There won’t be much action to speak of in the NBA on Thursday since there is just one game on the schedule. It’s not exactly an exciting matchup, either, between the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons. Luckily, we have a DraftKings single-game contest to add a little juice to the matchup.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Pistons SG/SF Cade Cunningham (illness) has been ruled out Thursday vs. the Magic.
Cade Cunningham ($16,200 Captain’s Pick): There are several injuries that will impact this game. On the Pistons’ side of things, we already know that Jerami Grant (knee) has been ruled out. Cunningham, who did not play Tuesday against the Heat, is listed as questionable with an illness. If he is able to play, it’s hard to argue against using him for this spot. Across his last 11 games, he’s averaged 22.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.6 three-pointers.
Cole Anthony ($12,600 Captain’s Pick): The Magic are also in bad shape on the injury front. Jalen Suggs (ankle) has been ruled out,
and both Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle) and Chuma Okeke (knee) are listed as questionable. The absence of Suggs should have a significant impact on Anthony, who will be asked to shoulder even more of the scoring burden for the Magic. He scored 35 DKFP with Suggs out Tuesday against the Nets, leaving him with at least 32.2 DKFP in five of his last seven games.
Saddiq Bey ($7,800):
Even if Cunningham is able to return for the Pistons, Grant is averaging 19 points per game, so they will have a significant void to fill within their scoring attack. Enter Bey, who has used added playing time this season to provide 15.8 points and 2.5 three-pointers per game. Grant was also out the last time these two teams met, which contributed to Bey scoring 17 points, to go along with five rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and two three-pointers.
Marvin Bagley III ($7,600): Bagley recently started three straight games for the Pistons, which he turned into at least 29 DKFP two times. He reverted back to a bench role with the return of Isaiah Stewart ($5,400) on Tuesday, but he still scored 25 DKFP across 30 minutes. Playing time shouldn’t be difficult for him to come by with Grant out, making him an intriguing option.
Moritz Wagner ($4,600): If Carter and/or Okeke don’t play, Wagner becomes extremely appealing at this salary. Even if they do play, he could be worth a look in tournaments. Across his last six games, he’s scored at least 22.8 DKFP five times. It could also help him that the Pistons have the seventh-worst defensive rating in the league.
Cory Joseph ($5,000): If Cunningham plays, Joseph isn’t much to get excited about. Even with Cunningham out Tuesday, Joseph scored only 15.5 DKFP. If Cunningham is out, the better Pistons’ guard in this salary range might be Killian Hayes ($5,200), who has scored at least 26.3 DKFP in each of the last three games in which he has logged at least 30 minutes.
This will require monitoring throughout the day because the statuses of Cunningham and Carter could swing things dramatically. Since Cunningham is only dealing with an illness, and was already out Tuesday, I think he has a better chance of playing between the two. His stellar play has helped lead them to a 6-5 record over his last 11 games. If he’s ruled out, though, the Magic might have a better chance to emerge victorious.
Final Score: Pistons 108, Magic 105
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