Friday night’s NBA slate features seven games with injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze the following two:
- Memphis Grizzlies at Orlando Magic: 7 p.m. ET
- Oklahoma City Thunder at Toronto Raptors: 7:30 p.m. ET
Grizzlies PG Mike Conley (soreness) is doubtful, C Joakim Noah (knee) is questionable
Injury background: Conley is listed doubtful in the first leg of a back-to-back on Friday for general soreness.
Noah is a new addition to the injury report and is questionable to suit up due to a sore right knee, while Avery Bradley (shin), Jaren Jackson Jr. (quad), Kyle Anderson (shoulder), Dillon Brooks (toe) and C.J. Miles (foot) remain sidelined.
Tonight’s impact: Delon Wright entered the starting lineup in place of Bradley on Wednesday, and he’ll likely start at point guard on Friday. Despite logging 42 minutes in the overtime win, Wright failed to reach his salary-based expectation with 21.25 DraftKings points.
However, a shift to point guard will improve his rates, and he’ll make for one of the strongest value options overall in Friday’s seven-game slate. When Conley has been off the court since the All-Star break, Wright has posted a team-high +4.9% usage rate differential, per the NBA On/Off tool.
Jevon Carter, Tyler Dorsey, Julian Washburn and Yuta Watanabe were all recalled from the G-League prior to Wednesday, and Dorsey was the only one who wasn’t a DNP-CD. Carter could move into the rotation if Conley is ruled out, and he or Dorsey may move into the starting lineup.
With a severely thin rotation, several Grizzlies players are rating as favorable plays with affordable salaries. In the Phan Model on DraftKings, five players currently rank inside the top 12 overall.
If Noah is unable to suit up, Memphis will be even more shorthanded, and Jonas Valanciunas could see an uptick in playing time. He has averaged 1.31 DraftKings points per minute over the last month and carries a Bargain Rating of 95%.
The primary downside is having too much exposure to a team that is presently implied to score a slate-worst 98.5 points. The Magic hold the league’s best Defensive Rating over the last 10 games, and the Grizzlies’ Offensive Rating drops from 105.7 to 96.7 with Conley off the court this season.
Raptors PG Kyle Lowry (ankle) is out
Injury background: Lowry will miss his second straight game on Friday after suffering a sprained right ankle in Monday’s blowout victory.
Tonight’s impact: Fred VanVleet drew the start at point guard on Wednesday and recorded 36 DraftKings points. He started alongside Lowry in the previous game and provided 39.5 DraftKings points, and he has managed to produce a FantasyLabs +7.21 Plus/Minus over his last 10 games.
Friday’s showdown against the Thunder is a repeat of Wednesday’s game, and Pascal Siakam led the way with 63.75 DraftKings points in the overtime win. He has benefited from a +2% usage rate increase in 14 games played without Lowry this season.
With Lowry out, Kawhi Leonard has led the team with a 31.9% usage rate and has exceeded his salary-based expectations in three straight games, including Wednesday’s difficult matchup against Paul George.
Leonard and Siakam profile more as tournament options while VanVleet makes for a strong cash-game play with a more favorable salary on both sites.
The Raptors have struggled with Lowry off the court this season with a Net Rating differential of -12.1 points. However, Toronto has compiled a 10-5 record in full games without Lowry.
Lowry’s absence causes a significant drop in the team’s Offensive Rating, and value could be found on the under with both teams ranking inside the top six in Defensive Rating this season.
Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: Kyle Lowry