Hawks vs. Bulls: The best player prop bets for February 24
While the Western Conference feels somewhat stabilized, the race in the Eastern Conference is anything but. Tonight two teams, the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls, try to begin a post-All-Star break run to secure a top-six seed and a guaranteed playoff spot.
Even though they’re 28-30, the Hawks have turned it on recently and are still a threat to fight their way into the top six. The Bulls, meanwhile, did their work early on, and now are trying to survive the next few weeks until Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball, and maybe even Patrick Williams return to the fold.
The Hawks vs. Bulls tips off at 8 p.m. ET on League Pass. We have picks for the three best player props below.
Fri, February 25 2022, 1:00 AM
Zach LaVine Over/Under 2.5 3-pointers made
DeMar DeRozan has rightly received a hero's welcome in Chicago, and the story of the Bulls' success this season is intimately intertwined with his renaissance. But Zach LaVine was the first pillar, and in many ways, he’s still the key to the franchise.
While DeRozan is a reluctant 3-point shooter, LaVine is one of the most talented outside shooters in the NBA. Forty-two percent of his 3s are self-created, which is among the top marks for any wing. His incredible explosion and the threat he can drive and throw it down just as easily as he can pull up keeps opponents guessing.
The question is whether or not LaVine is healthy. A knee injury kept him out for a few games, and he had to have fluid drained before the All-Star Game.
LaVine has avoided surgery, but it does seem like his knee is going to need consistent management for the rest of the season, and that could impact his production going forward. Coming right off the All-Star break, however, one should expect that he’ll be rested and in peak playing form.
Trae Young Over/Under 41.5 points, rebounds and assists
After a deflating start to the year following last season's Cinderella trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Hawks have begun to rally behind the outstanding play of Trae Young.
Young has solidified himself as one of the league's premier point guards, continuing to post outrageous numbers, including a stat line of 27.8 points, 9.3 assists, 3.9 boards on an eFG% of 52.9%.
His 43.4% assist percentage is both a career-high and one of the top marks in the NBA this season. And his 39.5% usage rate, 98th percentile among all point guards, indicates what a truly dominant role he plays in Atlanta’s offense.
Only 23% of Trae’s 3s come off of assists, which means he is creating 77% of those looks off the dribble, essentially generating offense from thin air. That he is then hitting those looks at a 38.3% clip goes a long way to explaining how Trae has become such an impactful offensive player. But it’s not just 3s either, as Young is hitting an incredible 51% on long 2s. Ostensibly, even the worst shots are good shots for “Ice Trae.”
Chicago allows the fourth most 3s in the NBA, per Cleaning the Glass, as well as by far the most attempts at the rim. If they pressure Trae to give up the ball, he’ll reliably find cutters open at the basket.
Clint Capela Over/Under 10.5 rebounds
Clint Capela was one of the players shortlisted for third team All-NBA center last season, but this season he’s seen nearly every aspect of his game decline. That decline might explain the significant regression that the Hawks have experienced on defense, where they now sit at a miserable 28th overall.
Capela is only 27, but his athleticism seems to be beginning to fail him. Either that, or his once-troubling conditioning issues have begun to unsettle his game once more.
One suspects that in a matchup with Nikola Vucevic, Capela will frequently be pulled from the paint to defend against the Bulls' outside-in attack.
Capela is still averaging 12.1 rebounds on the year, but he’s fallen short of the 10-rebound mark in six of his last 10 games. The value on the board here makes it must-play.