This NBA handicapper notes that points should be hard to come by when the Memphis Grizzlies visit the New York Knicks. Read more to find out why you should add the 'under' to your NBA picks.
Getting Grizzly Defensive
In the past few years when you think of the best defenses in the NBA you would definitely have to put the Memphis Grizzlies up as one of the best. Last time on a NBA odds total I took the over with this same team (win), but that was because of the trend at the time and the match up. This time around I am going with the under. Overall Memphis has pushed tempo a bit more this year, and defensively they do lack a bit of intensity on the road. Still, for the year in the NBA they are ranked 10th in the league in shooting percentage allowed (44%) and ranked in the middle of the league in three point percentage allowed (35%), but they are ranked second in the league in scoring defense (95.4 points per game average). They are also are really solid in limiting ball movement being ranked third in the league in assists allowed (under 20 per game). They are also ninth in opponent turnovers and third in opponent assist/turnover ratio. Finally, they are sixth ranked in steals in the NBA this year. New York is going to have a lot of trouble putting up points against a stout defensive team in Memphis. I also think New York is going to give Memphis a bit of trouble in their offensive possessions.
Do the Knicks Play Defense?
For the year, the answer is no. New York is ranked 22nd in the league in scoring defense at just over 101 points per game. They are 25th ranked in opponent field goal percentage at almost 46% and ranked last in the league in opponent three points percentage at just over 38%... yikes. Fortunately for the Knicks the Grizzlies don’t shoot the three particularly well, they are ranked 19th in the NBA this year at just over 34% from distance. Recently though, New York has played much better on the defensive end. I think they figured out in order to compete at all they are simply going to have play as hard and as smart as they can on that side of the floor, it has paid some dividends recently and they have seemed to be playing a bit better this past month losing a few close ones and winning a couple of games. In the last three games the Knicks are allowing opponents only 40.4% from the field and just below 29% from beyond the arc. They are ranked second and sixth in the league respectively in these categories in this time frame. To me that is quite surprising but a good trend I think they can keep up against the well rounded Grizzlies.
There are Two Ways to Use the Word Offensive
One of course describes the opposite of defensive and a team’s objective to put up points in a contest. The other probably describes the Knicks a little bit more. For their defensive prowess the past three games they have not been playing well on the other end of the floor since the All Star break. Since the break they are the second worst team in the league in both shooting percentage (40.7%), and scoring (91.4 points average per game). This past week has not been much different as they are shooting just above 41%. Memphis is ranked in about the middle of the league in this time frame at around 46%, not bad, but also not setting the world on fire. The NBA odds makers have come out with a pretty low total for this game at 186.5 but I don’t think they made this game low enough.
Recently both teams have pushed tempo a bit more but I believe that was due more to the matchups they had (Knicks played up tempo teams Minny, Phi, and Toronto and Memphis had the same in Portland, Dallas, and Detroit). I look for this game to be much more of a drag out defensive battle than these two getting up and down the floor. I like the under here and I recommend you add it to your NBA picks.
NBA Pick: Grizzlies/Knicks under 186.5 at Bet365