NBA Grind Down: Tuesday, April 16th

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


Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors – 8:00 PM ET

Orlando Magic Toronto Raptors
Vegas Total 211.5 Vegas Total 211.5
Vegas Spread 10.0 Vegas Spread -10.0
Implied Team Total 100.8 Implied Team Total 110.8
Pace Projection +/- -1.9 Pace Projection +/- -3.7
Projected Starters D.J. Augustin Evan Fournier Jonathan Isaac Aaron Gordon Nikola Vucevic Projected Starters Kyle Lowry Danny Green Kawhi Leonard Pascal Siakam Marc Gasol
Matchup PG SG SF PF C Matchup PG SG SF PF C
DEFF 12 17 3 6 11 DEFF 23 18 16 8 3
DvsA 17 10 4 12 4 DvsA 14 2 19 15 1

Orlando Magic

Notable Injuries

None

Orlando Magic Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 117.5 (9 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 100.8 (5 of 6)
Projected Point Differential: -6.6 (5 of 6)

Matchup vs. Toronto Raptors

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 106.3 (5 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 106.8 (5 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 50.2 (13 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 100.6 (15 of 30)

I certainly did not expect the Magic to upset the Raptors in Game 1, but the Magic came away with a 104-101 victory on Toronto’s home court. It was a team effort, with the surprise being D.J. Augustin leading the team with a 25-point performance (including the game-winning three-pointer). Augustin had only topped 20 real-life points just four times during the regular season, so this game came out of nowhere against a good Raptors defense. I expect him to gain some ownership on this slate given his Game 1 performance. I’m not saying he’s a bad play, but in tournaments I may consider an underweight approach if he’s going to be popular. He only played 30 minutes, ceding the other 18 minutes to Michael Carter-Williams, meaning he’s still going to have to produce in somewhat limited minutes relative to the other starters. It wouldn’t surprise me if he came back down to earth somewhat in Game 2.

Nikola Vucevic is going to be one of the top spend up options at center today, but he struggled in Game 1, shooting just 3-for-14. Vuc posted an ugly 11/8/3 line, and Marc Gasol got the better of him. I thought it was interesting that the Raptors pretty much matched Gasol on him minute-for-minute, meaning the Raptors are likely going to use Serge Ibaka in more of a traditional backup role in this series to allow the bigger Gasol to matchup on Vucevic. Gasol finished 9th among centers in defensive real plus/minus, and I consider Gasol an elite defender, meaning I’m not especially high on Vucevic in this matchup. Center isn’t a great position on this slate, so I can see getting exposure to Vucevic if you’re building multiple lineups, but otherwise he’s not a priority for me.

The Magic used a tight eight-man rotation, with Terrence Ross being the only viable option off the bench as he saw 25 minutes. Still, Ross struggled with his shot in Game 1, going 2-for-11. He still managed to finish with a 10/6/2/2 steals line but he’s not really on my radar, as he’s too shooting dependent. Evan Fournier is also too shot dependent for me. He did manage 16 real-life points in Game 1, but added just 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal to his stat line. I feel like there are better places to spend your salary.

Aaron Gordon has a difficult matchup against Kawhi Leonard, and Gordon wasn’t very effective against the Raptors during their regular season meetings. Leonard was able to limit Gordon to a 10/10/3 line with 3 steals in Game 1, which is fairly solid considering Leonard was defending him. I’m still not especially high on Gordon in this series given his lack of defensive stats. The 3 steals from Game 1 feels like an outlier, as he only managed that once all regular season and finished the year averaging just 0.7 steals per game.

I was surprised to see Jonathan Isaac play a team-high 40 minutes, which is a good sign that he’s over the concussion that caused him to miss the regular season finale. He had 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in Game 1, and while I don’t consider him a safe play, his ability to rack up defensive stats and the team’s willingness to play him heavy minutes makes him one of the more interesting GPP plays. I actually think I’d be willing to take some shots on Isaac in large-field tournaments before I would on Aaron Gordon, which may be a hot take.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
D.J. Augustin $6,200 $5,600 $11,300 22.9 15.6 28.0 1.6 0.82 18.8% 12 17 3
Evan Fournier $5,600 $5,500 $10,600 25.4 -2.0 31.5 5.2 0.81 21.3% 17 10 1
Jonathan Isaac $5,100 $4,900 $10,000 23.2 6.5 26.6 13.3 0.87 14.8% 3 4 15
Aaron Gordon $7,100 $6,800 $12,600 32.5 1.0 33.8 -0.1 0.96 20.5% 6 12 3
Nikola Vucevic $9,400 $8,200 $15,000 45.2 -18.1 31.4 1.6 1.44 26.6% 11 4 6
Terrence Ross $6,100 $5,200 $9,900 24.7 -0.4 26.5 -1.8 0.93 22.5% N/A 10 N/A
Michael Carter-Williams $4,100 $4,000 $7,500 14.5 3.6 13.3 5.1 1.09 21.6% N/A 5 N/A
Khem Birch $3,600 $3,300 $6,100 13.2 3.7 12.9 2.0 1.02 13.1% N/A 7 N/A

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysD.J. Augustin, Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, Nikola Vucevic


Toronto Raptors

Notable Injuries

OG Anunoby (Out – Appendectomy), Patrick McCaw (Questionable – Thumb)

Toronto Raptors Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 116.0 (10 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 110.8 (2 of 6)
Projected Point Differential: -3.7 (3 of 6)

Matchup vs. Orlando Magic

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 110.3 (14 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 107.5 (8 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 50.4 (11 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 98.7 (24 of 30)

The big headline from Game 1 was Kyle Lowry going 0-for-7 from the field and 0-for-2 from the free throw line, going scoreless in 34 minutes. His recent dud is going to lower his ownership in tournaments, but I still don’t know if I would try to take advantage of the recency bias anyway. For starters, the addition of Kawhi Leonard on this team has really changed Lowry’s role on this offense. Lowry saw just a 19.6% usage rate this season, his lowest as a Raptor. While I do expect Lowry to have a better game here than his Game 1 performance, I question his upside with Leonard, Gasol and a rising Siakam all viable options on the offensive end. He’s fine as a secondary target, but I think it makes more sense to look elsewhere for your point guard needs.

I was a bit disappointed with Kawhi Leonard in Game 1. He did play well, shooting 10-for-18 with a 25/6/3 line, but he had no steals or blocks to pad his final stats. I’m still viewing him as an elite play, but I think there’s also some merit to pivoting down to Pascal Siakam if you want the salary savings. Siakam played a team-high 42 minutes, took a team-high 24 shots and had a massive 24/9/4 line with 2 blocks and a steal. I’m not so sure he sees 24 shots again, as he was trying to pick up the slack for a slumping Lowry, but there is massive upside here. I’m viewing him as an elite option as well as he’s going to see heavy run.

As mentioned above, Marc Gasol outplayed Serge Ibaka 32 minutes to 19 minutes. With the Raptors likely matching Gasol’s minutes with Nikola Vucevic, Ibaka isn’t really on my radar. Gasol has a difficult matchup against Vucevic, who also rated as an elite defender this season (Vucevic finished 2nd in defensive real plus/minus among centers). Center isn’t a great position, but I’d rather look elsewhere than target Gasol.

If you’re looking for a YOLO punt, Danny Green isn’t the worst option. He did have some success against this Magic team in the regular season, and he did play 34 minutes in Game 1, scoring 13 points. It’s not impossible for him to catch fire beyond the arc, so I’d at least keep him in my GPP player pool.

The Raptors used a nine-man rotation in Game 1, only giving Fred VanVleet (27 minutes), Serge Ibaka (19 minutes), Norman Powell (16 minutes) and Jodie Meeks (3 minutes) playing time. VanVleet is really the only bench player I would consider if you absolutely needed to go here, but he’s a GPP dart throw at best. The only reason to play VanVleet is if you think Lowry continues to struggle and the Raptors give VanVleet more time.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Kyle Lowry $7,800 $6,500 $12,200 35.9 -11.5 34.1 -0.2 1.05 20.3% 23 14 19
Danny Green $4,700 $4,400 $8,500 21.4 0.7 27.7 5.9 0.77 13.1% 18 2 19
Kawhi Leonard $9,300 $8,100 $14,900 44.9 -12.2 34.0 -0.9 1.32 28.3% 16 19 11
Pascal Siakam $7,800 $7,100 $13,300 32.7 16.1 31.8 10.5 1.03 19.4% 8 15 14
Marc Gasol $5,700 $5,400 $10,300 34.3 -8.1 30.8 1.2 1.11 19.1% 3 1 2
Fred VanVleet $4,800 $4,600 $9,500 23.6 -7.7 27.5 -0.8 0.86 19.0% N/A 3 N/A
Serge Ibaka $5,700 $5,900 $11,300 30.6 -12.5 27.2 -7.8 1.12 20.1% N/A 10 N/A
Norman Powell $3,600 $3,600 $6,800 15.2 -6.4 18.8 -2.4 0.81 17.5% N/A 24 N/A

Elite PlaysKawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam

Secondary PlaysDanny Green, Kyle Lowry

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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