The Grizzlies may have lost two in a row, but it's hard to imagine that streak reaching three, despite them being on the road against the Timberwolves. Where should we go with our NBA picks?
Depending on where you look, the Grizzlies are favored by either 5 or 5.5 points. That doesn't seem like all that high of a price to pay for a team as good as Memphis up against the team with the worst record in the Western Conference.
We see a relatively low total of 192 on the board for this evening's conference battle. We all know how good the Grizzlies can be defensively when on their game, but the Timberwolves have been one of the worst defensive teams out there, allowing 105.6 points per game, which puts them 29th in the NBA in that respect.
If you simply look at the Timberwolves' record (13-44), you're not going to be impressed. Rightly so: they've been very poor in the grand scheme of things, recording the worst mark in the conference while tying for the second-worst record in the entire league. It's hard to find a ton of positives with that in mind.
However, there is reason for optimism if you're a Minnesota fan. It starts with Andrew Wiggins, who has been every bit as good as advertised in his rookie season. The sky seems to be the limit for Wiggins, who continues to log heavy minutes night in and night out and improving with each passing game. Add in a now-healthy Ricky Rubio and some talented bigs like Nikola Pekovic, Gorgui Dieng and now Kevin Garnett, as well as one of the best shooters in the league in Kevin Martin, and you can see why the Timberwolves are being given a chance in the NBA odds tonight.
But, even though Minnesota has been playing better and is a more respectable 5-5 over their last 10, they're still going to fall short more often than not. That's likely to happen again tonight.
We're not really used to seeing the Grizzlies lost, so a recent two-game losing streak is likely to give the public reason to worry. One of those losses came on the road against the Kings, with the other coming at home against a Clippers team that's without one of its best players in Blake Griffin.
Memphis, though, is just fine when glancing over the bigger picture. The Grizzlies own the second-best record in the Western Conference, and that's certainly no easy feat with how good that conference has been throughout the season. The gap is closing, however, as both Houston and Portland are putting the pressure on.
The Grizzlies are healthy, however, and have a great chance to end this small losing streak and get back to their winning ways. They also have one of the best frontcourt partnerships with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol continuing to kill it.
It hasn't been a good few days for the Grizzlies, but let's not overreact to a couple losses. This is still one of the best teams in not only the Western Conference but the entire NBA, so instead of shying away, let's take advantage of the weak spot in the NBA odds.
The Timberwolves are on the up and up and have a lot of hope for the future, but they're going to go through a lot of growing pains along the way. They match up with an experienced Memphis team who knows how to grind out wins no matter if they're at home or on the road.
Minnesota has won just eight times on their home court all season long and we have a hard time seeing a ninth in store after tonight's over and done with. Make Grizzlies your NBA pick to win by at least five tonight.
Free NBA Pick: Grizzlies -5 at The Greek