This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
After a typically massive MLK Day slate, the NBA takes a breather Tuesday night with just two games on the docket. That naturally makes for a challenging lineup-building process. However, the injury report is extremely light, which is encouraging as it relates to being able to differentiate tournaments rosters.
Minnesota Timberwolves (-1.5) at New York Knicks (O/U: 213.0 points)
Detroit Pistons at Golden State Warriors (-14.5) (O/U: 205.0 points)
In addition to there just being two games Tuesday, the other tricky aspect of the night is the fact there's a team that does a good job suppressing scoring in the Knicks in action in one contest, and a Warriors team that's a massive favorite on its home floor in the other. On the more optimistic side of things, the spread on the first contest is miniscule, which could certainly lead to starters playing heavy minutes if the game unfolds as oddsmakers envision.
The Knicks did topple the Timberwolves by a 96-88 score in the first meeting between the teams, but Minnesota played that game without Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards or D'Angelo Russell. Meanwhile, the Pistons gave the Warriors a difficult time in their one prior encounter Nov. 19, although Stephen Curry did sit out that game for Golden State.
Injury Situations to Monitor
NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate, including those carrying injury designations that aren't listed in this section.
Stephen Curry, GSW (hand): PROBABLE
Curry is fully expected to return after a one-game absence due to hand soreness and handle a normal workload. His return will likely send Jordan Poole back to the bench.
Draymond Green, GSW (calf): OUT
In Green's expected absence, Otto Porter could draw another start at power forward.
Other notable injuries:
Kemba Walker, NYK (knee): GTD
Kelly Olynyk, DET (knee): OUT
Cam Reddish, NYK (ankle): OUT
We have one player with a five-figure salary on Tuesday's slate in Stephen Curry ($10,700).
Curry is slated to return from a one-game absence, and as long as his hand soreness isn't limiting, he will be in a very appealing matchup against a Pistons team that's allowed the third-highest offensive efficiency (27.3 percent) to point guards, along with 48.4 FD points per game to the position. Detroit is also allowing Eastern Conference-high 38.0 percent three-point shooting on the road, especially relevant when considering Curry.
One player with a salary in the high four figures that also has the potential for elite production is Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,600), who's scored 43.7 to 62.3 FD points in six games since returning from COVID-19 protocols. The matchup against the Knicks has been a tough one for centers this season, but Towns did not play in Minnesota's 96-88 loss to New York earlier in the season.
In addition to the players just mentioned in the prior section, other likely chalk plays include:
Julius Randle, NYK ($8,400)
Randle is averaging 39.2 FD points per game, and he offers upside north of 50 FD points at a bargain salary, relatively speaking.
Anthony Edwards, MIN ($8,100)
Edwards has mostly demonstrated a safe floor all season, and even though he turned in a dud against the Warriors last time out (17.2 FD points), his average of 37.6 FD points per contest should keep him very popular on the small slate.
D'Angelo Russell, MIN ($7,900)
Russell has scored over 35 FD points in four of the last five games and offers upside north of 50 FD points at a sub-$8K salary.
RJ Barrett, NYK ($7,200)
Barrett is averaging 35.8 FD points over the last nine games while shooting an impressive 41.2 percent from three-point range over that span, and he's delivered over 5x return on his current salary in three straight games.
Otto Porter, GSW ($6,900)
Porter has seen his salary bump up, but he should remain popular considering he'll likely draw another start for Draymond Green and has rang up 41.4 and 37.8 FD points in his two turns with the first unit the last pair of contests.
Trey Lyles, DET at GSW ($5,700)
Lyles has been thriving in a rotational frontcourt role in the absence of Jerami Grant (thumb) and Kelly Olynyk (knee), averaging 30.1 FD points on the strength of 14.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 block across 25.5 minutes over his last 11 games. The floor-stretching big man has managed to shoot 48.7 percent over that span despite struggling from deep (24.4 percent), and he's taken a robust 10.3 shot attempts per contest in that sample. The Warriors will be playing short-handed in the frontcourt again Tuesday, and Lyles is boasting a solid 22.7 percent usage rate with his two teammates off the floor this season.
Mitchell Robinson, NYK vs. MIN ($5,400)
Robinson is in the midst of a solid run, averaging 27.7 FD points over his last 12 games, a stretch that includes five tallies of greater than 30 FD points, including two over 40. Those are excellent returns on his current salary, and it's worth noting his second-most prolific haul during that span, a 43.6 FD-point effort, came against these same Timberwolves back on Dec. 28. Minnesota checks in allowing the fourth-highest offensive efficiency to centers as well (34.3 percent), along with 57 FD points per game to the position and the fourth-most rebounds per contest overall (56).
Jonathan Kuminga, GSW vs. DET ($5,100)
Kuminga has been making very good use of his expanded opportunity during Draymond Green's absence due to a calf injury, posting 22.7 to 45.1 FD points in the last four games while logging between 19 and 25 minutes in those contests. The rookie is averaging 18.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 block during that span while shooting 50.0 percent on an average of 13.5 shots per game. Kuminga's usage rate stands at 26.0 percent with Green off the floor, and with the Pistons allowing Eastern Conference-high 46.3 percent offensive efficiency to second-unit players, he could be in for another fruitful night at an extremely reasonable salary.
ALSO CONSIDER: Malik Beasley, MIN at NYK ($4,000)