Daily Fantasy Basketball Injury Report: Blake Griffin's Return
Losing an All-Star power forward will generally hurt an NBA squad, but the Los Angeles Clippers won 10 straight games after Blake Griffin sustained a quadriceps injury back on Christmas Day.
Since the injury, they're 12-3, and overall, they're 28-16 and fourth in our power rankings.
But that's not what you care about -- not really.
If you're a DFS player, it's not really pertinent whether a team wins or loses. What you've certainly been liking is the uptick that the rest of the team has seen in Griffin's absence.
He's expected to return this week sometime, so how will that affect the Clips? And what other injury info should you know about?
We won't go over everything (though there is always a lot to discuss). Players get nicked up here and there, but these are some of the main injuries you should know heading into the week of DFS.
Notable New Injuries
Lamb struggled with a toe injury last week, playing just four minutes on Friday and missing Charlotte's game on Saturday. Batum's injury issues resurfaced last week. He exited the team's Wednesday tilt against the Thunder with a toe injury of his own. This is a situation to monitor, as their combined absence opened up minutes for other Hornets, though they weren't exactly evenly distributed. Jeremy Lin played 30 and 40 minutes on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Kemba Walker played over 42 minutes in each. Marvin Williams and Spencer Hawes topped 32 in each. No reserve player topped 18 minutes on Saturday.
Zaza Pachulia, C, Dallas Mavericks
Pachulia missed Dallas' game on Sunday to rest his Achilles. The Mavs play again on Tuesday against the Lakers. The hope is that he'll play, but it is the Lakers, so sitting one more might not be out of the question. Without Zaza in their 115-104 loss to Houston, the Mavs mostly went small. Salah Mejri played 29 minutes at center, scoring 10 points, grabbing 11 boards, and blocking 3 shots. Raymond Felton was the only non-starter to top 13 minutes. Mejri could offer salary relief against the Lakers' frontcourt if Pachulia misses again.
Kenneth Faried, PF, Denver Nuggets
Faried believes he's dealing with a "significant" adductor injury and is unlikely to play on Monday. Darrell Arthur started in his place on Saturday and played 32 minutes and posted four points, five rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Nikola Jokic also played 32 minutes, scored 17 points, and added 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. However, that was the second time in his past six games that he hit 20 minutes. Still, Faried's absence would give both a boost.
The Heat are a mess, so we might as well cover them all at once. Goran Dragic won't play Monday but is getting close and could play later in the week (i.e. Friday). Luol Deng, Hassan Whiteside, and a slew of others are banged up, too. It's impossible to say how you should approach things until news emerges, but the Heat will likely be a key source of value this week -- again.
Steven Adams, C, Oklahoma City Thunder
Adams missed Oklahoma City's game on Sunday night, a 116-106 loss to Brooklyn. He could miss the rest of the team's road trip, which would open up minutes for other Thunder players early this week. Nick Collison started in his place but saw just 11 minutes of action. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook saw 40 and 39, respectively. Enes Kanter played 30 minutes with 8 points and 10 rebounds.
Similar to the Heat, the Suns have been hit with the injury bug hard. Brandon Knight has missed two straight games and is looking for a second opinion on his groin injury. Markieff Morris also missed two straight, though he seemed close to playing on Saturday. Jon Leuer missed three straight, and Mirza Teletovic returned Saturday after a one-game absence but played just 14 minutes off the bench. The starters -- P.J. Tucker, Alex Len, Tyson Chandler, Devin Booker, and Archie Goodwin -- all saw at least 35 minutes and were the only five to top 17 in the team's 98-95 win over Atlanta.
Tim Duncan, C, San Antonio Spurs
Duncan is ruled out for Monday's game, so that should open up minutes for other Spurs in the frontcourt. Figuring out who Gregg Popovich will target is never an easy task, and the Spurs take on the Warriors tonight. LaMarcus Aldridge should return, as Duncan is the only Spur expected to miss the game, but banking on reserve players probably isn't the right call.
Returning to Action
Paul Millsap, PF, Atlanta Hawks
Millsap missed Atlanta's game on Saturday to attend his grandfather's funeral, but he is expected to play Monday night.
Amir Johnson, PF, Boston Celtics
Johnson missed Boston's game on Friday but played in the team's win over the 76ers on Sunday. He started and played 20 minutes. Johnson posted 3 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block. The frontcourt situation in Boston tends to be tricky to nail down at times, and with Johnson back in the mix, things aren't exactly any better.
On a related note, Jae Crowder battled an illness late last week. He also started on Sunday night. Crowder went for 20 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 blocks in 32 minutes in the team's 112-92 win over the 76ers.
Patrick Beverley, PG, Houston Rockets
Beverley returned from a two-game absence on Sunday and started for the Rockets. He played 30 minutes (Ty Lawson played 23). He went 1-for-7 from beyond the arc and scored just 7 points in addition to his 9 rebounds and 4 assists. In the two games Beverley missed before returning, Lawson totaled 29 points but just 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6 turnovers.
Blake Griffin, PF, Los Angeles Clippers
This year with Griffin on the court, the Clippers scored 1.10 Points per Possession, per NBAWowy.com (an Offensive Rating of 110). Griffin commanded a Usage Rate of 30.2 percent. Only Chris Paul (25.2 percent) and J.J. Redick (22.5 percent) topped 20 percent while playing with Griffin. Without him, their Offensive Rating has been 107. Paul's Usage Rate (29.5 percent) replaced Griffin's, Jamal Crawford's (24.9 percent) grew from 19.9 percent. Interestingly, Redick's Usage Rate (21.3 percent) has been lower, slightly, though his Offensive Rating of 152 without Griffin (because of his hot, hot shooting) was better than his already great 126 with Griffin.
Larry Nance Jr., PF, Los Angeles Lakers
Nance missed four games last week but could return on Tuesday for the Lakers' tilt against Dallas. Nance's return will limit the value of Julius Randle and Brandon Bass, who provided salary relief last week.
Nerlens Noel, PF, Philadelphia 76ers
Noel struggled with headaches last week but played on Sunday against the Celtics. He posted 12 points and 9 rebounds (along with one assist, steal, and block) in 26 minutes. Philly was down by 25 at the end of the third quarter, but it was a good sign that Noel returned to action.
Rudy Gay, SF, Sacramento Kings
Gay got upgraded to questionable for Monday's game, so you'll just have to monitor this throughout the day. But it seems like he'll return sometime this week, diminishing the value of Omri Casspi, as Gay has played at least 30 minutes in every game since November 28th. Casspi, aside from a five-steal game, didn't do much in Gay's absence. Willie Cauley-Stein could also take a hit, but he has double-digit rebounds in three straight games, including two double-doubles.