NBA Grind Down: Thursday, March 14th

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

Oklahoma City Thunder at Indiana Pacers – 7:00 PM ET

Oklahoma City Thunder Indiana Pacers
Vegas Total 218.0 Vegas Total 218.0
Vegas Spread 1.0 Vegas Spread -1.0
Implied Team Total 108.5 Implied Team Total 109.5
Pace Projection +/- -4.2 Pace Projection +/- 1.2
Projected Starters Russell Westbrook Terrance Ferguson Paul George Jerami Grant Steven Adams Projected Starters Darren Collison Wesley Matthews Bojan Bogdanovic Thaddeus Young Myles Turner
Matchup PG SG SF PF C Matchup PG SG SF PF C
DEFF 12 17 1 19 22 DEFF 25 11 16 9 27
DvsA 1 19 5 5 5 DvsA 3 30 30 17 14

Oklahoma City Thunder

Notable Injuries

Markieff Morris (Questionable)

Oklahoma City Thunder Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 109.8 (20 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 108.5 (9 of 12)
Projected Point Differential: -6.6 (12 of 12)

Matchup vs. Indiana Pacers

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 109.5 (10 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 111.5 (23 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 47.6 (27 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 98.3 (26 of 30)

We have another six-game slate on tap tonight. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have six to eight games on the schedule every night rather than 12 games one night and three the next. We start with the Thunder, who are playing in the second half of a back-to-back. They draw a difficult matchup against the Pacers, who are ranked 26th in pace of play and 10th in points allowed over the last 10 games. The Thunder have an implied total of only 108.5 points, which is the fourth lowest of the slate and nearly seven points below their season average.

The good news if you want to play Russell Westbrook tonight is that we have a few obvious value plays that make it easy to fit him into lineups. The bad news is that he’s been in mediocre form and he is facing a Pacers team that is ranked first in DvA against combo guards. Dennis Schroder has been an intriguing tournament play over the last few games, but this is where we should hop off. It’s a pace-down game against a tough defense. Paul George doesn’t have a great matchup on paper, but I like his chances against Bojan Bogdanovic. He’s still nursing that shoulder injury, but he’s playing a full complement of minutes and he has a little added motivation of playing his former team.

The best two matchups for the Thunder are both in the frontcourt. Over the last 10 games, the Pacers are ranked 19th in efficiency against power forwards, 22nd in efficiency against centers, and 27th in rebounding percentage. If Markieff Morris is unable to suit up, Jerami Grant should push for 35 minutes at a reasonable price point on both FanDuel ($5,500) and DraftKings ($4,900). Steven Adams is never an exciting play, but he’s usually good for 30+ fantasy points and he’s cheap across the industry. The main issue for Adams is that center is loaded with options tonight. Marc Gasol is head and shoulders above Adams in terms of their point-per-dollar value.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game L4 +/- Minutes L4 +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Russell Westbrook $11,300 $10,900 $19,300 55.1 -1.7 35.8 0.5 1.54 32.2% 12 1 10
Terrance Ferguson $3,500 $3,300 $6,000 12.0 -0.3 25.3 4.3 0.47 9.8% 17 19 17
Paul George $10,000 $9,700 $17,800 50.0 -6.7 36.6 -0.9 1.37 28.0% 1 5 27
Jerami Grant $5,500 $4,900 $9,700 26.5 -1.5 32.4 -2.5 0.82 13.9% 19 5 9
Steven Adams $6,700 $6,000 $11,700 33.8 -5.6 33.8 -0.2 1.00 14.8% 22 5 3
Dennis Schroder $5,000 $5,600 $11,000 27.1 -3.5 28.8 0.8 0.94 24.4% N/A 1 N/A
Markieff Morris $3,500 $3,300 $6,400 20.8 -7.3 23.9 -8.0 0.87 17.3% N/A 15 N/A
Nerlens Noel $3,700 $3,300 $6,200 17.7 -0.8 14.3 1.3 1.24 12.6% N/A 5 N/A

Elite PlaysPaul George (GPP), Jerami Grant (if Morris is out)

Secondary PlaysPaul George (Cash), Jerami Grant (if Morris is active), Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams

Indiana Pacers

Notable Injuries

Tyreke Evans (Out)

Indiana Pacers Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 108.4 (26 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 109.5 (7 of 12)
Projected Point Differential: 1.3 (6 of 12)

Matchup vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 111.4 (13 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 106.1 (5 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 50.9 (12 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 103.7 (6 of 30)

The Pacers have lost five of their last 10 games and are currently tied with the Sixers for the third best record in the East. While the Thunder play at a fast pace, they are a below-average matchup for fantasy production. Over the last 10 games, Oklahoma City is ranked 13th or better in points allowed, defensive rating, and rebounding percentage. The Pacers have an implied total of 109.5 points, which is the seventh highest on the board and a point above their season average.

I had to do a double-take on the minutes of the Pacers’ starters over the last four games. I figured they must have played in a couple of overtimes, but that’s not the case. They are gearing up for the playoffs and have tightened their rotation in the process. While the matchup is less than ideal and while they still have a balanced offense, we can at least consider the Pacers now that they are seeing more minutes. Darren Collison gets to face a Thunder team that is ranked 25th in efficiency against point guards and he’ll likely garner very little ownership. Wesley Matthews is a strong value play at shooting guard, as the Thunder are ranked dead last in DvsA against ‘three-and-defense’ wings.

Bojan Bogdanovic feels too expensive, but he has averaged 33 fantasy points over his last four games and again, the Thunder have struggled to contain wings that can shoot the three. Thaddeus Young has more appeal on FanDuel ($6,800) than DraftKings ($6,000), strictly because we have to target two power forwards over there. Even though the position is stacked, I love Myles Turner on sites where you can roster more than one center. Over his last four games, he has averaged 32 minutes and 42 fantasy points. The Thunder aren’t all that intimidating against centers anymore, ranking 27th in efficiency over the last 10 games.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game L4 +/- Minutes L4 +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Darren Collison $7,100 $6,000 $12,300 26.7 6.1 28.3 1.8 0.94 19.2% 25 3 11
Wesley Matthews $4,600 $4,200 $8,500 20.7 -2.6 30.5 5.5 0.68 17.0% 11 30 22
Bojan Bogdanovic $6,700 $6,200 $12,700 26.5 6.4 31.9 2.4 0.83 19.8% 16 30 1
Thaddeus Young $6,800 $6,000 $12,300 28.7 -1.0 30.7 4.4 0.93 16.7% 9 17 3
Myles Turner $7,600 $6,700 $12,300 33.6 8.1 28.5 3.3 1.18 17.9% 27 14 16
Domantas Sabonis $6,200 $5,400 $10,200 30.4 -8.1 24.7 -5.6 1.23 20.9% N/A 14 N/A
Cory Joseph $4,100 $3,500 $7,100 20.2 -4.0 25.5 -2.6 0.79 15.0% N/A 3 N/A
Doug McDermott $3,500 $3,000 $6,000 10.3 0.3 16.9 -2.7 0.61 14.3% N/A 30 N/A

Elite PlaysWesley Matthews (Cash), Myles Turner (DK)

Secondary PlaysWesley Matthews (GPP), Myles Turner (FD), Darren Collison (GPP), Bojan Bogdanovic (GPP), Thaddeus Young (FD)

Noto’s NBA Bets

Whether you are actually betting the games or just want to test your sports betting skills, download the SharpSide app or visit the SharpSide desktop site.

Season Record: 196-168 (+8 units)

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

    Interview after $100,000 Win


  • dh571312

    First off, thank you for your work on Grind Down. Very helpful. Know you probably don’t want to giveaway your analysis for the picks but have you considered giving like a one sentence summary of why you choose each pick? Would be great to compare my analysis vs yours and see where I’m off from you.

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