NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 3/31

Mar 31st 2024

Ryan Schwepfinger

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

  • Nikola Jokic (hip, wrist) — Available

  • Luka Doncic (knee) — In

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (quad) — In

  • LeBron James (ankle) — Available

  • Anthony Davis (knee) — Available

  • Anthony Edwards (finger) — In

  • Tyrese Maxey (hip) — Out

  • Rudy Gobert (rib) — In

  • Kyle Kuzma (heel) — Out

  • Jamal Murray (knee) — Out

  • Devin Vassell (foot) — Out

  • RJ Barrett (reconditioning) — Out

  • Jonathan Kuminga (knee) — Out

  • Klay Thompson (knee) — In

  • Mitchell Robinson (ankle) — Out

  • Isaiah Hartenstein (wrist) — In

  • Cam Johnson (toe) — Available

  • John Collins (back) — Out

  • Duncan Robinson (back) — Available

  • Nikola Jovic (knee) — Available

  • Richaun Holmes (toe) — Out

  • Alex Caruso (ankle) — Available

  • Ayo Dosunmu (illness) — Available

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Cleveland Cavaliers News

Confirmed Lineup: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen

  • Caris LeVert (wrist) — Available

  • Isaac Okoro (toe) — Out

  • Craig Porter Jr. (illness) — Out

  • Dean Wade (knee) — Injured

  • Ty Jerome (ankle) — Injured

Denver Nuggets News

Confirmed Lineup: Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic

  • Nikola Jokic (hip, wrist) — Available

  • Jamal Murray (knee) — Out

  • Zeke Nnaji (adductor) — Out

  • Vlatko Cancar (knee) — Injured

Los Angeles Clippers News

Confirmed Lineup: James Harden, Terance Mann, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Ivica Zubac

Charlotte Hornets News

Confirmed Lineup: Vasilije Micic, Tre Mann, Brandon Miller, Miles Bridges, Nick Richards

  • Aleksej Pokusevski (illness) — Out

  • Mark Williams (back) — Injured

  • LaMelo Ball (ankle) — Out for season

  • Cody Martin (ankle) — Out for season

  • Seth Curry (ankle) — Out for season

Los Angeles Lakers News

Confirmed Lineup: D'Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, LeBron James, Anthony Davis

  • LeBron James (ankle) — Available

  • Anthony Davis (knee) — Available

  • Gabe Vincent (knee) — Available

  • Jaxson Hayes (calf) — Out

  • Jarred Vanderbilt (foot) — Injured

  • Christian Wood (knee) — Injured

  • Jalen Hood-Schifino (back) — Injured

This is the standard listing for James, who has played 35 minutes in each of two straight games since last sitting out on March 26. Meanwhile, Davis is also on the injury report after playing through his hyperextended knee on Friday. He looked fully healthy vs. Indiana, recording 24 points and 15 rebounds over 38 minutes. If he sits against Brooklyn on Sunday, Jaxson Hayes should once again start in his place.

The Lakers have an upcoming back-to-back on April 2 at Toronto and April 3 at Washington. Don't be surprised to see Los Angeles choose to rest James and/or Davis for one of those contests.

Brooklyn Nets News

Confirmed Lineup: Dennis Schroder, Cam Thomas, Mikal Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nic Claxton

  • Cam Johnson (toe) — Available

  • Dennis Smith Jr. (hip) — Available

  • Ben Simmons (back) — Out for season

  • Keita Bates-Diop (leg) — Out for season

  • Dariq Whitehead (shin) — Out for season

Johnson is looking to return after missing three straight games. Finney-Smith has been starting in his place, and he could remain in the first five even if Johnson is able to play against the Lakers. Johnson has returned from a multi-game injury on two prior occasions since February, and both times, he played four straight games off the bench before reclaiming a spot in the starting lineup.

Miami Heat News

Confirmed Lineup: Terry Rozier, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Nikola Jovic, Bam Adebayo

  • Duncan Robinson (back) — Available

  • Nikola Jovic (knee) — Available

  • Caleb Martin (ankle) — Out

  • Tyler Herro (foot) — Injured

  • Josh Richardson (shoulder) — Out for season

Washington Wizards News

Confirmed Lineup: Jordan Poole, Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Marvin Bagley

  • Kyle Kuzma (heel) — Out

  • Richaun Holmes (toe) — Out

  • Tyus Jones (back) — Out

  • Landry Shamet (calf) — Out

  • Eugene Omoruyi (toe) — Out

  • Bilal Coulibaly (wrist) — Out for season

  • Isaiah Livers (hip) — Out for season

Kuzma has missed three games since March 17 with various ailments as the Wizards play out the stretch run, and he's in danger of missing another on Sunday. Poole should be the biggest beneficiary from an offensive perspective if Kuzma is out; Poole has recorded a 34.2% usage rate during Kuzma's three absences this month. Expect Deni Avdija to also take on a heavier workload in that scenario.

Philadelphia 76ers News

Confirmed Lineup: Kyle Lowry, Cam Payne, Kelly Oubre, Tobias Harris, Mo Bamba

  • Tyrese Maxey (hip) — Out

  • Joel Embiid (knee) — Injured

  • Robert Covington (knee) — Injured

  • De'Anthony Melton (back) — Injured

Toronto Raptors News

Confirmed Lineup: Javon Freeman-Liberty, Gary Trent Jr., Gradey Dick, Bruce Brown, Kelly Olynyk

  • RJ Barrett (reconditioning) — Out

  • Mouhamadou Gueye (illness) — Available

  • Immanuel Quickley (reconditioning) — Out

  • Ochai Agbaji (hip) — Out

  • DJ Carton (ankle) — Out

  • Jontay Porter (personal) — Out

  • Scottie Barnes (hand) — Injured

  • Jakob Poeltl (finger) — Injured

  • Chris Boucher (knee) — Injured

Barrett has been upgraded to questionable for Sunday's contest. He's missed eight straight games -- mainly for personal reasons. He rejoined the team earlier this week and has been working on his conditioning due to the lengthy layoff. As long as Barrett doesn't have a significant minute restriction, he could rejoin the starting lineup when cleared to play. That's especially true given that Agbaji has joined the ranks of the Raptors' injured with a right hip contusion. If Barrett doesn't return against the Sixers, Garrett Temple could be in the driver's seat to start.

Chicago Bulls News

Confirmed Lineup: Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, Alex Caruso, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic

  • Alex Caruso (ankle) — Available

  • Ayo Dosunmu (illness) — Available

  • Julian Phillips (foot) — Injured

  • Zach LaVine (foot) — Out for season

  • Patrick Williams (foot) — Out for season

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) — Out for season

Minnesota Timberwolves News

Confirmed Lineup: Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Naz Reid, Rudy Gobert

  • Anthony Edwards (finger) — In

  • Rudy Gobert (rib) — In

  • Jordan McLaughlin (shoulder) — Available

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) — Injured

  • Jaylen Clark (Achilles) — Injured

Edwards played through a questionable tag on his finger for four straight games from March 19 through March 27 before then playing through a questionable tag on his back last game. He was not listed with the finger injury in that contest against the Nuggets, during which he played 39 minutes and scored 25 points. It seems highly, highly unlikely that his finger is a threat to him playing a game. Expect him to be at full strength against the Bulls.

Meanwhile, Gobert has played through a questionable tag on his ribs for the Wolves' last four games. He did miss three games with this injury in mid-March, so it can't be written off entirely. He has averaged 14.5 points and 13.3 rebounds over 35.9 minutes per outing during this four-game stretch, so he appears to be fully healthy.

Dallas Mavericks News

Confirmed Lineup: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Jones Jr., PJ Washington, Daniel Gafford

  • Luka Doncic (knee) — In

  • Josh Green (ankle) — Injured

Doncic had played through an injury listing on his Achilles over the Mavs' last two games, but the knee listing is a new one. He has played through a variety of injury tags all season long, suiting up in 64 of 73 games to date. He's missed just one game since the start of February. Dallas is in a battle with Phoenix and Sacramento to stay in the top six of the Western Conference and avoid the play-in tournament, which creates the impression that Doncic will do everything he can to play. He's played 40 or more minutes in four of six games since his last absence.

Houston Rockets News

Confirmed Lineup: Fred VanVleet, Jalen Green, Dillon Brooks, Amen Thompson, Jabari Smith Jr.

  • Cam Whitmore (knee) — Available

  • Alperen Sengun (ankle, knee) — Injured

  • Tari Eason (leg) — Out for season

  • Steven Adams (knee) — Out for season

Whitmore has been upgraded to probable ahead of Sunday's game against Dallas. He's been dealing with a sprained right LCL that's caused him to miss the Rockets' last nine games. After sparsely playing over the first two months of the season, Whitmore emerged as a valuable rotation member in January. He's averaged 19.8 minutes per game in 31 appearances since New Year's Day. His likely return to the lineup could reduce the roles of Aaron Holiday, Jae'Sean Tate, or Reggie Bullock.

Golden State Warriors News

Confirmed Lineup: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins Draymond Green, Trayce Jackson-Davis

  • Jonathan Kuminga (knee) — Out

  • Klay Thompson (knee) — In

  • Dario Saric (knee) — Out

San Antonio Spurs News

Confirmed Lineup: Tre Jones, Malaki Branham, Julian Champagnie, Cedi Osman, Victor Wembanyama

  • Devin Vassell (foot) — Out

  • Jeremy Sochan (ankle) — Out

  • Keldon Johnson (foot) — Out

  • Charles Bassey (knee) — Out for season

Sochan did not play in the second half on Friday after suffering his ankle injury in-game against the Knicks. Osman started the second half in his place and finished the game with 20 minutes. Johnson also played 35 minutes in the game, an overtime win over the Knicks, so the Spurs will have a large chunk of minutes to replace against the Warriors on Sunday. Consider Osman the favorite to start in Sochan's place. Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley could have increased roles off the bench. Vassell (45 minutes against New York), Victor Wembanyama (38) and Tre Jones (35) should have extremely high floors in the starting lineup if the game remains competitive.

Oklahoma City Thunder News

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

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (quad) — Available

Over these past two games, Cason Wallace and Aaron Wiggins have each received one spot start in Gilgeous-Alexander's place. However, Josh Giddey has been the biggest beneficiary over this two-game SGA absence, averaging 27.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.5 assists. His usage rate has surged to a team-leading 35.3%, significantly ahead of the 22.7% usage rate he's recorded with Gilgeous-Alexander in the lineup this season.

New York Knicks News

Confirmed Lineup: Jalen Brunson, Miles McBride, Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, Isaiah Hartenstein

  • Mitchell Robinson (ankle) — Out

  • Isaiah Hartenstein (wrist) — In

  • Alec Burks (shoulder) — Available

  • Julius Randle (shoulder) — Injured

  • OG Anunoby (elbow) — Injured

Robinson recently returned from a 50-game absence after having surgery on the same ankle that has landed him on the injury report for Sunday. He's played 12 and 20 minutes off the bench in two consecutive outings, respectively. It makes sense that the team would bring him along slowly after such a long layoff. Jericho Sims could enter the Knicks' rotation as the backup center if Robinson were to sit against the Thunder.

Meanwhile, Hartenstein has only averaged 23.4 minutes per game over 14 straight starts since his last absence on February 27. He's the rare starter in coach Thibodeau's lineup that doesn't have 40-minute upside, but he would theoretically have a little higher floor if Robinson were to miss out against the Thunder.

Utah Jazz News

Confirmed Lineup: Keyonte George, Collin Sexton, Brice Sensabaugh, Taylor Hendricks, Walker Kessler

  • John Collins (back) — Out

  • Jordan Clarkson (back) — Out

  • Lauri Markkanen (shoulder) — Injured

Markkanen is out for at least two weeks after re-aggravating a previous right shoulder impingement. The injury was revealed following an MRI taken on Friday, per the Jazz. He missed Utah's last game with the injury after battling quad issues for most of March. The Jazz are eliminated from playoff contention and their last regular-season game is on April 14, meaning it is highly likely that Markkanen's season is over. Sensabaugh will likely continue in the starting lineup down the stretch run.

Sacramento Kings News

Confirmed Lineup: De'Aaron Fox, Keon Ellis, Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, Domantas Sabonis

  • Trey Lyles (knee) — Available

  • Sasha Vezenkov (ankle) — Available

  • Malik Monk (knee) — Injured

  • Kevin Huerter (shoulder) — Out for season