Injury Situations to Monitor
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL (knee): PROBABLE As of early Thursday, Antetokounmpo is fully expected to play through his probable designation and fill his usual high-volume role. DeMar DeRozan, CHI (thigh): GTD If DeRozan misses a second straight game Thursday, Alex Caruso is likely to remain in the starting five while Zach LaVine should see a big bump in usage again. Rudy Gobert, MIN (groin): QUESTIONABLE If Gobert sits out, Naz Reid should draw the start at center. Other notable injuries: Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN (calf): OUT Kevin Durant, PHO (knee): OUT Norman Powell, LAC (injury management): OUT Bobby Portis, MIL (knee): OUT Kyle Anderson, MIN (back): QUESTIONABLE
Elite Players We have two players with five-figure salaries on Thursday's slate – Giannis Antetokounmpo($12,500) and Kawhi Leonard ($10,200). Antetokounmpo is amid a prolific tear where he's averaged 38.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists across the last 10 games, a stretch where he's averaged 62.9 FD points. Leonard bounced back to score 52.4 FD points against the Warriors on Tuesday after getting the previous game off for rest, his third time exceeding 50 FD points in the last six games.
Expected Chalk Other likely chalk plays include: Devin Booker, PHO ($9,500) Booker looked back to his old self Tuesday against the Kings with 46 FD points across 29 minutes, which should help keep him very popular on Thursday's small slate. Anthony Edwards, MIN ($9,400) Edwards has been under 36.5 FD points just thrice in the last 14 games, a stretch during which he's averaging 45.4 FD points and shooting 48.8 percent, including 39.4 percent from distance. Kristaps Porzingis, WAS ($9,100) Porzingis has scored 44.4 to 54.8 FD points in three of the past four games, including a tally of 48.9 on Tuesday in Kyle Kuzma's return to action. Deandre Ayton, PHO ($9,000) Ayton went off for 62.2 FD points over 36 minutes against the Kings on Tuesday, his fifth double-double in the last six games. Zach LaVine, CHI ($8,200) The combination of LaVine's 59.7 FD-point effort against the Pacers on Wednesday and the possible second straight absence of DeMar DeRozan should keep the talented shooting guard's rostering rate very high.
Key Values Josh Okogie, PHO vs. LAC ($5,600) Okogie has scored 28.7 to 46.3 FD points in his last three games, a stretch during which he's shooting a blistering 55.0 percent, including 60.0 percent from three-point range. Okogie has drawn starts in the last two games as well, with Kevin Durant (knee) still not ready to debut, and that will remain the case Thursday. The Clippers are also a vulnerable team to power forwards, allowing the fourth-highest offensive efficiency rating to power forwards (28.3), along with 49.9 percent shooting and Western Conference-high 51.3 FD points per game to the position in the last 15 contests. Jaden McDaniels, MIN vs. WAS ($5,600) McDaniels produced 34.8 FD points against the Mavericks on Monday, the third time in the last seven contests he's eclipsed 30 FD points. The talented forward has another matchup that could facilitate a strong return Thursday, as the Wizards are allowing the eighth-highest offensive efficiency rating to small forwards (23.3), along with 41 FD points per contest to the position. McDaniels is also sporting career highs in points (11.4), assists (2.1) and steals (1.0), and he's shooting a stellar 41.7 percent from behind the arc across 30 home games. ALSO CONSIDER: Terance Mann, LAC at PHO ($5,100)