NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 12/18

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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 (knee) — Probable

  • LeBron James (ankle) — Probable

  • Bradley Beal (hamstring) — TBD

  • Rudy Gobert (ankle) — Questionable

  • Jamal Murray (ankle) — Probable

  • D’Angelo Russell (knee) — Questionable

  • Klay Thompson (knee) — Probable

  • Draymond Green (quad) — Probable

  • Gary Trent Jr. (quad) — Questionable

Recent NBA News

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Orlando Magic News

Projected Lineup: Markelle Fultz, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Moe Wagner, Bol Bol

  • Jalen Suggs (ankle) — Out

  • Gary Harris (hamstring) — Out

  • RJ Hampton (G League) — Available

  • Chuma Okeke (knee) — Injured

  • Wendell Carter Jr. (foot) — Injured

  • Jonathan Isaac (ACL) — Injured

Franz Wagner’s 26.1% usage and Banchero’s five assists led the Magic in their 117-109 road win over the Celtics on Friday. Moe Wagner led Orlando with 25 points on nine-for-12 shooting. Out-rebounding Boston by 15 boards and limiting the Celtics to 23.9% from three were vital in their victory.

Boston Celtics News

Projected Lineup: Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Grant Williams, Al Horford

Brown, Smart, White, and Malcolm Brogdon should generate most of Boston’s offense in Tatum’s absence. Brown has recorded the highest usage differential (+5.1%) on the Celtics with Tatum off the floor this season.

New York Knicks News

Projected Lineup: Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson

The Knicks have led the league with 19.0 second-chance points per game during their six-game winning streak. The Pacers have allowed the fifth-most second-chance points per game (16.3) during their last six games.

Indiana Pacers News

Projected Lineup: Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Buddy Hield, Jalen Smith, Myles Turner

Duarte was starting before getting injured, and he has logged 19.9% usage in 19.6 minutes per game this season. If available, he likely returns to limited minutes in a reserve role. However, Nembhard, Aaron Nesmith, and Bennedict Mathurin’s time could be reduced in that event.

Brooklyn Nets News

Projected Lineup: Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, Royce O’Neale, Kevin Durant, Nic Claxton

Durant averaged 36.0 points in four matchups against the Pistons last season, and Detroit no longer has Jerami Grant to defend Durant. Irving was out for three of those games, but Durant scored 41 points in the one game he and Irving played against Detroit.

Detroit Pistons News

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

Duren’s 21.8% rebounding rate since being inserted into the starting lineup ranks second among all starters in the last four games. The Nets have registered the third-worst rebounding rate (47.9%) this season.

Golden State Warriors News

Projected Lineup: Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney

  • Klay Thompson (knee) — Probable

  • Andrew Wiggins (adductor) — Out

  • Draymond Green (quad) — Probable

  • Andre Iguodala (injury management) — Out

  • Stephen Curry (shoulder) — Injured

DiVincenzo has recorded 15.4% usage, a 21.1% defensive rebounding rate, and a 60.9 eFG% while averaging 36.2 minutes during the last two games. His 57.1% shooting from downtown from the previous two matches should regress, but his opportunities should remain stable until Wiggins returns.

Toronto Raptors News

Projected Lineup: Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Christian Koloko

  • Gary Trent Jr. (quad) — Questionable

  • OG Anunoby (hip) — Injured

  • Otto Porter (toe) — Injured

  • Precious Achiuwa (ankle) — Injured

Juancho Hernangomez started and played 40.8 minutes in Trent Jr.’s stead Friday, and Malachi Flynn logged 28.3 minutes in an eight-man rotation. VanVleet led Toronto with 29.5% usage Friday, and his perimeter scoring would be less crucial if Trent Jr. rejoins the lineup.

Chicago Bulls News

Projected Lineup: Alex Caruso, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, Nikola Vucevic

  • Ayo Dosunmu (pelvic) — Probable

  • Javonte Green (knee) — Probable

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) — Injured

LaVine has averaged 26.8 points against his former team. His 7.8 three-point attempts per game lead Chicago, and Minnesota has allowed opponents to make the most threes per game (14.1) this season.

Minnesota Timberwolves News

Projected Lineup: D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Kyle Anderson, Rudy Gobert

  • Rudy Gobert (ankle) — Questionable

  • D’Angelo Russell (knee) — Questionable

  • Jordan McLaughlin (calf) — Out

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) — Injured

  • Taurean Prince (shoulder) — Injured

Naz Reid scored 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds against the Thunder with Gobert out Friday. A matchup with the Bulls should prove to be more challenging, but his 27.9% usage could persist if Russell and Gobert remain out. Edwards secured 11 rebounds and dished out seven assists Friday, and his rebounding and facilitating roles could remain heightened in that event.

Charlotte Hornets News

Projected Lineup: LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, PJ Washington, Mason Plumlee

  • PJ Washington (personal) — Not on injury report

  • Mark Williams (ankle) — Out

  • Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle) — Injured

  • Cody Martin (knee) — Injured

Denver Nuggets News

Projected Lineup: Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Bruce Brown, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic

  • Nikola Jokic (knee) — Probable

  • Jamal Murray (ankle) — Probable

  • Michael Porter Jr. (heel) — Injured

Jokic averaged 20.0 rebounds in the two games he played against Mason Plumlee last season. Charlotte’s rebounding rate has improved by 1.1% this season, but Jokic can still exploit that matchup.

Washington Wizards News

Projected Lineup: Monte Morris, Bradley Beal, Deni Avdija, Kyle Kuzma, Kristaps Porzingis

  • Bradley Beal (hamstring) — TBD

  • Rui Hachimura (ankle) — Injured

  • Delon Wright (hamstring) — Injured

Los Angeles Lakers News

Projected Lineup: Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker, LeBron James, Thomas Bryant

  • LeBron James (ankle) — Probable

  • Anthony Davis (back) — Out

  • Wenyen Gabriel (shoulder) — Out

  • Juan Toscano-Anderson (ankle) — Injured

Listed “Probable” or “Questionable” before playing:

LeBron: 21-for-26
AD: 25-for-27

Bryant logged 30.8% usage and a 19.4% rebounding rate in 17.1 second-half minutes Friday, though those numbers likely aren’t sustainable. James and Russell Westbrook could shoulder more of the offensive burden in Davis’ absence.





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