NBA injury report: Khris Middleton likely, Jimmy Butler questionable and more updates on Brandon Ingram and Tyrese Haliburton
Three-time NBA star Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks has been officially listed as likely for tonight’s game against the LA Lakers. Middleton last played in the first round of the 2022 playoffs against the Chicago Bulls.
For the past few weeks, Middleton has been spending time in the G-League training more ahead of tonight’s game against the Lakers. Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer is expected to limit Middleton’s minutes in his first game back.
“Khash Money” averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.2 steals for the Milwaukee Bucks last season. Without him, Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t have enough firepower to topple eventual NBA Eastern Conference champions Boston Celtics.
Middleton is penciled in to be part of the Bucks’ starting unit, which will bring Jevon Carter back to the bench. The 2021 NBA champion was one of Milwaukee’s best two-way players and his closest last season. He may not play that role from the start, but the Bucks are counting on him to return to his deadly state on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, the Miami Heat have some good news for their legion of fans. NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler has been upgraded to questionable after sitting out the team’s last seven games.
“Jimmy G. Buckets” originally wanted to return in the first straight game against the Boston Celtics. However, he did not play in that game and was able to see action in the rematch against the Celtics, who have the NBA’s best record.
Before experiencing right knee pain against the Toronto Raptors, Butler was having a great season. He was playing better than last year when he made the All-Star team.
Miami has been decimated by injuries over the past few weeks and could definitely use Butler’s when the Miami Heat take on the Boston Celtics. The six-time All-Star is averaging 20.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.8 steals.
Brandon Ingram: Contusion of left big toe; Injured since November 26, 2022
Brandon Ingram came out early in the New Orleans Pelicans’ loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 26. He played just 18 minutes and scored eight points to go with three rebounds and three assists.
The Pelicans have won back-to-back games without Ingram and ruled him out for the third straight game against the struggling San Antonio Spurs tonight. Despite the two-game winning streak, the Pelicans know they’re a much stronger team when “Slenderman” is available.
New Orleans can afford to keep Ingram out during his visit to San Antonio because his formation is much better than the Spurs. Trey Murphy III, who was inserted into the starting unit without Brandon Ingram, played very well.
With Ingram ruled out, Murphy III should continue to play heavy minutes for the Pelicans. He could make his big comeback on December 5 against the Denver nuggets.
Tyrese Haliburton: Left groin pain, Injured since December 1, 2022
Tyrese Haliburton, who could make his first NBA All-Star team this season, was listed as questionable by the Indiana Pacers. He has played in all 21 games for his team this season, but could end that streak tonight.
Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle has the team humming mainly because of Haliburton’s impeccable play and leadership. He leads the NBA in assists with 11.2 APG and orchestrates the Pacers offense with aplomb.
Haliburton is posting career-high averages in goals (19.3 PPG), rebounds (4.6 RPG) and assists. If the Pacers keep Haliburton out due to groin pain compared to the Utah JazzTJ McConnell could start for the team.