Friday night’s NBA slate features seven games with injuries and questionable players. We’ll analyze a key one:
- Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks: 7:30 p.m. ET
Hawks PF John Collins (illness) is questionable.
Injury background: Collins popped up on the injury report with an illness and is questionable to suit up on Friday.
Coach Lloyd Pierce also stated that Miles Plumlee (knee) is close to returning but has yet to participate in 5-on-5 practice and remains sidelined.
Tonight’s impact: Collins has been exceptional as of late, averaging 41.2 DraftKings points over his last three contests while logging at least 30 minutes in each game. Even after producing 43.5 DraftKings points on Wednesday, his salary remains exactly the same at $7,000.
While the Bulls are league average in Defensive Rating against opposing power forwards this season, Collins went off for a career-high 35 points in the previous matchup. If he’s able to rebound from his flu-like symptoms, he’ll firmly be in play in all formats.
If Collins is downgraded to out, Omari Spellman and Vince Carter are candidates to see a spike in playing time and potentially enter the starting lineup. Dewayne Dedmon could benefit from a slight uptick in minutes as well, and he’s averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute this season.
In 10 prior starts, Spellman has averaged 8.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 22.7 minutes per game. If he draws the start, he’s worth a look at $3,700 on FanDuel, where the lowest score is dropped.
Trae Young has torn through his opponents in the month of February, averaging 23.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists while shooting 43.7% from beyond the arc. He has exceeded his salary-based expectations in six straight games and has recorded a+7.7 DraftKings Plus/Minus over his last 10 games. He also holds the highest projected ceiling among all point guards on Friday, highlighting his tournament upside.
The Hawks have been abysmal with Collins off the court this season, registering a -9.4 Net Rating compared to a -1.3 Net Rating with him on the court. Chicago has held a positive Net Rating since trading away Jabari Parker and acquiring Otto Porter, and its Offensive Rating has climbed to 114.0 over the last eight games — the sixth-highest mark in the league during that span.
If Collins winds up missing the game, the Bulls carry value as current two-point underdogs.
Photo credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: John Collins