out

  • Onuralp Bitim (nose) — Out

  • Torrey Craig (foot) — Injured

  • Zach LaVine (foot) — Injured

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) — Out for season

Vucevic has led the Bulls with a 25.1% usage rate over the last 12 games without LaVine. He also hasn't missed a game this season while playing the third most minutes (1,054) in the NBA -- behind White (1,081) and DeRozan (1,058). That trio has recorded a +8.2 Net Rating when LaVine has been off the court, but that result increased to +13.1 when replacing Vucevic with Williams.

Indiana Pacers News

Confirmed Lineup: Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Aaron Nesmith, Jalen Smith, Myles Turner

  • Bruce Brown (knee) — Out

Houston Rockets News

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

  • Tari Eason (leg) — Available

  • Reggie Bullock (illness) — Available

  • Victor Oladipo (knee) — Injured

Memphis Grizzlies News

Confirmed Lineup: Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., Bismack Biyombo

  • Marcus Smart (foot) — In

  • John Konchar (illness) — Out

  • Derrick Rose (hamstring) — Injured

  • Luke Kennard (knee) — Injured

  • Brandon Clarke (Achilles) — Injured

  • Steven Adams (knee) — Out for season

New Orleans Pelicans News

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

  • Cody Zeller (ankle) — Available

  • Larry Nance Jr. (rib) — Out

  • Matt Ryan (elbow) — Injured

Minnesota Timberwolves News

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

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) — In

  • Jaylen Clark (Achilles) — Injured

All but one team on the slate is playing on two days rest. The Wolves have gone 4-1 in those games, while the Thunder have gone 4-3 on equal rest. The Thunder already lost to the Wolves this season, and it occurred on two days rest.

Gobert secured 16 rebounds in the first meeting against the Thunder, a team that has allowed 46.4 rebounds per game to opponents and a league-high 15.7 second-chance points per 100 possessions. Every Wolves' rotation player exhibits a positive rebound rate differential when Towns has been off the court, spearheaded by Edwards at +1.77%.

Oklahoma City Thunder News

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

  • Jalen Williams (illness) — In

  • Josh Giddey (ankle) — Available

Utah Jazz News

Confirmed Lineup: Kris Dunn, Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, John Collins, Kelly Olynyk

  • Talen Horton-Tucker (foot) — In

  • Keyonte George (foot) — In

San Antonio Spurs News

Confirmed Lineup: Malaki Branham, Devin Vassell, Julian Champagnie, Jeremy Sochan, Victor Wembanyama

  • Victor Wembanyama (ankle) — In

  • Zach Collins (knee) — Available

  • Charles Bassey (knee) — Out for season

Wembanyama was slated to remain on a minute restriction in Saturday’s contest before being a late scratch. He was limited to 22 minutes the game prior due to a sore right ankle. Coach Popovich added:

”If it was a playoff game, I probably would have played him…I would rather err on the conservative side since it’s the same ankle that he just got a time limitation on.”

Over the last eight games with Collins moving to the bench, the Spurs have allowed 48.9 rebounds per game -- the second-highest mark over that span.

Sacramento Kings News

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

  • Malik Monk (foot) — Available

  • Alex Len (ankle) — Available

Portland Trail Blazers News

Confirmed Lineup: Anfernee Simons, Malcolm Brogdon, Toumani Camara, Jerami Grant, Moses Brown

  • Deandre Ayton (knee) — Out

  • Shaedon Sharpe (adductor) — Out

  • Robert Williams (knee) — Out for season

Charlotte Hornets News

Confirmed Lineup: Terry Rozier, Bryce McGowens, Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, Nick Richards

  • Brandon Miller (ankle) — Out

  • Mark Williams (back) — Out

  • LaMelo Ball (ankle) — Injured

  • Frank Ntilikina (leg) — Injured

Los Angeles Clippers News

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

  • Kawhi Leonard (hip) — Out

  • Moussa Diabate (hip) — Out

  • Mason Plumlee (knee) — Injured