Clippers -7 Deserves the NBA Pick Over Grizzlies Tonight in L.A.

David Lawrence

Saturday, April 11, 2015 1:59 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 11, 2015 1:59 PM UTC

Grizzlies are trying to get the number two seed in the West while the Clippers have been the 2nd-best western team over the past month of the season. For this matchup, L.A. is favored on NBA odds.

The Memphis Grizzlies Can Win Because…
They are playing the way they’re supposed to play. Memphis came up with a vintage performance on Wednesday night to not only beat, but crush, a talented New Orleans team that’s trying to beat out Oklahoma City for the final playoff spot in the West. New Orleans had just beaten Golden State and was feeling very good, but Memphis took that same bunch of Pelicans and throttled them by 36. Then last night, they handled a quality Jazz team in Utah.

The Grizzlies rely on their defense to set the tone and that’s definitely what happened in each of the last two games. Specifically against the Pelicans, they allowed only 36 points in the first half and just 55 through three quarters. The Grizzlies allowed over 19 points only once in a quarter. They were strong throughout. Anthony Davis scored 12 points, well below his season-long average. Tyreke Evans scored 10, almost seven points below his average for the season. The Grizzlies limited New Orleans to 35 percent shooting, only 28.6 percent from three-point range. At the other end of the floor, the Grizzlies hit 51.1 percent of their shots; made the three-ball at a 47 percent clip – much better than what they normally do – and committed only eight turnovers. There was nothing this team didn’t do well, and that’s the kind of performance a coach is looking for from his team at this point in the season. Memphis seems ready to make a push in the postseason.


The Los Angeles Clippers Can Win Because…
They are playing even better than the Grizzlies are right now, which is why they enter this game as an 8-point home favorites on the NBA betting odds board. Los Angeles has won 11 out of its last 12, but what’s just as important as all the wins is the way in which the Clippers are winning games. They’re getting the kinds of performances they need from the specific players who have to step up.

Blake Griffin, after being away for over a month with an injury, needed to be able to produce so that the players who had his back when he was out of the lineup could feel relieved on the court. Griffin needed to restore balance to the roster so that his teammates would not be overburdened any longer. Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, Griffin looked the part of that kind of team player. He not only scored 27 points but did so with an efficient shooting performance: 11 of 20 from the field. Griffin didn’t hijack or disrupt the Clippers’ offense; he fit into it, making good use of the times in which he touched the ball.

Another player the Clippers simply have to have at a high level in the coming playoffs is J.J. Redick. They need him to hit shots so that Griffin and Chris Paul don’t get too much attention. Redick was 9 of 14 from the field against the Lakers, 4 of 6 from three-point range. If Griffin and Redick score efficiently, the rebounding of DeAndre Jordan and the passing of Paul will make this team very hard to beat.


The Grizzlies are playing well but the Clippers are playing better and are at home. Beyond that, the Grizzlies find themselves in a back-to-back situation after playing on the road in Utah. That will take some pep out of their step. Take the Clippers with your NBA picks in this one.

Free NBA Pick: Clippers -7 at The Greek

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