NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 12/27

Dec 27th 2023

Cooper Boni

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

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (injury management) — In

  • Luka Doncic (quad) — In

  • Donovan Mitchell (illness) — Out

  • Dillon Brooks (abdominal) — Out

  • Kyle Kuzma (quad) — Available

  • Nic Claxton (injury maintenance) — Out

  • Cam Johnson (injury maintenance) — Out

  • Jusuf Nurkic (personal) — Available

  • Spencer Dinwiddie (rest) — Out

  • Tim Hardaway Jr. (illness) — Available

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Philadelphia 76ers News

Confirmed Lineup: Tyrese Maxey, De'Anthony Melton, Kelly Oubre, Tobias Harris, Paul Reed

  • Joel Embiid (ankle) — Out

  • Nicolas Batum (hamstring) — Out

With Embiid sidelined, Maxey and Harris will likely garner more usage. In games Embiid has missed this season, Maxey has seen a +2.3% usage rate increase, while Harris has seen an increase of +3.3%. Embiid's absences might have increased some of his teammates' stats, but they have hurt the team as a whole. Philadelphia has lost all four contests Embiid has missed, and now they'll face a Magic team with the ninth-best Net Rating (+3.1) of any team league-wide.

Orlando Magic News

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

  • Markelle Fultz (knee) — Out

  • Joe Ingles (ankle) — Out

  • Gary Harris (calf) — Out

  • Jonathan Isaac (hamstring) — Out

Toronto Raptors News

Confirmed Lineup: Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl

  • Garrett Temple (ankle) — Out

  • Christian Koloko (respiratory) — Injured

Washington Wizards News

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

  • Danilo Gallinari (rest) — Not on injury report

  • Kyle Kuzma (quad) — Available

  • Delon Wright (rest) — Out

Milwaukee Bucks News

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

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (injury management) — In

  • Jae Crowder (adductor) — Injured

The Bucks could be without Antetokounmpo in a game against Brooklyn, who he scored 36 points against earlier in the season. If Antetokounmpo does sit out, Middleton should have plenty of opportunities, as he has seen a team-high +10.6% usage rate increase when on the floor without Antetokounmpo this season. The Nets are allowing 23.7 points per contest to opposing small forwards, and they're coming off of a game where they gave up 23 points to Bojan Bogdanovic.

Brooklyn Nets News

Confirmed Lineup: Dennis Smith Jr., Cam Thomas, Mikal Bridges, Royce O'Neale, Day'Ron Sharpe

  • Dorian Finney-Smith (knee) — Out

  • Nic Claxton (injury maintenance) — Out

  • Cam Johnson (injury maintenance) — Out

  • Spencer Dinwiddie (rest) — Out

  • Lonnie Walker (hamstring) — Injured

  • Ben Simmons (back) — Injured

Phoenix Suns News

Confirmed Lineup: Devin Booker, Grayson Allen, Eric Gordon, Kevin Durant, Jusuf Nurkic

  • Josh Okogie (ankle) — Available

  • Jusuf Nurkic (personal) — Available

  • Bradley Beal (ankle) — Injured

  • Damion Lee (knee) — Injured

Houston Rockets News

Confirmed Lineup: Fred VanVleet, Jalen Green, Jae'Sean Tate, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun

  • Dillon Brooks (abdominal) — Out

  • Tari Eason (leg) — Available

  • Victor Oladipo (knee) — Injured

New York Knicks News

Confirmed Lineup: Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Isaiah Hartenstein

  • Jericho Sims (ankle) — Injured

  • Mitchell Robinson (ankle) — Injured

Oklahoma City Thunder News

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

Cleveland Cavaliers News

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

  • Donovan Mitchell (illness) — Out

  • Caris LeVert (knee) — Available

  • Sam Merrill (wrist) — Out

  • Evan Mobley (knee) — Injured

  • Darius Garland (jaw) — Injured

  • Ty Jerome (ankle) — Injured

  • Ricky Rubio — NWT

Mitchell missed the last three outings, and the Cavaliers managed to win two of the three. Allen averaged 16.7 points and 10.7 rebounds in those games and shot 70.0% from the field. He'll have an inviting matchup against Dallas, as the Mavericks have allowed the third-most points (25.3) and the fifth-most rebounds per game (15.7) to centers this season. If Mitchell can return, he'll face Dallas sans Kyrie Irving (heel) and possibly without Luka Doncic (quad).

Dallas Mavericks News

Confirmed Lineup: Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dante Exum, Derrick Jones Jr., Dereck Lively II

  • Luka Doncic (quad) — In

  • Tim Hardaway Jr. (illness) — Available

  • Josh Green (elbow) — Available

  • Kyrie Irving (heel) — Injured

  • Maxi Kleber (toe) — Injured

The Mavericks have won 18 of their 28 games with Doncic available this season and have averaged 121.1 points per contest in those outings. In their two games sans Doncic, they've suffered two losses and scored 95.0 points per contest. Regardless of Doncic's final status, Dallas will likely look to exploit the Cavaliers at the three-point line, as the Mavericks' 470 made threes are the second most league-wide. That will be no easy task, however, as Cleveland's opponents have made just 11.5 threes per game in December, the sixth-fewest of any team this month.