The betting aspect of the slate is particularly interesting, as there are four games with spreads of 1-to-1.5 points as of early Friday and four others of 6.5 or greater. Meanwhile, projected totals are a bit more subdued than Thursday, but there are still three matchups with figures over 230.
Injury Situations to Monitor
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL (wrist): DOUBTFUL In Antetokounmpo's likely absence, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton should especially see bumps in usage while Jevon Carter could enter the starting five and Bobby Portis may see an extended run. Kevin Durant, PHO (knee): OUT Durant is nearing his Suns debut. But with the prize acquisition still sidelined, Josh Okogie and Torrey Craig should continue to benefit. Jalen Green, HOU (groin): OUT Without Green, Jae'Sean Tate and Josh Christopher are in line to receive expanded roles while the rest of the starting five should be in for significant increases in usage. Bradley Beal, WAS (knee): QUESTIONABLE If Beal is unable to suit up Friday, Corey Kispert and Kendrick Nunn would likely handle the majority of two-guard duties while Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford could be in for a notable usage boost. Terry Rozier, CHA (hand): PROBABLE Rozier's expected return after missing Charlotte's last pre-All-Star-break game should lead to Dennis Smith returning to the bench. Other notable injuries: Stephen Curry, GSW (lower leg): OUT Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN (calf): OUT Kevin Porter, HOU (foot): OUT Andrew Wiggins, GSW (personal): OUT Ivica Zubac, LAC (calf): OUT John Collins, ATL (concussion): OUT Mitchell Robinson, NYK (thumb): QUESTIONABLE Tyler Herro, MIA (knee): PROBABLE Kelly Oubre, CHA (hand): PROBABLE
Elite Players We have four players with five-figure salaries on Friday's slate – Giannis Antetokounmpo($12,200), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,700), LaMelo Ball ($10,300) and Kawhi Leonard($10,000). Giannis is unlikely to go due to his wrist injury, as stated earlier. SGA racked up 66.1 FD points against the Jazz on Thursday. Even though he'll be on the back end of a back-to-back, it shouldn't matter since it comes right after the All-Star break. Ball eclipsed 55 FD points in each of the last two games before the break, but he could be due for at least a slight dip in usage Friday with both Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre set to return from hand injuries. Leonard has gotten much-needed rest for his knee after getting the last eight days off, and he averaged 48.7 FD points across his last 12 games before the break.
Expected Chalk Other likely chalk plays include: Trae Young, ATL ($9,800) Young is typically popular based on his own play, but he could be on even more rosters than usual Friday with John Collins sidelined due to a concussion. Domantas Sabonis, SAC ($9,600) Sabonis posted 42.3 to 54.5 FD points in each of the last five games before the ASB and followed up that fine stretch with a 58.6 versus the Trail Blazers on Thursday. Anthony Edwards, MIN ($9,400) Edwards will still be without Karl-Anthony Towns (calf), and he finished with over 50 FD points in two of his last four appearances before the pause. Jrue Holiday, MIL ($8,000) Holiday dropped 60.5 FD points in the penultimate game before the break, and lists a 31.6 percent usage rate and average of 46.5 FD points per 36 minutes with Giannis Antetokounmpo off the floor. Brook Lopez, MIL ($7,200) Lopez put up 56.4 FD points against the Bulls last time out, and could be in position to thrive yet again Friday with Antetokounmpo likely out. Key Values Khris Middleton, MIL vs. MIA ($6,000) Middleton carries a massive 37.4 percent usage rate and averages 47.4 FD points per 36 minutes with Giannis off the floor this season. The veteran wing also went into the All-Star break with some momentum having averaged 30.6 FD points across only 22 minutes in his last six outings, including a 37.4 FD against the Heat in only 20 minutes on Feb. 4. There should be ample opportunity for another breakout Friday considering Giannis's absence and the fact Miami's allowing an NBA-high 27.2 percent offensive efficiency rating to small forwards, along with 41.6 FD points per game to the position over the last seven. Mason Plumlee, LAC at SAC ($5,800) Plumlee appears set to draw the starting nod Friday night with Ivica Zubac (calf) already ruled out, and his initial turn with the Clippers' first unit will come with plenty of rest. The veteran big man was enjoying a career year with the Hornets before being moved at the deadline, and he produced a solid 20.5 and 23.7 FD points off the bench in his first two games with LA. The Kings have allowed a robust 57.9 FD points per game to centers in the last 15 matchups and the third-most points in the paint per game (54.9), two other metrics that portend a potentially productive night for Plumlee. Josh Okogie, PHO vs. OKC ($5,800) Okogie should continue to enjoy a prominent role with Kevin Durant (knee) still on the shelf. That should give him ample opportunity to build on a blistering four-game stretch immediately prior to the All-Star break where he averaged 21.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.3 steals and 36.9 FD points. Okogie has started in each of the last three games and could certainly deliver on his modest salary once again on Friday with another solid allotment of minutes. ALSO CONSIDER: Saddiq Bey, ATL vs. CLE ($6,000); Kenyon Martin, HOU at GSW ($5,800); Kevon Looney, GSW vs. HOU ($5,700)