NBA Picks: Take Knicks To Cover ATS In Close Game vs. Grizzlies

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, January 16, 2016 6:00 PM GMT

The Knicks lost in their last outing to their cross-town neighbors the Nets while the Grizzlies have won three of their last four. We analyze this matchup to determine the sharp side in our NBA picks.

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NBA Pick: Knicks +4.5
Best Line Offered at: " rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Place your bets at 5Dimes">5Dimes

 

Who's Playing?
We cannot be certain whether Carmelo Anthony (ankle) or Kristaps Porzingis (shoulder) of the Knicks or Mike Conley (Achilles) of the Grizzlies will be in action today so the NBA odds makers have not hung a line on this one as of this Saturday morning writing. But let's hear what the players have to say about their status regarding Saturday night's tilt in Memphis.

"Depends on if the doctors let me play or not... if they're depending only on my decision, I would play tomorrow. So we'll see what happens," Porzingis said after practice.

"(I'm) not where I want to be at this point. It's only been two days or something like that," Carmelo Anthony said after practice Friday. "It's something I don't want to linger around if I try to rush it back. If I can go tomorrow, I'll go. If not, I won't."

"I'm going to battle through it," Mike Conley said. "I'm going to keep trying to play."

Carmelo Anthony will most likely miss tonight's action as he doesn't appear inclined to push his 31-year-old body to the outer limits. He may only be in his early 30's but has 12 years of NBA miles on his tread and he has been through this before. The Knicks are hunting for a low playoff seed but are not only below four other teams but below .500 which means Anthony is not going to risk his immediate future playing a meaningless game in January when he may need to play several meaningful games in April.

The injury to Porzingis came out of nowhere. It was revealed he suffered a sore shoulder after his team's loss to Brooklyn. If he sits, Derrick Williams and Kyle O'Quinn are the likely candidates to fill the void from the 7'3" Latvian power forward. However, in my opinion it is unlikely a 20-year-old is going to sit after what has been described a "shoulder soreness". Reputations stick and I am certain Porzingis understands that he has a limitless future that cannot be tainted by toughness issues in the macho world of professional basketball. Bottom line - he plays tonight.

Memphis's Mike Conley has a bona fide injury issue to deal with and the team understands they need to proceed with the utmost caution when talking about Achilles injuries. Conley is one tough hombre having dealt with facial fractures, back problems and abdominal injuries. But the Achilles is a different breed of cat and can not only ruin a season but shorten a career. I say he sits in this one.

***NBA Picks of the Day***

Betting Analysis
These clubs have not met this season but needless to say Memphis has had their way with New York over the past two years. The Grizzlies are 4-0 straight up and has rewarded those who have backed them in their NBA picks in this series with a 3-1 ATS record. The last time the teams met in Memphis was on January 5th of 2015 and once again Carmelo Anthony was out with a sore left knee and Mike Conley led all scorers with 22 points as the Grizzlies cruised to a 105-83 victory as 14 ½ point home chalk.

The Knicks should have young Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup, who had yet to be drafted as the fourth-overall pick by New York when the teams played in Memphis over a year ago. Conversely the Grizzlies will most likely be without the leading scorer from that night Mike Conley. Mario Chalmers has done a nice job filling in for Conley since he's been out but the Knicks have won five of their last seven games and playing a decent brand of bsketball. This game will be closer than many believe, so you should grab the points that the Knicks are getting.