NBA Grind Down: Saturday, May 19th

Welcome to the RotoGrinders NBA Grind Down. In this all-encompassing preview of today’s NBA action, every game will be broken down statistically, with several key elements highlighted in our charts.

Vegas lines are broken down to show projected Implied Team Totals, to give you an idea of who is favored to win, and often more importantly, how many points they’re expected to score. We also provide pace numbers, so you can spot a game that might have a few extra possessions and more opportunities for fantasy points.

We also provide position-by-position matchup rankings for every team, to give you an idea of the players who will be in better situations to succeed. Using Defense versus Position data, every projected starter is listed along with his opponent’s rank in points allowed to players of his position. These color-coded charts will help you spot the best matchups of the night at a glance.

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Legend & FAQ

Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers – 8:30 PM ET

Boston Celtics Cleveland Cavaliers
Vegas Total 205.0 Vegas Total 205.0
Vegas Spread 6.5 Vegas Spread -6.5
Implied Team Total 99.3 Implied Team Total 105.8
Pace Projection +/- 0.5 Pace Projection +/- -1.4
Projected Starters Terry Rozier Jaylen Brown Jayson Tatum Marcus Morris Al Horford Projected Starters George Hill J.R. Smith LeBron James Kevin Love Tristan Thompson
Opponent Rank PG SG SF PF C Opponent Rank PG SG SF PF C
DvP 18 26 26 13 10 DvP 1 4 24 2 2
DRPM Rat. 22 27 21 14 30 DRPM Rat. 6 2 3 26 2

Boston Celtics

The Celtics travel to Cleveland up 2-0 and in position to win the East. This is a game that I don’t expect the Celtics to win but as a fan of the Celtics, I hope I am wrong. The Cavaliers go into this game as six-and-a-half-point home favorites. I will still have a lot of interest in these Celtics options in DFS because so many of them have upside at their price and they play a faster paced team that plays no defense.

Terry Rozier is priced up for my liking and going to be a play that I only look to get exposure to on DraftKings at $10600. The price on FanDuel is expensive at $12500 and he is one of my least favorite guards to roster on the Celtics. I have loved this matchup for Jaylen Brown from the start and will continue to roll him out here in most of my lineups. Brown has been great this postseason but especially against the Cavaliers throughout his career. It seems like he likes going up against LeBron and they need him on the floor often to guard him. Brown is an elite option and someone that I would look to spend up on. I also feel similar about Marcus Smart. He feels a tier below Brown and is a little inconsistent, but I do feel for cheaper there is still a lot of upside. They will need his presence defensively and his minutes should be secure in this matchup. One play that I’m not in love with on Boston is Jayson Tatum. I still like his price, but I feel like I would just prefer to roster Brown over Tatum or spend down to Smart. We must find some spots to take stands on this slate and I think I will fade Tatum for Brown or Smart in my tournament lineups.

This game fits Al Horford so well because the Cavaliers don’t have an answer for Al Horford and this fast-paced game just fits him well. Horford has been great all series, but the price is getting tough. On DraftKings at $12200 he is still viable but on FanDuel at $14500 it’s a tougher roster. Either way if you are playing Horford you probably don’t have both Lebron James and him so for me I will likely fade Horford for James. If we know the Cavs are going to roll out Tristan Thompson a lot, then that could open Aron Baynes as a great value option. Baynes has been good in the first two games and for his cheap price, I feel like he can be a great source of value if paying up for LeBron. Another good value play that has a ton of upside and a safe floor is Marcus Morris. Morris has a lot of upside and especially on DraftKings at only $7500, I think he is one of the best values on the board. He’s played 34 minutes in both of his first two games and secure minutes like that are hard to come by in value plays that we feel good about this time of year.

Notable Injuries None

Boston Celtics Offense

Points Per Game: 104.0 (20 of 30)
Implied Implied Team Total: 99.3 (2 of 2)
Projected Point Differential: -4.8 (1 of 2)

Matchup vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Points Allowed Per Game: 109.9 (26 of 30)
Defensive Efficiency: 109.5 (29 of 30)
Rebounding Differential: -1.8 (11 of 30)
Pace of Play: 100.1 (12 of 30)

Player FD Salary DK Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage EFF DVP DRPM
Terry Rozier $12,500 $10,600 23.9 11.4 25.9 11.1 0.92 20.0% 21 18 22
Jaylen Brown $12,000 $11,700 25.2 4.0 30.7 1.2 0.82 18.5% 19 26 27
Jayson Tatum $11,500 $10,900 26.0 5.2 30.5 4.6 0.85 17.0% 28 26 21
Marcus Morris $10,000 $7,500 23.2 -0.8 26.7 2.7 0.87 20.3% 23 13 14
Al Horford $14,500 $12,200 32.1 6.1 31.6 3.7 1.02 17.8% 9 10 30
Marcus Smart $10,500 $9,200 24.3 4.1 29.9 0.6 0.81 18.3% N/A N/A N/A
Aron Baynes $8,500 $5,600 15.8 1.6 18.3 1.9 0.87 14.8% N/A N/A N/A
Semi Ojeleye $6,000 $1,300 6.7 -2.2 15.8 -1.6 0.42 8.0% N/A N/A N/A

Elite Plays – Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris

Secondary Plays – Aron Baynes and Terry Rozier (DraftKings only)

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs come home down 2-0 and need to win this game or this series could be over. If you talked at work at the water cooler on Friday I’m sure you discussed how it’s a must win for the Cavs and LeBron should have a big game. I’m expecting that as well and think that the Cavs will come home, and the supporting cast will help Lebron out. LeBron will always get his, but I think we are going to not only see a big game from LeBron but some of his supporting cast as well.

LeBron James is an elite play and should score the most points. That isn’t really what we need to discuss here. The question is do you think you can pay up for LeBron James and feel good about the value plays that you are forced to play. I understand it’s uncomfortable and if you don’t like your construction with LeBron then don’t play him. I will jam him in and hope to make it work because I feel like he will be on the winning team and I just must get the right mix of his supporting cast right and I will be crushing the slate. His right-hand man Kevin Love is going to be a fade for me. I just prefer other Celtics players in this range and would rather get exposure to them. Kevin Love does have upside and if you think this game is going to be a Cavaliers blowout, pairing LBJ and Love with some cheap Celtics that you think get the blowout run could be interesting. I don’t want to play Tristan Thompson, but I understand he is in play. I kind of want to wait on news to see if he will get a good amount of run. I don’t have a strong take on what I want to do with Thompson, but I do know he will be a very news dependent play, if that makes sense. The Celtics are a tough team on the perimeter and I don’t think I want to get too much exposure to JR Smith and Kyle Korver. I don’t hate taking shots on them and I think you can, but I do worry about their upside for a big game because the Celtics were one of the best teams at defending the perimeter this season and that is where they thrive. Rodney Hood, Larry Nance and Cedi Osman are all fades for me. The three Cavalier cheap options that I think I will mix throughout my lineups more than others will be George Hill and Jeff Green. Tyrone Lue talked about how the Celtics have been physical and the Cavs haven’t. I expect Hill to come out with a little fire, especially being a defensive minded player. He is cheap around the industry and I think he is worth taking a shot on. Jeff Green is another DraftKings cheap play that I don’t mind taking a shot on. If he gets rolling he isn’t afraid to shoot and I like that in a high upside cheap play. He should get his 20 plus minutes here and for so cheap on DraftKings at $3300 I don’t mind taking shots on him.

I also wanted to note that I prefer these cheaper Cleveland players on DraftKings because they are A LOT cheaper over there than on FanDuel. On FanDuel I think the price gap is so close where there is more value in the Celtics options. Thanks for reading guys and enjoy the game tonight!

Notable Injuries None

Cleveland Cavaliers Offense

Points Per Game: 110.9 (5 of 30)
Implied Implied Team Total: 105.8 (1 of 2)
Projected Point Differential: -5.2 (2 of 2)

Matchup vs. Boston Celtics

Points Allowed Per Game: 100.4 (3 of 30)
Defensive Efficiency: 101.5 (1 of 30)
Rebounding Differential: + 2.9 (3 of 30)
Pace of Play: 98.2 (23 of 30)

Player FD Salary DK Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage EFF DVP DRPM
George Hill $8,000 $4,200 20.0 -5.3 27.0 0.0 0.74 15.6% 5 1 6
J.R. Smith $8,000 $3,800 16.5 0.5 28.1 3.5 0.59 12.5% 2 4 2
LeBron James $20,500 $18,900 54.2 7.7 36.9 3.9 1.47 30.1% 5 24 3
Kevin Love $13,500 $12,600 33.1 -1.7 28.0 5.3 1.18 21.9% 17 2 26
Tristan Thompson $8,000 $5,100 15.7 -3.2 20.2 -2.5 0.78 10.8% 2 2 2
Jeff Green $7,000 $3,300 18.3 -2.9 23.4 -1.2 0.78 16.9% N/A N/A N/A
Kyle Korver $7,500 $4,700 15.4 1.4 21.6 3.9 0.71 14.2% N/A N/A N/A
Rodney Hood $6,000 $2,100 22.3 -13.4 26.9 -10.2 0.83 21.4% N/A N/A N/A

Elite Plays – LeBron James

Secondary Plays – Tristan Thompson, George Hill and Jeff Green (tournaments only)

About the Author


  • zimerman72

    Any chance Nance gets some run tonight? The classic ‘team down 0-2 making a rotation change’ situation?

  • rooney22

    I want to be in first place today

  • Mangone

    • 128

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #93

      RG Tiered Ranking

    @zimerman72 said...

    Any chance Nance gets some run tonight? The classic ‘team down 0-2 making a rotation change’ situation?

    something that you have to try and read up on closer to lock I have not seen anything on it but that is something you can catch by looking at news

  • Coreyobrien639

    I want thag every day

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