Yesterday offered a small taste of the chaos that can exist in the NBA Injury Report. The Hornets were without Terry Rozier, but that news did not break until roughly 30 minutes before the slate locked. The Magic also had a late scratch that altered their starting lineup, so be aware that when it is such late notice the Awesemo Discord is going to be a valuable tool. With this article, the work of the other staff members and the amazing NBA DFS projections, those scenarios can be handled much more easily. That allows for pivoting at the drop of a hat, and the NBA Starting Lineup page is an extremely important tool as well. Today is a small NBA DFS slate with just three games.
NBA Injury Report & Starting Lineups Today | Oct. 21
Remember to always place players from the later games in guard, forward and utility slots on DraftKings. Allow maximum flexibility to react to the news that comes out after lock, which will happen in NBA. Additionally, take advantage of the wealth of Awesemo NBA content to get ready for these slates.
Mavericks – None
The Mavericks are coming into their opener fully healthy with nothing to show on the NBA Injury Report. The showdown between Luka Doncic and Trae Young should be a blast to watch.
Hawks – Onyeka Okongwu – Out
Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams, Jalen Johnson – Questionable
Okongwu is expected to be out for the foreseeable future recovering from a shoulder injury. The most important injury that could have an effect on this game is Gallinari. Even then, it should not be the largest issue for the Hawks. They are much healthier than they were in the postseason. Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish are all ready for the opener.
With Young, John Collins, Clint Capela, Kevin Huerter and new addition Delon Wright, the Hawks are already eight deep. Solomon Hill would be the next in line to take minutes if they are indeed available, but the slate might not require reaching that deep. Gallinari averaged 0.95 fantasy points per minute last year, so this is not the most exciting role and the rotation is strong.
Bucks – Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo, Bobby Portis, Semi Ojeleye, Rodney Hood – Out
UPDATE -For a three game slate, it’s had plenty of action early on. Lopez was ruled out now as well which leaves the Bucks without six players as Holiday went from probable last night to out this morning.
That’s going to open up even more value, including George Hill. After Holiday left last game after 18 minutes, Hill was utilized almost as a direct substitute. He played almost 24 minutes and we can probably expect something similar tonight. The reality is the Bucks are pretty thin for this early in the season. The focus of this slate as far as the NBA Injury Report goes will continue to be on the Milwaukee group of Grayson Allen, Jordan Nwora, Hill, and Connaughton. Let’s be sure to not bury the lead, however. Giannis Antetokounmpo has to be viewed as a premier play for the evening. In this scenario, he had a 38.1% usage rate and 1.78 fantasy points per minute last season. Khris Middleton also jumps out with 1.33 fantasy points per minute, but the change isn’t as drastic for him as it is for Giannis.
Any of the four value players are on the table for tonight. Last season saw the Heat give up the highest frequency of 3-point attempts from the opposition, at over 45%. That is something that can accentuate the strength of Allen and Connaughton, as both can hit from deep, and the Bucks were eighth in 3-point field goal attempts last season. The minutes varied last year for all three players, but all three were over 37% shooting from 3-point distance. They represent some of the strongest value on this short slate, and there are a plethora of studs to play tonight. The players the Bucks are missing are important cogs in the rotation, and everyone played well in the first game. Additionally with Lopez out, Sandro Mamukelashvili is likely in line to start this game and is just the minimum salary. Milwaukee is running an extremely shortened roster tonight.
Heat – Victor Oladipo – Out
Seeing as how he only played four games for the Heat, it would be a stretch to say Oladipo’s loss shakes up the team. Far more important was the acquisition of veteran point guard Kyle Lowry. The main players for the Heat will be Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo to start the year, and Oladipo not being healthy does not have a large impact.
Clippers – Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, Nicholas Batum – Out
The biggest name on the NBA Injury Report is Leonard, who will be recovering from his knee injury for quite a while. That leaves Paul George as the alpha on this team, and last year in that scenario he had a 33.3% usage rate and over 1.22 fantasy points per minute. All three games are nearly identical in spread and total. George is priced appropriately for his role on this current Clippers squad. Eric Bledsoe will join the starting unit but looks like a difficult player to project for a strong fantasy presence.
After a magnificent playoff run, Reggie Jackson will be looking to improve on his 41.5% true shooting rate in his 283-minute sample from last season with Leonard and others off the floor. The usage rate was just 21.9% but that could shift a little bit after his performance last year in the postseason. With Ibaka out, it opens up minutes for Ivica Zubac to start the game. How far he gets into it is a different question. The Clippers have shown no hesitation to go small in the past, and that could bring Marcus Morris into the equation more. They both had right about a fantasy point per minute in this scenario, but Morris held a strong edge in usage at 23.2% compared to just 16.9% for Zubac. The fact Batum will miss as well makes Morris more interesting.
Warriors – Klay Thompson, James Wiseman – Out
The Warriors are status quo from Tuesday as far as injuries, with both Thompson and Wiseman still a ways away (Thompson being much further). What jumped out from Tuesday was Nemanja Bjelica playing 26 minutes to just under 12 for Otto Porter. Everyone will now chase Bjelica, and that seems to be with good cause. He was utilized as a direct sub for Andrew Wiggins in the first half and then relieved Draymond Green in the second half. Bjelica is always playing with either Stephen Curry or Jordan Poole. They can be the primary scorer on the court, and he can be a secondary source. He is not being relied upon to create if these rotations stand up. He played almost the same number of minutes as Wiggins and Green, a hint that this role is not going anywhere.
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