Injuries that have already taken impact into the projections in a meaningful way: Donovan Mitchell (UTA, Out)
Injury situations that will need to be monitored throughout the slate: Joel Embiid (PHI, Questionable), Talen Horton-Tucker (LAL, Questionable), LeBron James (LAL, Questionable), Danilo Gallinari (ATL, Questionable), Trae Young (ATL, Questionable), Ja Morant (MEM, Questionable- appears on track to play), Quentin Grimes (NYK, Questionable), Eric Gordon (HOU, Questionable), Goga Bitadze (IND, Questionable), Chris Duarte (IND, Questionable), Jimmy Butler (MIA, Questionable), PJ Tucker (MIA, Questionable), Caleb Martin (MIA, Questionable), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC, Questionable), Josh Richardson (SAS, Questionable), Jose Alvarado (NO, Questionable), Devonte Graham (NO, Questionable), De’Aaron Fox (SAC, Questionable), Zach Lavine (CHI, Probable), Jae Crowder (PHX, Questionable)
Lineup scenarios that we’ll be seeking confirmation on:
Utah: Donovan Mitchell has already been ruled out, and Utah never likes to make it easy for us who work on projections when they are down a starter. It would make sense from the outside to throw Jordan Clarkson out there, but Utah likes to keep him as a spark off the bench, so we will likely see Nickeil Alexander-Walker or Juancho Hernangomez finding themselves in the starting five. I would lean Alexander-Walker getting the nod given his dynamic skillset that could mimic the void that Donovan Mitchell brings on a nightly basis. Mike Conley will find himself with the ball in his hand more than usual and will see material boosts in assist and usage percentages as a result.
Philadelphia: Joel Embiid is listed as questionable tonight. With Doc Rivers recently signaling that he wants to get his superstar big man more rest down the stretch, there could be a spot to sit him down tonight. DeAndre Jordan will likely be infused into the starting lineup if that were to come to fruition, and with Charles Bassey still in the G-League, Rivers is left without a true backup five to Jordan. It feels unlikely that Jordan would see any more than 25-28 minutes, Philly would be forced to go with Paul Reed and Paul Millsap as small-ball centers. James Harden would see a nice boost in ownership and usage, particularly with Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey scaling up if Embiid gets ruled out.
Atlanta: Trae Young is listed as questionable going into tonight’s matchup against Memphis. If he were unable to go, we’d likely see Delon Wright slide into the Hawks’ starting role, with Lou Williams seeing additional minutes off the bench. Delon Wright will be the primary ball-handler and playmaker for the Hawks, but Bogdon Bogdanovic will also take on more of a playmaking role.
Oklahoma City: Tre Mann looks to be the guy to see the most significant boost if Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was to be ruled out. As the ownership will shift in Mann’s direction, there could be value in scooping a guy like Theo Maledon who could start alongside Mann or see an extended run off the bench at $4200 on Fanduel. Otherwise, there are multiple cheap options from the Thunder available who will see volume and minutes that could infuse some financial flexibility into your lineups in such a dense slate.
Memphis: Ja Morant is listed as questionable and is at risk of missing another game for the Grizzlies. In Morant’s Tuesday absence, Tyus Jones was inserted into the starting lineup as the primary ball-handler, and there is no reason to assume differently going into tonight. De’Anthony Melton is likely to see extended minutes off the bench as the backup to Tyus Jones. Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane will see assist boosts in particular as they will see more of a playmaking role in Morant’s absence, especially for Dillon Brooks.
All NBA predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.