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NBA injuries to monitor ahead of Sunday’s slate on April 18th

We note some of the injuries to keep an eye on heading into Sunday’s eight-game slate with the potential to affect basketball DFS lineups and betting lines.

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard prepares to shoot a free throw against the Boston Celtics during the first half at Moda Center.  Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got five games on the evening schedule for Sunday, April 18th, and there are plenty of big names on the injury report. We also are looking out for players who were acquired prior to the NBA Trade Deadline last week. Some of those names are still in the process of joining their new team and getting into the lineup. Here we’ll be monitoring all the latest injury news with some analysis and how to approach the injury for DFS and fantasy basketball.

NBA Injury Report: Sunday, April 18

Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers

Lillard is set to miss a second straight game with a hamstring injury, so the keys to Portland’s offense should go to CJ McCollum. The other half of the Trail Blazers’ starting backcourt scored 29 points in his last game, but a couple of his teammates could have to step up again.

Portland’s second option will likely be Norman Powell. The former Toronto Raptors wing has played 38 minutes in two straight games and is averaging 17.5 points per game in April. The Charlotte Hornets ranks last defensively against shooting guards on DraftKings, so Powell could be in for a big night. Anfernee Simons should also receive a boost after scoring 16 points in 30 minutes off the bench in his last game.

Kawhi Leonard, SF, Los Angeles Clippers

5:30 p.m. update — Leonard is still listed as questionable.

Leonard’s is questionable with a sore foot that could cost him a fifth straight game. The Minnesota Timberwolves are one of the worst defensive teams in the league and struggle against wings, so Leonard’s fellow star could take over in this matchup.

Paul George has scored 32 or more points in five straight games, and his hot streak will likely continue if Leonard sits. The Clippers don’t have a like-for-like replacement for Leonard, but Luke Kennard and Terance Mann can help fill in for him as a collective. Marcus Morris has scored 15 or more points in three straight games, though. He could end up being the Clippers’ second or third option on offense.

Devonte’ Graham, PG/SG, Charlotte Hornets

5:30 p.m. update — Graham is still listed as questionable.

Graham is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Trail Blazers because of a quad contusion. If he’s ruled out, the Hornets could be missing five of their top-six scorers. It’s hard to be as banged up as the Hornets, but they have a ball-dominant guard who can pick up the slack in Terry Rozier.

Rozier has logged at least 40 minutes in two straight games eclipsed 50 DKFP in both. He’ll have to make everything go for the Hornets on offense with some minor assistance from Brad Wanamaker if his running mate can’t go. Rozier can be the highest-scoring player on the slate if he gets hot, so monitoring Graham’s status will be important.

Richaun Holmes, C, Sacramento Kings

Holmes is struggling with a hamstring strain and won’t take the court on Sunday against the Dallas Mavericks. The Kings’ defense has taken a major hit without him, and their depth at center is minimal.

Sacramento has attempted to use Damian Jones at the 5 sparingly. Still, Hassan Whiteside has proven to be a much better option and is a double-double threat whenever he gets consistent minutes. Jones and Chimezi Metu should play spot minutes here and there. Whiteside can be an impact player if he stays out of foul trouble.