Grit And Grind Grizzlies’ Defense Is Gone

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 6:45 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2019 6:45 PM UTC

The Pistons have found themselves battling for their playoff lives, but they have a welcome site coming to town on Tuesday. The tanking Grizzlies are in town and the Pistons are big favorites, but there is a much better play on the first half total for this one.

Jordan’s NBA Picks: 53-35

Memphis (32-48 SU & 37-42 ATS) at Detroit (39-41 SU & 41-38 ATS)

Tuesday, 7:00 PM EST

Free NBA Pick: OVER 1H

Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Usually when you think about the Grizzlies, you think they are a slower paced team with a lot of defense. However, with half the team out and some new guards that are much more tempo friendly, the Grizzlies have been flipped entirely over since the All Star Break.

Blake Griffin’s Status And Grizzlies’ Guards Without Mike Conley

With the Pistons trying not to fall out of the playoff race after going on a really nice run after the All Star Break, they are potentially faced with a must win game on Tuesday. With Blake Griffin questionable, they aren’t in the best position, but at least the game is against the Grizzlies.

If Griffin doesn’t play, obviously it hurts the offense for Detroit, however, with the way the Grizzlies have been playing defense lately, I doubt it hurts the Pistons’ ability to win this game.

The Grizzlies are sitting out Mike Conley for the rest of the season, but in his place Tyler Dorsey and Delon Wright have been playing very well.

Wright has notched two straight triple doubles, which hadn’t been done in Grizzlies history before he did it. With Dorsey alongside, the Grizzlies have gone from a traditionally half-court offense, to one that loves to push the pace and get out in transition.

Nothing shows this better than looking at their first half stats since the All Star Break. Memphis owns a 112 defensive rating in the first half of their games since the break and if you isolated just their road games since the break, their defensive rating jumps to 116.4.

Memphis’ first half pace also jumps to 102.2 since the break in their last 10 road games. If they are able to speed up the Pistons, the over in the first half has a ton of value. Add in the Pistons’ offensive upside against this swiss cheese defense and the first half over looks even better.

The Sharp Pick

The one thing that does hurt this play a little has been the Pistons’ first half defense when they play at home. Detroit’s first half home defensive rating is 100.8 since the break and while the sample size is only 10 games, it’s enough to worry that the Grizzlies may not get much more than 40 first half points.

However, the Grizzlies’ offense over those same stretches above hasn’t missed many beats and Detroit could look at this game like one they know they can win with offense alone. I am a bit concerned about Griffin missing the game, I still think it’s a solid option even if Griffin is forced to sit.

First Half Score Prediction: Grizzlies 52 – Pistons 59

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