NBA Picks: Bulls -2.5 Over Grizzlies to Stay In the Playoff Hunt

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 2:00 PM GMT

The Bulls are in desperation mode, 2 games behind the Detroit Pistons for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. They face a Grizzlies team burdened by injuries. See who we'll make our NBA pick.

Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET tonight at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. According to the NBA Odds, it's the Bulls that are the 2.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 200.5. Chicago knows what they have to do and Memphis is dealing with injuries. It's a risky play, but the Grizzlies are vulnerable. Can Chicago deliver is the question?

Beware of Derrick Rose (Injury Report)
For the Bulls, E'Twaun Moore is considered probable with a hamstring injury and Derrick Rose is listed as questionable with an elbow injury. I'm certainly not going to count on Derrick Rose as time and time again, he take's it easy and doesn't play in pain when his team need's him. He's out of the equation as I look at this western conference game.

Looking at the projected list of starters for the Bulls, Moore and Butler are set to play guard and Moore is listed as "game time decision". In this case, look for Chicago to rely on backup point guard, Aaron Brooks.

Brooks isn't an overly- talented player for an NBA point guard, but he can provide the Bulls with a solid 20 minutes and 10 points.

In his last 2 games, Brooks has averaged 10.5 points per game on 8 of 13 shooting from the field. We'll form a better opinion closer to game-time with Moore, but the Bulls know that they have Aaron Brooks as backup in their back pocket if need be. If Brooks starts, naturally, his production will increase and with Mike Conley Jr. out for the season for the Grizzlies, this is a a huge break for the Bulls and their Playoffs Hunt to begin with.

 

Tony Allen and Jordan Farmar?
This is what the Memphis Grizzlies will be starting at the guard position and that's very weak. When Allen gets his minutes, he play's well, but he doesn't always get the playing time.

I was baffled by his last game in which he came up big with 10 points and 6 rebounds and was given just 14 minutes. For that move alone, the coach should be fired. Nonetheless, the Bulls have Jimmy Butler at the shooting guard position and this is where the Bulls will dominate as Butler leads the Bulls in scoring and can either play guard or forward.

 

Inconsistency of Nikola Mirotic
I'm not going to mention the players that we expect to play well such as Pau Gasol. I'm going to mention guys such as Mirotic and Doug McDermott, where you don't know what kind of production that you're going to get from them.

Bobby Portis will be getting the start over Mirotic for this game, but Mirotic is coming off of a 19 point, 6 rebound effort and has had games of 19 points, 28, and 28 points in his last 4 games. He can be a game changer as he's averaged 15.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in his last 10 games.

The problem is games like the one in the loss to Detroit on April 2nd in which he managed just 6 points on 2 of 7 shooting from the field. If Nikola Mirotic became a more consistent player in this league, he would be a merging star. In a game like this where he has to face a 'Grizzly" veteran such as Zach Randolph, you just don't know what you'll get out of Mirotic. Overall, he's been playing well and provides relief for Gasol. I expect Mirotic to play well as Jimmy Butler leads the Bulls to a much needed victory over a short-handed Memphis Grizzlies team, so Ill make the Bulls Point Spread the NBA Pick for this game.

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Free NBA Pick:  Bulls -2½ -102
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes