NBA Picks: Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets
Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets
Friday, April 12, 2013, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: SportsSouth, CSN-Houston, NBA LP
Toyota Center – Houston, Texas
Opening Line: Houston -2
Current Line: Houston -2 1/2
Opening Total: 193
Current Total: 194
Opening Money Line: Rockets -140 / Grizzlies +120
Current Money Line: Rockets -140 / Grizzlies +120
Both the 53-25 Memphis Grizzlies and 44-34 Houston Rockets have already qualified for the playoffs in the Western Conference, but the two teams are playing for seeding as they meet in Houston Friday night. The Memphis Grizzlies are currently the #5 seed but would have home court against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round because the Grizzlies have a better record. The Grizzlies are a game behind the Denver Nuggets for the third seed, and the Clippers are 2 games behind Denver. Houston is a half game behind the Golden State Warriors for the #6 seed, but neither of those teams can be higher than #6.
Memphis crushed the lowly Charlotte Bobcats 94-75 Tuesday night in Memphis. It was the second straight win for the Grizzlies, and the sixth in the last seven. Houston escaped with a 101-98 win on Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns in Houston. The game ended on a goaltending call against Phoenix on a three pointer by the Rockets’ James Harden at the buzzer. The win clinched a playoff spot for the Rockets after Utah lost later that night at home to Oklahoma City.
Memphis leads the series this year against Houston 2-1. The Grizzlies won both games in Memphis 93-85 November 9 and 103-94 March 29. Houston won 121-96 December 22. The Grizzlies have lost 13 straight games in Houston dating back to 2006. The Grizzlies swept the season series against Houston that year, the last time they won the series.
Memphis is coached by Lionel Hollins. Memphis is outscoring teams 94-90 this season. They are first in the league in points allowed and are #26 in scoring. The Grizzlies are shooting 44.6% from the field and 34.5% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies are #20 in field goal percentage and #24 in three point shooting. Memphis is #8 in the league in free throw shooting at 77.6% from the line. The Grizzlies average 42.4 rebounds per game and give up 38.8. Memphis is #1 in rebounds allowed and #12 in rebounding. Grizzlies’ opponents are shooting 43.8% from the field and 33.7% from 3 point range. Memphis is in the top 5 in both categories. The Grizzlies average 20.9 assists, 8.6 steals, 5.3 blocks and 13.3 turnovers a game. Memphis is 43-33-2 ATS and the total is 30-47-1 this season.
Forward Zach Randolph averages 15.3 points, 11.2 rebounds to lead the team, and 1.4 assists per game. Randolph is fifth in the league in rebounding. Center Marc Gasol averages 14.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, a steal, and 1.8 blocks per game. Point Guard Mike Conley, Jr. averages 14.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 2.3 steals a game to lead the team in the latter two categories. Forward Tayshawn Prince was acquired from the Detroit Pistons in the Rudy Gay deal. He is averaging 8.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game this season between both teams. Tony Allen starts at shooting guard and is one of the best defenders in the league. Allen averages 9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Point guard Jerryd Bayless, forward Quincy Pondexter, forward Darrell Arthur, guard Tony Wroten, and forwards Ed Davis and Austin Daye make up the rest of the rotation. Arthur (back) and Bayless (knee) are both doubtful Friday.
Houston is coached by Kevin McHale. The Rockets are outscoring teams 106-103 this season. The Rockets lead the league in scoring but are #28 in points allowed. The Rockets are shooting 46.2% from the field and 36.9% from 3 point range. Houston is in the top 10 in the league in both categories. The Rockets make 75.4% of their free throws. Houston averages 43.3 rebounds and gives up 41.4 per game. The Rockets are in the top 10 in both categories. Houston opponents are shooting 45.8% from the field and 36.9% from 3 point range. The Rockets average 23.3 assists, 8.3 steals, 4.1 blocks, and 15.8 turnovers per game. Houston is 40-37-1 ATS and the total is 39-39 this season.
Shooting guard James Harden averages 25.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Harden is 5th in the league in scoring, behind Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. Small forward Chandler Parsons averages 15.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1 steal a game. He is doubtful with a calf injury. Point guard Jeremy Lin averages 13.2 points, 3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Shooting guard Carlos Delfino averages 10.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal a game. He is probable with a foot injury and an illness. Center Omer Asik averages 10.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game. Francisco Garcia, Donatas Motiejunas, Greg Smith, Thomas Robinson, and Terrance Jones make up the rest of the rotation.
Memphis is 3-1-1 ATS after a straight up win, 8-3-1 in Friday games, 2-5-1 on two days rest, 1-3-1 after a cover, 2-6-1 in road games, 3-9 against Southwest teams, 1-4-1 against teams with winning home records, 1-6 against teams with winning records, and 0-3-1 after a straight up win of 10 points or more. The under is 7-2 in the last 9 in Houston in this series.
Houston is 4-0 ATS against teams with winning road records, 2-5 against teams with winning records, and 0-4 on two days rest. The home team and favorite has covered the last 7 in this series. The Rockets are 6-1 ATS at home recently against Memphis.
This is battle of the best defensive team in the league against the best offensive team. The Grizzlies want to slow this game down and keep it in the low 90′s or even the 80′s. Houston wants a track meet. This should be a playoff type atmosphere in Houston for this game. I like the Rockets keep their winning streak at home going against the Grizzlies tonight.