UPDATE: Doncic will play against the Thunder on Tuesday.
Luka Doncic is playing. Tim Hardway Jr. is not playing, per Rick Carlisle.— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) December 31, 2019
The Dallas Mavericks just got Luka Doncic ($13,200) back from an injury and the Mavs’ young star could be sidelined again tonight. Playing against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, he briefly went to the locker room because of a back injury, which appears to be a lingering issue. He’s listed as questionable to play tonight.
Not only is Luka on the injury report, the Oklahoma City Thunder are dealing with injuries of their own. After both of them missed Sunday’s win over the Toronto Raptors, Danillo Gallinari ($7,800) and Dennis Schroder ($8,200) are both questionable to play. This seems like it will be a game with plenty of value.
If healthy, Doncic ($19,800) figures to put up a massive stat line and would be my top choice for captain. Not only does his average of 58 DKFP lead all players in this game by a mile, OKC allows the ninth most DKFP to point guards. As long as Luka is playing, the back shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
If Doncic ends up sitting, Kristpas Porzingis ($14,100) would have to carry the load for Dallas. We saw him thrive in the games that Luka missed because of a sprained ankle, which didn’t come as a surprise considering the numbers KP puts up without his fellow star on the court. With Doncic off the floor, Porzingis leads Dallas with a 29.8 DKFP and scores 51.56 DKFP per 36 minutes.
Doncic isn’t the only player on the Mavericks’ injury report. The other player listed as questionable is Tim Hardaway Jr. ($6,600). He left the game against the Lakers early and wasn’t able to return. In his place, J.J. Barea ($3,200) started the second half. Barea only ended up scoring 12 DKFP, but the game was a blowout. Had the game been closer, he likely would have seen more playing time.
On the Thunder side of the game, Darius Bazley ($4,800) has started the last four games with Gallo out. He isn’t lighting the world on fire with an average of 15.5 DKFP as a starter, but it’s enough of an average to roster him on a one-game slate. If Gallinari is active, Bazley would no longer be in play. He averages just 10.65 DKFP in a reserve role and doesn’t always end up in the rotation.
If Schroder is out, the Thunder will have to rely on Chris Paul ($8,800) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($8,600) to play increased role. Both of them are fine plays regardless, but they becomes stronger without Schroder. Both CP3 and SGA have been playing great over the last handful of games with OKC shorthanded.
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