There was just one NBA game on the schedule for Tuesday, as Dallas hosted the Clippers with Kristaps Porzingis making his long-awaited return to the lineup after missing time with an injury. But the news wasn’t all good for the Mavericks, as Dwight Powell went down with an Achilles tendon injury during the first quarter. Below is a look at this game, followed by some quick injury notes for Wednesday’s slate.
Clippers 110, Mavericks 107 — As noted above Dallas welcomed back one starter but lost another in this one. Porzingis started and played 27 minutes but was clearly rusty, as he shot 4-of-17 from the field overall and 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. He finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot. Dallas returns to action Thursday night in Portland, and hopefully Porzingis will have shaken off the rust for that one. And with Powell going down with a non-contact right Achilles tendon injury during the first quarter, more will be required of players such as Porzingis and Maxi Kleber moving forward.
More should be learned about Powell’s status moving forward on Wednesday, with it being reported by Shams Charania of Stadium/The Athletic that it’s expected that he’ll be done for the season. Kleber played 32 minutes, accounting for eight points (4-of-7 FGs), five rebounds, one assist and two blocked shots. He’s a prime candidate to move into the starting lineup to fill the void left by Powell. Dorian Finney-Smith is also worth tracking, and in 37 minutes he accounted for eight points (3-of-8 FGs), six rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers.
Boban Marjanovic posted a solid line in his 16 minutes, as he accounted for 12 points (5-of-6 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), seven rebounds, one steal and two blocked shots. Even if Powell were to be ruled out for the remainder of the season, it’s difficult to envision Boban being anything more than a guy whose playing time is heavily influenced by the matchup on that particular night. Kleber and Finney-Smith would be better options in the aftermath of Powell’s injury.
Luka Doncic shot 12-of-26 from the field and 9-of-14 from the foul line, scoring 36 points with 10 rebounds, nine assists, two blocks and three 3-pointers in 35 minutes. One game removed from going 8-of-12 from three in a win over Portland, he shot just 3-of-12 Tuesday night. For the month of January Doncic is shooting better than 37 percent from three, so he’ll be fine moving forward. Tim Hardaway added 13 points (4-of-12 FGs, 2-of-3 FTs), three rebounds, one steal and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes.
The Clippers also lost a starter due to injury, as Patrick Beverley left in the second quarter due to a sore right groin and did not return. Beverley, who played 15 minutes and finished with nine points, four rebounds, four assists and three 3-pointers, was replaced in the lineup at the start of the second half by Lou Williams. Williams didn’t have his best night shooting the ball, as he was just 5-of-19 from the field, finishing with 16 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes. Should Beverley not be able to play Wednesday night in Atlanta, Williams would likely move into the starting lineup.
Another player to keep tabs on heading into Wednesday is Kawhi Leonard, who has yet to play in both ends of a back-to-back this season. This game was a tale of two halves for the reigning NBA Finals MVP. After shooting 3-of-14 from the field in the first half, he was 9-of-15 in the second and finished with 36 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, three steals, two blocks and one three-pointer. Leonard was just 1-of-9 from three, but for the month of January he was shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc entering Tuesday’s game. Over the last month Leonard is the top-ranked player in both eight- and nine-category formats according to Basketball Monster.
Landry Shamet had a good game, as he shot 5-of-8 from three and 3-of-3 from the foul line. He would finish with 18 points, three rebounds and one assist in 36 minutes, and he has now scored 11 points or more in each of his last four games. Shamet, who missed a month earlier this season due to injury, may be rounding into form after struggling with his shot at the beginning of January. Montrezl Harrell added 12 points, nine rebounds, one assist and two steals in 28 minutes, while JaMychal Green added six points, 10 rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes.
Green was the most effective of the Clippers’ “supplementary” forwards in this one. Moe Harkless, who was listed as probable due to back soreness, played just nine minutes and recorded just one rebound, and Patrick Patterson played just four minutes and missed both of his shot attempts. All three should be left on the waiver wire. Ivica Zubac played 19 minutes and scored nine points with nine rebounds, one assist and one steal. He can still be used as a secondary center in standard leagues, but not as the main option at that position.
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Wednesday’s Schedule (all times Eastern)
Philadelphia at Toronto, 7 PM
No changes to the injury reports here, as Joel Embiid (left hand) remains out and the Raptors have no rotation players listed.
Sacramento at Detroit, 7 PM
Only Richaun Holmes (right shoulder) is listed on the injury report for Sacramento, and new acquisitions Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver will be available to make their Kings debuts. With Trevor Ariza being sent to Portland in this trade, there’s room for at least one of them to get rotation minutes Wednesday night. For Detroit, Markieff Morris (right toe) is listed as probable while Andre Drummond (lip laceration) and Reggie Jackson (left lumbar spine stress reaction) are both considered to be questionable. Tim Frazier (flu) has been ruled out.
Oklahoma City at Orlando, 7 PM
The Thunder could once again be shorthanded at the center position, as both Steven Adams (left ankle sprain) and Nerlens Noel (left ankle soreness) are listed as questionable. That makes Mike Muscala a player to watch, because this matchup may make it more difficult for Oklahoma City to go small like they did for stretches of Monday’s game against the Rockets. Abdel Nader (left ankle sprain) and Terrance Ferguson (personal) have been ruled out, which means more playing time for Hamidou Diallo and Darius Bazley.
Orlando is still without D.J. Augustin (left knee bone irritation) and Jonathan Isaac (left knee), with the former’s absence freeing up some playmaking opportunities for Wesley Iwundu and Michael Carter-Williams with the second unit. But it’s unlikely enough to make either a player worth plucking off of the waiver wire.
LA Lakers at New York, 7:30 PM
Anthony Davis (gluteus maximus contusion) and Rajon Rondo (right ring finger) are listed as probable, so they should be good to go for the Lakers’ lone appearance of the season at Madison Square Garden. Davis played just over 22 minutes in his return to the lineup Monday night, and his playing time should increase so long as this game remains close. And that isn’t great news for those who have Kyle Kuzma, who is still worth rostering but he isn’t as impactful fantasy-wise coming off the bench in comparison to his production as a starter.
For the Knicks, Marcus Morris (right ankle sprain) and Dennis Smith Jr. (left oblique strain) are listed as questionable. Morris started and played nearly 30 minutes in Monday’s win over the Cavaliers, and Smith hasn’t appeared in a game since December 23. Should Smith be able to return Frank Ntilikina stands to take a hit minutes-wise, but he shouldn’t be rostered in standard leagues anyway. RJ Barrett (right ankle sprain) has been ruled out.
Memphis at Boston, 7:30 PM
Kemba Walker (left knee soreness) is listed as probable and Jaylen Brown (right ankle sprain) is listed as questionable, with Walker having played close to 30 minutes in Monday’s win over the Lakers and Brown just over 32. Brown injured his ankle during the fourth quarter, and should he not be able to play that would likely move Marcus Smart back into the starting lineup. There were no changes to Memphis’ injury report, as Bruno Caboclo (left knee soreness) remains sidelined.
Washington at Miami, 7:30 PM
The Heat have three rotation players of note on the injury report. While Duncan Robinson (right ankle sprain) is listed as questionable, Jimmy Butler (right hip soreness) and Goran Dragic (right knee bruise) are considered to be probable. Should Robinson not be able to play, that likely opens the door for Tyler Herro to fill that void as an additional shooter. He’s been quiet since returning to the court after missing two games due to a left knee injury, so this could be the opportunity that Herro needs to get back on track. For Washington, Anzejs Pasecniks (left ankle sprain) is listed as questionable. He hasn’t been all that impactful since Thomas Bryant made his return to action, so if he’s unable to play Pasecniks’ absence wouldn’t affect too much.
LA Clippers at Atlanta, 7:30 PM
This will be an interesting one as far as the Clippers are concerned. Beverley left Tuesday’s game during the second quarter due to a sore groin and did not return, and this is an issue that slowed him down earlier this season. Add in the fact that Leonard has yet to play in both ends of a back-to-back this season, and Paul George (hamstring) hasn’t played since January 5, and the Clippers could be down as many as three starters Wednesday night.
For the Hawks, Alex Len (lower back pain) is listed as questionable while Jabari Parker (right shoulder impingement) is out. If Len’s unable to play that would free up minutes for Damian Jones and Bruno Fernando, but neither has been productive enough to justify picking them up off of the waiver wire.
Minnesota at Chicago, 8 PM
There were no changes of note to Minnesota’s injury report, as Jake Layman (left toe sprain) remains sidelined. Chicago’s report was far more robust. Wendell Carter Jr. (right ankle sprain) and Daniel Gafford (right thumb dislocation) remain out, which means another start and a heavy workload for Luke Kornet at the center position. Lauri Markkanen (left ankle sprain), Chandler Hutchison (right shoulder soreness) and Ryan Arcidiacono (right elbow discomfort) are all listed as probable, so they’ll likely be good to go. But given the way the Bulls have handled their injury announcements, an official declaration may not come until just before tipoff.
Denver at Houston, 8 PM
Jamal Murray (left ankle sprain), Paul Millsap (left knee contusion/sprain) and Mason Plumlee (right cuboid) have all been ruled out for this one, and Gary Harris (right adductor strain) is listed as doubtful. Jerami Grant, Michael Porter Jr. and Malik Beasley are all worth keeping an eye on, with the first two being better options for those looking to fill out their lineups. Over his last five, Porter is averaging 16.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.0 three-pointers per game.
For the Rockets, Austin Rivers (right thumb sprain) is listed as questionable after sitting out Houston’s last two games. Danuel House and Eric Gordon have played the majority of the bench minutes, with Mike D’Antoni essentially going with a seven-man rotation (Thabo Sefalosha played 12 minutes Monday vs. the Thunder).
Indiana at Phoenix, 9 PM
Aaron Holiday (right thumb soreness) is listed as questionable for the Pacers, with that being the only issue among Indiana players who have been active members of the rotation this season. As for the Suns, Aron Baynes (left hip soreness) and Frank Kaminsky (right patella stress fracture) are out and Cameron Johnson (right quad contusion) is listed as questionable. Kelly Oubre’s return lessened Johnson’s fantasy impact, while the lack of bigs opens up a few minutes on the back end of the rotation for Cheick Diallo. It won’t be enough to make him a viable option in most fantasy leagues, however.
San Antonio at New Orleans, 9:30 PM
This is the big one from an injury standpoint, as Zion Williamson (right knee) is expected to make his regular season debut. He’s listed as questionable on the injury report, so there’s still a chance that he won’t be able to play. A final report on his status should come after the team completes its pregame shootaround. Derrick Favors (lower back soreness), Josh Hart (left ankle soreness) and Jahlil Okafor (lower back soreness) are all listed as questionable, while Jrue Holiday (left elbow/tricep strain) and JJ Redick (left hamstring strain) are listed as probable.
The statuses of Favors and Okafor would impact the value of rookie Jaxson Hayes, who’s averaging 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.6 blocks per game over his last seven. San Antonio’s only injury listing of note is that of Rudy Gay (illness), who’s listed as probable. DeMarre Carroll (illness) has been ruled out, and even when healthy he hasn’t been in the Spurs rotation.
Utah at Golden State, 10 PM
Glenn Robinson III (right ankle sprain) is listed as probable after sitting out the last two games, while Jacob Evans (concussion) is considered to be questionable. Evans hasn’t played in a game since he was injured during the Warriors’ January 14 loss to the Mavericks. Kevon Looney (left abdominal) remains sidelined. For the Jazz, Rudy Gobert (left ankle) was not listed on Tuesday’s final injury report after spraining his ankle during the fourth quarter of Monday’s win over the Pacers. So consider him good to go for this one, and he could be in for a big night.