NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 2/23

Feb 23rd 2023

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 (foot) — In

  • Joel Embiid (illness) — In

  • Anthony Davis (foot) — In

  • Damian Lillard (rest) — Out

  • Jerami Grant (rest) — Out

  • OG Anunoby (wrist) — Available

  • Fred VanVleet (personal) — Out

  • Tre Jones (foot) — Out

  • Jeremy Sochan (quad) — Out

Recent NBA News

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Denver Nuggets News

Confirmed Lineup: Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Vlatko Cancar, Nikola Jokic

  • Jamal Murray (knee) — Said he'll play

  • Aaron Gordon (rib) — Out

  • Reggie Jackson (signed) — Expected to be available

  • Zeke Nnaji (shoulder) — Out

Cancar recorded 15.4% usage, a 9.3% rebound rate, and a 14.0% assist rate while averaging 27.7 minutes during the five starts he made in Gordon's stead this month. Murray (+3.0%), Caldwell-Pope (+2.4%), and Jokic (+1.9%) have registered the highest usage differentials among active Nuggets with Gordon off the court this season.

Cleveland Cavaliers News

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

  • Cedi Osman (neck) — Not on injury report

  • Ricky Rubio (injury management) — Out

Caris LeVert has averaged just 2.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 23.3 minutes in the two games he's played off the bench with Rubio available in February. He's averaged 9.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 28.5 minutes in the three games he's played without Rubio this month.

Boston Celtics News

Confirmed Lineup: Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Robert Williams

  • Jaylen Brown (face) — Not on injury report

  • Robert Williams (ankle) — Not on injury report

  • Mike Muscala (injury management) — Not on injury report

  • Mfiondu Kabengele (personal) — Not on injury report

  • Danilo Gallinari (ACL) — Injured

It could be difficult to demote Derrick White to the bench following a career-best stretch of play, but Boston's big lineup still projects to be their go-to look for most matchups. Brown isn't guaranteed to play restricted minutes in his return after thriving in the All-Star game and avoiding the injury report entirely.

Indiana Pacers News

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

  • Daniel Theis (thumb) — Not on injury report

  • Isaiah Jackson (illness) — Not on injury report

Detroit Pistons News

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

  • Marvin Bagley (hand) — Out

  • Jalen Duren (ankle) — Not on injury report

  • Nerlens Noel (not with team) — Out

  • Cade Cunningham (shin) — Injured

The game script was thrown off in Detroit's 127-109 loss to Boston before the break, but it was notable that Duren played 15.0 first-half minutes while James Wiseman played 9.0. Alec Burks and Isaiah Livers cleared 10.0 first-half minutes and figure to lead reserves in time unless Duren and Wiseman progressively split minutes more evenly in typical game situations.

Orlando Magic News

Confirmed Lineup: Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr.

  • Cole Anthony (wrist) — Not on injury report

  • Goga Bitadze (signed) — Expected to be available

  • Jonathan Isaac (injury management) — Not on injury report

Orlando's offensive rating (104.5) and three-point percentage (30.8%) from their two losses to the Pistons would be the worst league-wide over the entire season. Wagner (27.6%) and Banchero (27.1%) posted elevated usage rates in those contests and respectively averaged 19.5 and 21.0 points per game. However, outside of Jalen Suggs scoring 21 points on eight-for-11 shooting in the season opener, the rest of the Magic have fallen flat in this matchup.

Memphis Grizzlies News

Confirmed Lineup: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, Jaren Jackson Jr.

  • Luke Kennard (illness) — Out

  • Steven Adams (knee) — Injured

Though Brooks missed one of the contests and Bane missed the other, it's notable that Morant logged 39.7% usage in his two games against the 76ers during the last two seasons. Matching up with the 76ers makes Tillman, the burlier of the two center options, more likely to start.

Philadelphia 76ers News

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

  • Joel Embiid (illness) — In

  • Dewayne Dedmon (hip) — Out

  • Furkan Korkmaz (personal) — Not on injury report

The Grizzlies (110.4) and 76ers (112.9) boast two of the top seven defensive ratings league-wide. Philadelphia has struggled against teams with top-ten defensive ratings, posting a 5-8 record and the 20th-ranked point differential (-3.8). Conversely, Memphis has logged an 11-8 record but the best point differential (+7.1) against those teams.

New Orleans Pelicans News

Confirmed Lineup: CJ McCollum, Josh Richardson, Herb Jones, Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas

  • Larry Nance Jr. (core) — Available

  • Dyson Daniels (ankle) — Out

  • Zion Williamson (hamstring) — Injured

Valanciunas has succeeded in six games against Toronto after being traded away, averaging 16.5 points, 15.0 rebounds, and 30.9 minutes. However, the Raptors improved on the interior before the break, logging the sixth-best rebound rate (51.7%) during their last 15 games in addition to acquiring Jakob Poeltl.

Toronto Raptors News

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

  • Gary Trent Jr. (calf) — Available

  • OG Anunoby (wrist) — Available

  • Fred VanVleet (personal) — Out

  • Thaddeus Young (knee) — Available

  • Otto Porter (toe) — Injured

Toronto will have more depth than they've had all season, which will cause two of Precious Achiuwa, Gary Trent Jr., and Poeltl to be demoted to the bench while the remaining starters could be less likely to play extended minutes. VanVleet's shooting will be valued most if Poeltl gets the nod, and VanVleet has led the Raptors with a +3.1% usage differential with Trent Jr. off the court this season.

San Antonio Spurs News

Confirmed Lineup: Devonte' Graham, Malaki Branham, Keldon Johnson, Keita Bates-Diop, Zach Collins

  • Tre Jones (foot) — Out

  • Jeremy Sochan (quad) — Out

  • Romeo Langford (adductor) — Out

  • Isaiah Roby (ankle) — Out

  • Devin Vassell (knee) — Injured

  • Khem Birch (knee) — Injured

The Spurs functionally played with this lineup for two games before the break, though Doug McDermott's return cut into Devonte' Graham's minutes in the most recent match. Graham (32.4%) and Collins (22.4%) posted the highest assist rates on the team as offensive opportunities were distributed relatively evenly across the lineup, though Johnson still led the team with 26.7% usage.

Dallas Mavericks News

Confirmed Lineup: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Josh Green, Reggie Bullock, Dwight Powell

  • Kyrie Irving (back) — Not on injury report

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

  • AJ Lawson (knee) — Not on injury report

  • Davis Bertans (calf) — Injured

  • Maxi Kleber (hamstring) — Injured

Coach Kidd will likely rely heavily on seven players to complete most of the rotation until Kleber rejoins the lineup. Reggie Bullock should consistently near 30 minutes, and Christian Wood should factor for at least 20 minutes off the bench after finding his rhythm before the All-Star break.

Oklahoma City Thunder News

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

  • Ousmane Dieng (G League) — Out

  • Aleksej Pokusevski (leg) — Injured

  • Chet Holmgren (foot) — Injured

Robinson-Earl averaged 26.1 minutes in the last 11 games he completed pre-injury. He returned from a two-month absence to clear 18.0 minutes in consecutive contests before the break, and his time should now be ramped up. Jaylin Williams, Kenrich Williams, Dario Saric, and Eugene Omoruyi will see fewer opportunities if Robinson-Earl reclaims a leading frontcourt role.

Utah Jazz News

Confirmed Lineup: Talen Horton-Tucker, Jordan Clarkson, Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, Walker Kessler

  • Lauri Markkanen (knee) — Not on injury report

  • Collin Sexton (hamstring) — Out

  • Rudy Gay (illness) — Not on injury report

  • Frank Jackson (signed) — TBD

  • Kris Dunn (signed) — TBD

Horton-Tucker logged 23.3% usage and a 34.3% assist rate in 25.8 minutes per game during the five matches following the Mike Conley trade and projects to act as a lead facilitator until Sexton rejoins the lineup. However, Agbaji could start and close halves, causing Olynyk and Clarkson to act as primary distributors when Horton-Tucker is off the floor.

Golden State Warriors News

Confirmed Lineup: Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Donte DiVincenzo, Jonathan Kuminga, Draymond Green

  • Andrew Wiggins (personal) — Out

  • Andre Iguodala (hip) — Out

  • Gary Payton II (adductor) — Injured

  • Stephen Curry (leg) — Injured

Los Angeles Lakers News

Confirmed Lineup: D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, LeBron James, Jarred Vanderbilt, Anthony Davis

  • LeBron James (foot) — In

  • Anthony Davis (foot) — In

Coach Ham confirmed that he'd stick with the same starting lineup, which means Dennis Schroder slots into a backup point guard role while Austin Reaves could continue to lead reserves in minutes. Russell, James, and Davis each finished with five or more assists in the one match the trio played together before the break, which suggests James might be less ball-dominant moving forward.

Portland Trail Blazers News

Confirmed Lineup: Ryan Arcidiacono, Matisse Thybulle, Cam Reddish, Nassir Little, Drew Eubanks

  • Damian Lillard (rest) — Out

  • Jerami Grant (rest) — Out

  • Ibou Badji (knee) — Out

  • Anfernee Simons (ankle) — Injured

  • Jusuf Nurkic (calf) — Injured

  • Justise Winslow (ankle) — Injured

Coach Billups said it's between Reddish, Thybulle, and Shaedon Sharpe to start on the wing. Grant and Lillard should shoulder a majority of the offense until Simons or Nurkic return; Lillard has posted a +5.4% usage differential and a +5.3% assist rate differential with Simons off the court this season.

Sacramento Kings News

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

  • Malik Monk (ankle) — In

  • KZ Okpala (knee) — Out