NBA Picks and Predictions: Memphis Grizzlies at Milwaukee Bucks
Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada
The Memphis Grizzlies are 18-19 on the season and the club hasn’t been all that effective at home, as winners of just 10 of 22 at the Fed Ex Forum. Despite that, the Grizzlies are still 6.5-point favorites at home according to NBA oddsmakers, against a struggling 7-30 Milwaukee Bucks squad that is owners of the worst record in the Association.
The Grizzlies season has been bad mainly due to the loss of Marc Gasol. Gasol returned to action on Tuesday and contributed 12 points and four rebounds in the victory over Oklahoma City, which was by all accounts a huge win for Memphis.
Getting Gasol back does wonders for Memphis on both ends of the court. The reigning defensive player of the year was averaging 15.7 points, seven rebounds and a block prior to suffering the knee injury. If Gasol can round into health quickly, this Grizzlies team can still make a run up the standings in the still-young season.
Mike Conley is quietly one of the better point guards in the NBA, especially giving proportional weight to defense. Conley is averaging 18.1 points, 6.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 34 minutes a night for the Grizzlies.
Zach Randolph seems to have been negatively impacted by Gasol’s injury, with his numbers slightly down, but the power forward is still a force on the blocks and is averaging 17.3 points per game this season. The Grizzlies still have a very formidable frontcourt, even with Tayshaun Prince having replaced Rudy Gay mid-season last year. Gay has since been jettisoned again, while Prince is still a serviceable defender on the wing.
The dreadful Bucks, meanwhile, are just trying to evaluate the talent the team has and move forward to the 2014 draft. There’s no reasonable prospect of the team turning it around after winning just 7 of its first 37 games. The Bucks do have some nice young talent in John Henson of UNC, Larry Sanders, Brandon Knight and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo was chosen to be the No. 1 overall pick if the 2013 draft were redone, by SBNation writer Evan Dunlap. He’s impressed league wide with his great basketball body, instincts, and athleticism. The Bucks could have done a lot worse than nab possibly the highest upside player in the 2013 class with the 15th pick.
Memphis Trends: 7-0 ATS in last 7 overall; 6-0 ATS in last 6 road games vs teams with losing home records; 4-0 ATS in last 4 road games vs teams with home winning percentages below .400
Milwaukee Trends: OVER 4-0 in last 4 vs teams with losing SU records; 0-5 ATS in last 5 Wed Games; 0-5 ATS in last 5 following SU loss
Head-to-head: UNDER 5-0 in last 5 meetings; 5-1 ATS in last 6 in Milwaukee; Grizzlies 4-1 ATS in last 5 meetings overall.