The Memphis Grizzlies (42-19) have won 12 out of their last 13 games and star Zach Randolph will be back in the lineup this evening. Tonight, they take on a tough Portland Trail Blazers (29-33) squad who has gotten the best of the Griz in the confines of the Rose Garden.
Tip-off is scheduled for 10:00 pm ET, tonight, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.
The NBA odds makers at 5Dimes have listed Memphis as a 1.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is 195.Let’s breakdown this matchup from a betting point of view and decide where the best value lies for our NBA picks.
Many expected Memphis to face serious problems once they got released star Rudy Gay for financial purposes, but the Grizzlies have actually excelled without him. Memphis has held opponents to just 84.7 points per game in their last nine contests.
If a team can play defense like that, they’re going to win like the Grizzlies have been winning. Memphis has won four straight games and have won their last three games by a margin of 12 points per game. Some media has actually added Memphis to the NBA Title equation and for good reason.
Moving to the Next Level?
The Grizzlies seem to be moving to the next level, and point guard, Mike Conley Jr. has started to shine as a team leader. Conley Jr. is a very active guard who possesses the speed of his famous track and field father.
He’s coming off of a big 22 point and 8 assist performance, and in his last 5 games, Conley Jr. is averaging 17.2 points, 7.4 assists, and 2.6 steals while shooting 55.2% from the field. Look for Mike Conley Jr. to be more of a ball distributor as “ball hog” Zach Randolph is returning to the lineup.
Zach Randolph only knows one way of playing basketball. He’s a bruiser that looks to shoot. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the Memphis Grizzlies are 26th in the league in offense at 93.7 points per game. Look for Randolph to get his usual double-double against a tough Portland Trail Blazers starting 5.
No Depth, No Win
Portland is coming off of a very demoralizing loss against a poor New Orleans Hornets squad, 98-96. Offense isn’t the problem, as once again all 5 Trail Blazers starters scored in double figures against the Hornets.
Team depth is the main problem for the Trail Blazers. Portland was outscored 45-11 by the Hornets bench. If Portland had a decent bench, they would have an equal record to Memphis or maybe even better. The bench has haunted Portland all season and has defined them as a sub. 500 club.
Look for the same suspects to play well. J.J. Hickson can almost equal Zach Randolph in the double-double department while point guard Damian Lillard looks to put the finishing touches on his pending Rookie of the Year Award.
Lillard is coming off of another 20 point performance, but the question here is “how effective will Portland be against the Grizzlies unstoppable defense?”
Memphis is on fire, and a good defense usually prevails. Memphis doesn’t just have a good defense, they have an outstanding defense. Portland will also be pressed to find points when their backups hit the hardwood. Look for Memphis to be overwhelming and continue this fantastic run.
NBA Pick – Memphis -1.5 at 5 DimesFor another take on this game check out our NBA Picks of the Day article.