NBA action continues Monday, even as the league has started postponing games due to the recent COVID outbreak. Nearly every team in the league has been affected, and some rosters have been hit harder than others. Fans and bettors need to be wary that the league’s health and safety protocols can significantly impact each contest. Here’s a look at the injury report for Monday, December 20th, which includes relevant players in the health and safety protocols.
NBA Injury Report, December 20th
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
Update — Embiid and Green are both in the starting lineup for the Sixers tonight.
Update — Robert Williams (personal) has been ruled out for the Celtics. Grant Williams and Al Horford are still in COVID protocols, so the Celtics will be super thin in the front court. Enes Freedom is a viable value option and I guess Bruno Fernando is going to have to play a bit? Tatum becomes a strong GPP play. He may have to play 40+ minutes and go off again to carry Boston.
Update — Tatum and Romeo Langford are both available for the Celtics tonight vs. the Sixers. PG Tyrese Maxey is out for Philly due to a quad injury. Embiid remains questionable as of 6:15 p.m. ET. We should get an update from the Sixers on his availability as well as SG Danny Green.
Joel Embiid (ankle), Will start
Embiid has been dealing with the ankle issue for a while but will benefit from the postponement of Sunday’s game. He should be in for this contest.
Jayson Tatum (ankle), Available
Tatum was a surprise add to the injury report with an ankle sprain. He’s questionable for the contest, but should suit up.
Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors
Update — Richaun Holmes (eye) is being listed as questionable to play for the Kings tonight vs. the Dubs. Sacramento could also be without multiple players due to health and safety protocols. We’ll see if Fox, Mitchell and Bagley will be available.
Jordan Poole (protocols), TBD; Andrew Wiggins (protocols) OUT
Wiggins joins Poole in the protocols, but the Warriors don’t have any other injuries of note.
De’Aaron Fox (protocols), TBD; Davion Mitchell (protocols) TBD; Marvin Bagley (protocols), TBD
The Kings are dealing with some COVID issues themselves, but managed to take down the Spurs Sunday. The second game of a back-to-back set could be more of a problem without Fox and Mitchell.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Paul George (elbow), Questionable
George remains questionable with his elbow injury. He has now missed five games in a row with the injury.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Ja Morant (knee), Will play
Update — Morant will return to the lineup tonight vs. the Thunder. PG Tyus Jones (finger) has been ruled out. No word on a minutes limit for Ja as of now.
Update — Morant is expected to play in tonight’s game vs. the Thunder. We’re still waiting on how much Morant will play in his return.
The Grizzlies starting PG is close to returning to the lineup and could be back as soon as tonight vs. the Thunder. Expect Morant to be on some sort of minutes limit if he is able to play.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Utah Jazz
Gordon Hayward (back), Out
Update — Hayward has been ruled out and Oubre will start in his place tonight vs. the Jazz.
Hayward is unlikely to play tonight vs. the Jazz. If Hayward is out (which seems the case), the Hornets are an interesting contrarian stack against Utah. The over/under is set at 236.5 points, so it’s not like the books think the Jazz can slow Charlotte down. LaMelo Ball ($9,600), Miles Bridges ($8,000), Kelly Oubre Jr. ($6,700) is going to be pricey, but we have plenty of value with all the players in health and safety protocols. You can also mix in Mason Plumlee ($4,000) and PJ Washington ($5,500) to fit in Melo and Bridges.