This article is part of our In-Season Strategy series.
Before we start breaking down the individual teams' respective schedule, the first item that jumps off the page is that we have a slew of day games Monday, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The first game tips off between the Thunder and Knicks at 12:30 a.m. ET (that's 7:30 a.m. in Hawaii!), followed by six more day games. Set those weekly lineups early - maybe even Sunday night, followed by a quick injury check Monday morning. Before we get into the injuries, here's the games-per-team breakdown:
Four Games: CHI, CLE, DAL, HOU, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHO, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA, WAS
Three Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, DEN, DET, GS, LAL, MIL, PHI, SAS
Two Games: CHA, IND
Because there are so many early decisions, I thought I'd list the major players that might have day-to-day injury issues for the Monday slate of games, so that you can narrow your search before tip-off. I won't list the long-term injuries, only those players that have a chance to return this upcoming week.
Cleveland (1:00 pm ET):
- Tristan Thompson has missed the last two games with a foot injury. Ante Zizic has started in his place, with Larry Nance Jr. also out. Nance went out with an MCL sprain on January 9th and will be out a minimum of two weeks. That could place him back this upcoming week, but so far there's been very little to suggest an immediate return.
Detroit (2:00 pm ET):