There are only four games on the docket for Thursday’s NBA slate, with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets being the banner game for the day. The Golden State Warriors are also in action, taking on the Denver Nuggets to cap NBA TV’s Thursday doubleheader. Even with just four contests, the day’s injury report contains some big names who could be returning to action. Here’s a look at Thursday’s injury report in the association.
Update — Tonight’s game between the Warriors and Nuggets has been postponed. Denver is unable to field an 8-man roster.
NBA injury report, December 30th
Kevin Durant (protocols) Probable
LaMarcus Aldridge (protocols) Probable
Kyrie Irving (conditioning/mandate) OUT
Update — Sixers coach Doc Rivers has been placed into H&S protocols. Assistant Dan Burke will take over head coaching duties.
Both Durant and Aldridge are expected to play, and Irving is not eligible to return despite being back at practice. Look for Cam Thomas and Patty Mills to get some extended run in this game, while Nic Claxton might see less minutes with Aldridge coming back to the court.
Cole Anthony (ankle) OUT
Hassani Gravett (protocols) OUT
Robin Lopez (protocols) OUT
Anthony has been dealing with this ankle issue for a while now. Gravett got pulled due to health and safety protocols in the middle of the game, indicating he had to have been a close contact to a positive test. Gary Harris and Tim Frazier will be in line for more minutes if Gravett is officially out.
Darius Garland (protocols) OUT
Jarrett Allen (conditioning) OUT
Update — Allen will remain sidelined as he nears a return from COVID protocols. In the meantime, Evan Mobley ($7,800) will be a pretty good tournament option. For one, the Wizards are missing key players. The other play is Kevin Love ($6,700). He could actually be forced to handle the ball a bit more with Ricky Rubio and Darius Garland sidelined. Kevin Pangos ($3,800) and Dean Wade ($3,700) are the other two names we like. Pangos may need to play 30+ minutes at PG with no other point on the roster. Wade has been starting at forward and playing big minutes.
Garland is unlikely to play due to the league’s protocols, while Allen is doubtful due to conditioning. The Cavaliers are really hurting in the backcourt with Ricky Rubio suffering a torn ACL and Collin Sexton already done for the season. It’s hard to find a strong value play here for DFS and fantasy buffs.
Bradley Beal (protocols) Available
Kentavious Caldewell-Pope (protocols) Available
Rui Hachimura (protocols) OUT
Spencer Dinwiddie (protocols) OUT
Update — Beal and KCP are both available to play tonight vs. the Cavaliers. Beal ($10,100) will be an interesting GPP play on a shallow slate with not many lineups considering him. Both guards being back in the lineup is a downgrade for most of the value plays — Kispert, Avdija and Gafford. Kuzma is less appealing as well with Beal back.
Update — KCP has been upgraded to probable, so it looks like he’ll be back. That just leeches minutes away from some of the other potential guard plays. Beal is the big name to watch still.
Update — The Wizards placed Dinwiddie in protocols heading into tonight vs. the Cavaliers. This will be the game to monitor with players in and out of protocols. There’s a chance KCP and Beal remain sidelined for Washington.
If that happens, Deni Avdija ($4,700) may end up being one of the top plays on the slate. He’s been putting up great numbers over this stretch with players in protocols. Since Dec. 15, Avdija has at least 22.75 DKFP in each game he’s played (six games). Corey Kispert ($4,000) is also a strong play depending on KCP and Beal. Daniel Gafford ($5,000) and Kyle Kuzma ($6,800) are decent GPP plays.
Beal is the headliner here, but the Wizards have been severely impacted by the league’s protocols. Caldwell-Pope is a valuable two-way player, although Deni Avdija is getting some big minutes with him out. Hachimura is a key piece for Washington but he’s not likely to suit up here.
Draymond Green (protocols) OUT
James Wiseman (protocols/rehab) OUT
Damion Lee (protocols) OUT
Green remains in protocols, as does Lee. Poole has been cleared, so he’s a strong play Thursday against the Nuggets. Wiseman entered the league’s protocols, making his ongoing rehab a bit more difficult.
Aaron Gordon (hamstring) Questionable
Monte Morris (knee) Questionable
Both Gordon and Morris are questionable in this contest. Denver’s rotation has been wrecked by injuries and COVID protocols, so it’s hard to pinpoint who will be a factor in this game. Nah’Shon Hyland and Facundo Campazzo offer the best value plays in this game if Gordon and Morris are ruled out.