NBA News & Fantasy Basketball Notes 12/25

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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

  • LeBron James (ankle) — Probable

  • Devin Booker (groin) — Expected to play

  • Jamal Murray (foot) — Probable

  • Khris Middleton (knee) — Doubtful

  • Draymond Green (foot) — Questionable

  • Marcus Smart (hip) — Probable

Recent NBA News

Follow us on Twitter at @Underdog__NBA for notifications.

Philadelphia 76ers News

Projected Lineup: James Harden, De’Anthony Melton, Tobias Harris, PJ Tucker, Joel Embiid

The 76ers’ defensive rating has improved to 106.3 since Harden returned from injury, and they have allowed the third-fewest points per 100 possessions during that time. Harris (17.8%) and Melton (16.5%) have logged decreased usage since Harden rejoined the lineup.

New York Knicks News

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

Barrett has led the Knicks with an increased 28.0% usage rate during their past five games. The Knicks boast the fifth-best rebounding rate (51.7%), and the 76ers have posted the third-worst rebounding rate (48.0%).

Los Angeles Lakers News

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

  • LeBron James (ankle) — Probable

  • Thomas Bryant (shoulder) — Not on injury report

  • Anthony Davis (foot) — Injured

  • Juan Toscano-Anderson (ankle) — Injured

Walker logged 23.8% usage in 27.4 minutes Friday despite Westbrook and Reaves returning. Opposing forwards have made the second-most field goals per game (30.4) against Dallas this season. The Mavs’ defense against opposing wings could be compromised without Dorian Finney Smith (adductor).

Dallas Mavericks News

Projected Lineup: Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock, Christian Wood

  • Dorian Finney-Smith (adductor) — Out

  • Kemba Walker (injury recovery) — Out

  • Reggie Bullock (neck) — Not on injury report

  • Jaden Hardy (back) — Questionable

  • Josh Green (elbow) — Injured

  • Maxi Kleber (hamstring) — Injured

The Lakers have recorded the third-worst rebounding rate (46.6%) and allowed the sixth-most points in the paint per game (54.5) with Davis sidelined for the past four games. The Mavs’ 47.7% rebounding rate ranks last league-wide. Doncic (13.3) and Wood (8.5) have scored the most points in the paint per game on the Mavs.

Milwaukee Bucks News

Projected Lineup: Jrue Holiday, Jevon Carter, Grayson Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez

Antetokounmpo (41.4%) and Holiday (27.3%) logged heightened usage rates against the Celtics in the playoffs last season with Middleton sidelined. Milwaukee has a 6-6 record against teams ranked top ten in defensive rating, and they have scored the ninth-fewest points per 100 possessions (108.2) in those matchups. The Celtics have the seventh-best defensive rating (111.1) league-wide.

Boston Celtics News

Projected Lineup: Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford

  • Marcus Smart (hip) — Probable

  • Robert Williams (illness) — Not on injury report

  • Danilo Gallinari (ACL) — Injured

The Celtics have made 3.9 fewer threes per game during their last seven matches than they did in their first 26 contests. Boston connecting on 15.7 threes per game during their playoff series against the Bucks last season was vital in their series victory. Milwaukee has allowed opponents to make 2.8 fewer threes per game this season compared to the previous year.

Memphis Grizzlies News

Projected Lineup: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Steven Adams

Bane returned to play 24.4 minutes in Friday’s blowout win. The Warriors have registered the second-worst defensive rating (121.9) in the league during their last six games. Opponents have scored the most points off turnovers per game (27.3) and shot the highest three-point percentage (44.3%) during that time.

Golden State Warriors News

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

  • Klay Thompson (injury management) — Not on injury report

  • Draymond Green (foot) — Questionable

  • Donte DiVincenzo (illness) — In

  • Andrew Wiggins (adductor) — Out

  • JaMychal Green (health protocols) — Out

  • Andre Iguodala (injury management) — Out

  • Stephen Curry (shoulder) — Injured

The Grizzlies have posted the second-best defensive rating (106.3) in the league since Jaren Jackson Jr. returned on November 15th. However, they have allowed opponents to make the ninth-most threes per game (13.0) during that time. The Warriors have scored 40.3% of their points from three with Curry sidelined for the last four games, which has remained consistent with their season-long output.

Phoenix Suns News

Projected Lineup: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Torrey Craig, Deandre Ayton

There should be reduced offensive opportunities available across the lineup due to Booker’s expected return, and Landry Shamet’s role should be reduced most sharply. The Suns have scored the second-most second-chance points per game (16.8) in December, and the Nuggets have allowed the fewest second-chance points per game (9.5) this month.

Denver Nuggets News

Projected Lineup: Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic

  • Jamal Murray (foot) — Probable

  • Zeke Nnaji (finger) — Probable

  • Jeff Green (hand, finger) — Injured

Murray averaged 25.0 points in three games against the Suns after they acquired Chris Paul. Porter Jr. played 27.0 minutes in his return Friday and averaged 12.0 points in three matchups against Phoenix during the past three seasons.





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