NBA Grind Down: Monday, April 15th

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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


Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers – 8:00 PM ET

Brooklyn Nets Philadelphia 76ers
Vegas Total 226.0 Vegas Total 226.0
Vegas Spread 7.5 Vegas Spread -7.5
Implied Team Total 109.3 Implied Team Total 116.8
Pace Projection +/- 0.4 Pace Projection +/- 1.8
Projected Starters D’Angelo Russell Joe Harris DeMarre Carroll Rodions Kurucs Jarrett Allen Projected Starters Ben Simmons JJ Redick Jimmy Butler Tobias Harris Joel Embiid
Matchup PG SG SF PF C Matchup PG SG SF PF C
DEFF 1 12 8 24 7 DEFF 4 16 21 28 20
DvsA 20 7 7 19 14 DvsA 13 1 10 26 30

Brooklyn Nets

Notable Injuries

Ed Davis (Questionable – Ankle), Jared Dudley (Questionable – Calf)

Brooklyn Nets Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 117.8 (8 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 109.3 (3 of 4)
Projected Point Differential: -3.0 (3 of 4)

Matchup vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 117.4 (24 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 114.2 (21 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 52.1 (7 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 102.8 (7 of 30)

Well, that was unexpected. The Nets entered Game 1 as 6.5 point underdogs but ended up beating the 76ers 111-102. I think the big storyline was that Joel Embiid ended up playing after entering the day as doubtful. As expected, that matchup didn’t bode well for Jarrett Allen, who only played 10 minutes. Allen dealt with foul trouble, and in their last two regular season meetings, Allen didn’t reach the 20-minute mark, as the Nets seemed more intent on using some combination of Ed Davis, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jared Dudley against Embiid. The problem here is that both Davis and Dudley are questionable, which could force the Nets to use Allen more. Davis was a stud in Game 1, posting a 12 point, 16 rebound, 2 assist line in just 25 minutes. He’s a better fit against Embiid, and if he’s cleared to play, he’s my preferred play here over Allen. If both Davis and Dudley are out, we could be looking at RHJ entering the rotation after being a DNP-CD in Game 1.

Rodions Kurucs started, but played just 13 minutes and didn’t see the court after midway through the 3rd quarter. Instead, Spencer Dinwiddie closed the game. Dinwiddie had a 18/3/1 line, but the real thing to notice is he played 32 minutes, which trailed just the 34 minutes DeMarre Carroll had. It does seem likely Dinwiddie is going to see massive minutes off the bench and would be my main target here if you needed some salary relief at the guard spot.

Caris LeVert is also coming off a big game, where he finished with a 23/4/2/1/1 line in just 23 minutes. LeVert started to round back into pre-injury form down the stretch for the Nets, and it carried over into Game 1. LeVert took 18 shots in his 23 minutes, so he’s going to need to make his shots if he’s only going to see 23 minutes of playing time. He didn’t close the game and I’m more likely to roster Dinwiddie than chase LeVert’s Game 1 performance. I still view him as a solid secondary play, but it also wouldn’t shock me if he came back down to earth a bit here.

As mentioned above, DeMarre Carroll led the team with 34 minutes and finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. I could see him potentially benefiting if one or both of Davis and Dudley are out, as it appears he’s locked into heavy minutes already, and the team is hesitant to use Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in these playoff games. Carroll and Joe Harris are fringe secondary plays, as I do question their ceilings.

D’Angelo Russell shot 10-for-25, finishing with just 36.75 DraftKings points. The return of Embiid’s interior defense and the stellar defense of Ben Simmons makes me hesitant to pay Russell’s price tag. Sure, sprinkle in some shares if you’re multi-entering, but I’d rather take shots on Stephen Curry if spending up at the guard position over Russell.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
D’Angelo Russell $8,300 $8,400 $15,700 37.4 -2.8 30.2 -1.0 1.24 31.4% 1 20 5
Joe Harris $5,200 $4,700 $8,900 22.4 -7.8 30.2 -0.5 0.74 16.0% 12 7 14
DeMarre Carroll $4,000 $4,400 $8,700 20.0 6.2 25.4 8.5 0.79 17.1% 8 7 1
Rodions Kurucs $3,500 $3,500 $6,900 16.5 -10.9 20.5 -7.9 0.80 16.1% 24 19 17
Jarrett Allen $6,000 $4,500 $8,400 27.8 -16.3 26.2 -16.5 1.06 14.3% 7 14 10
Spencer Dinwiddie $4,900 $5,000 $9,500 27.1 -5.0 28.1 4.2 0.96 24.8% N/A 20 N/A
Caris LeVert $6,000 $5,600 $11,000 26.9 9.9 26.6 -3.6 1.01 23.8% N/A 20 N/A
Jared Dudley $3,600 $3,300 $6,400 12.1 0.9 20.7 7.2 0.59 10.0% N/A 7 N/A

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysEd Davis, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, D’Angelo Russell


Philadelphia 76ers

Notable Injuries

Jonah Bolden (Probable – Knee), Joel Embiid (Questionable – Knee), James Ennis (Doubtful – Quad)

Philadelphia 76ers Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 115.2 (11 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 116.8 (2 of 4)
Projected Point Differential: 1.6 (2 of 4)

Matchup vs. Brooklyn Nets

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 115.8 (21 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 108.9 (10 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 51.6 (8 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 104.2 (4 of 30)

Joel Embiid is once again questionable for Game 2, making his status up in the air possibly until right before lock. Embiid played just 24 minutes but was still effective, posting a 22/15/5/4 block line. The fact he posted that stat line in just 24 minutes while playing hurt was impressive. There’s obviously some concern about how many minutes he’ll actually play if the 76ers rule him in before lock, but on a short two-game slate, he’s worth prioritizing if he’s in there.

When Embiid was off the court, the 76ers used Boban Marjanovic as his main backup. Boban played 15 minutes and was a per-minute beast, finishing with 26.25 DraftKings points. Jonah Bolden only played five minutes in Game 1 and appears to be behind Boban in the pecking order. Should Embiid get ruled out for this game, Boban would be an elite punt play.

With Embiid hobbled, it was Jimmy Butler who stole the show. Butler took a team-high 22 shots over 39 minutes, finishing with 36 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Per CourtIQ, Butler has shown the biggest usage rate when Embiid is off the court (26.8%) and averages 1.19 fantasy points per minute. I’m still viewing Butler as an elite play even if Embiid suits up in the event Embiid is playing at half-strength and Butler carries the team once again.

It was an awful performance for both J.J. Redick and Tobias Harris in Game 1. Redick fouled out in 23 minutes and finished with five points, forcing more minutes to go to T.J. McConnell. Harris played a team-high 41 minutes yet took just seven shots all game and finished with four points. Harris shot 39.7% in the team’s final five games in April and it appears his slump carried over. Both Redick and Harris are likely going to have better games here, but I really don’t feel great endorsing either of them.

I was high on Ben Simmons entering this game, but with the news Embiid was playing, that pretty much crushed his value. He took a backseat to both Embiid and Butler, finishing with just a 9/7/3 line plus 3 blocks over 32 minutes. Per CourtIQ, Simmons sees a -1.2% usage decrease when Embiid is on the floor. He even took a jab at the 76ers fans after the game, saying “If you’re going to boo, then stay on that side.” It wasn’t a pretty Game 1 performance for Simmons, and now he’s even alienating the Philadelphia fan base. Simmons is more in play for me if Embiid is out.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Ben Simmons $9,900 $7,300 $13,600 42.1 -11.2 34.2 -2.0 1.23 22.6% 4 13 16
JJ Redick $6,800 $5,200 $10,200 25.5 -22.3 31.3 -8.7 0.82 20.7% 16 1 28
Jimmy Butler $8,200 $7,400 $14,400 37.1 19.7 33.6 5.3 1.10 22.2% 21 10 17
Tobias Harris $7,200 $6,200 $12,100 35.2 -10.8 34.7 5.8 1.01 21.3% 28 26 17
Joel Embiid $11,000 $9,800 $18,300 53.7 4.3 33.7 -9.4 1.59 29.6% 20 30 18
Mike Scott $4,200 $3,400 $6,500 12.1 -1.1 17.7 14.8 0.68 13.0% N/A 26 N/A
T.J. McConnell $3,500 $3,200 $6,000 16.7 -8.2 19.3 -3.5 0.86 15.8% N/A 13 N/A
Boban Marjanovic $5,500 $4,200 $8,200 15.6 12.0 11.7 3.7 1.33 20.0% N/A 29 N/A

Elite PlaysJoel Embiid (if he plays), Jimmy Butler, Boban Marjanovic (if Embiid is out), Ben Simmons (if Embiid is out)

Secondary PlaysTobias Harris, Ben Simmons (if Embiid is in)

About the Author

  • Allan Lem (fathalpert)

  • Allan Lem (aka fathalpert) began playing fantasy sports in high school and transitioned to DFS in 2015. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics and lives in California with his wife and two kids. He dreams of winning a big tournament so he can try cashing one of those giant cardboard checks at his local bank.

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