NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 4/21

Apr 21st 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

  • Kawhi Leonard (knee) — Out

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf) — Out

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Miami Heat News

Confirmed Lineup: Tyler Herro, Caleb Martin, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Nikola Jovic, Bam Adebayo

  • Duncan Robinson (back) — Available

  • Jimmy Butler (knee) — Injured

  • Terry Rozier (neck) — Injured

  • Josh Richardson (shoulder) — Out for season

Each Conference Final from 2022-23 is being revisited in 2023-24's first round, as the Heat once again meet the Celtics after defeating them in seven games to win the East last season. They'll have to take on the NBA's top seed without Butler and Rozier. Jaquez Jr. stepped into the starting lineup against the Bulls in the Play-In Tournament and totaled 21 points, six rebounds, and six assists in a team-high 35 minutes. Haywood Highsmith was also plenty active off the bench, logging 31 minutes. Herro's play, however, will likely dictate how competitive Miami can be in this series. He nearly triple-doubled against Chicago with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists while taking a team-leading 17 shots.

Meanwhile, Robinson is questionable due to his ongoing battle with left facet syndrome in his back. He was probable ahead of Friday night's Play-In Tournament game against the Bulls, but suited up and played 12 minutes off the bench. One game earlier, he was a DNP-CD due to his injury despite technically being available. Martin will likely continue starting in Robinson's place against Boston no matter what. Robinson is clearly still managing the injury. Expect a lot of Highsmith off the bench to defend Jayson Tatum as well.

Boston Celtics News

Confirmed Lineup: Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Kristaps Porzingis

  • Luke Kornet (calf) — Injured

Dallas Mavericks News

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

  • Tim Hardaway Jr. (illness) — Available

  • Dereck Lively II (knee) — Not on injury report

With Lively II off the injury report, the Mavericks could conceivably run a 10-man rotation if Hardaway Jr. is able to play through his illness. Dallas' depth could mean volatile starters' minutes for Jones Jr., with Dante Exum, Josh Green, and Hardaway Jr. all viable options to fill that role if things aren't going well for the Mavs. Coach Kidd has plenty of options if he wants to tighten his rotation or shake things up.

Los Angeles Clippers News

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

  • Kawhi Leonard (knee) — Out

Leonard is officially listed questionable, but all signs point to him missing this game, including George telling media "I do think at some point he will be with us" after practice on Saturday -- a session in which Leonard had still not been cleared for contact. Coach Lue said that he knows who the potential replacement in the starting lineup would be, but he declined to reveal it. Coffey and Norman Powell are the leading candidates.

Indiana Pacers News

Confirmed Lineup: Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, Aaron Nesmith, Pascal Siakam, Myles Turner

  • Bennedict Mathurin (shoulder) — Out for season

Milwaukee Bucks News

Confirmed Lineup: Damian Lillard, Patrick Beverley, Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis, Brook Lopez

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf) — Out

  • AJ Green (ankle) — Not on injury report

Antetokounmpo is listed doubtful as expected. This follows previous reporting from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the Bucks were preparing to be without him for the start of their first-round series. The team hopes treatment on Antetokounmpo's strained left calf will allow him to return later in the series. Giannis missed the final three games of the regular season and has been undergoing around-the-clock treatment. Bobby Portis should continue to start at the four for however long he remains sidelined.

New Orleans Pelicans News

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

  • Zion Williamson (hamstring) — Injured

New Orleans' Play-In Tournament rotation sans Williamson featured 24 minutes of Naji Marshall off the bench. Marshall had been battling a shoulder injury and was a DNP-CD in the Play-In loss to the Lakers despite being available to play. It could make sense if Dyson Daniels works his way back into the rotation against the Thunder. Notably, Brandon Ingram's minutes were also plenty full from the starting lineup, as he logged 37 against the Kings.

Oklahoma City Thunder News

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

The Thunder have nobody listed on the injury report prior to Game 1 against New Orleans. Oklahoma City was arguably the healthiest team in the league all season long, a major reason why they finished as the top seed in the West. Their starting five missed just a combined 23 out of 410 regular-season games, with the bulk of those coming in late March and early April absences for Gilgeous-Alexander and Williams that may have been more precautionary than anything.