Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns
US Airways Center – Phoenix, Arizona
Monday, April 14, 2014, 10:00 pm Eastern, TV: SportSouth, FSN-AZ, NBA LP
Opening Line: Phoenix -3 1/2
Current Line: Phoenix -3
Opening Total: 198
Current Total: 194
Opening Money Line: Suns -150 / Grizzlies +130
Current Money Line: Suns -165 / Grizzlies +145
Fifteen of the sixteen NBA playoff spots have been claimed. The 48-32 Memphis Grizzlies lead the 47-33 Phoenix Suns by a game for the last spot. The two teams do battle Monday night in a crucial game. Memphis can wrap up at least the #8 seed in the Western Conference with a win Monday. The Grizzlies trail the #6 seed Golden State Warriors by a game and the #7 Dallas Mavericks by a half game so they can move up. Memphis hosts Dallas Wednesday to wrap up the regular season. Phoenix would have to win tonight, beat the Sacramento Kings on the road on Wednesday and hope Dallas beats Memphis in order for the Suns to make the playoffs.
Memphis holds the tiebreaker over Phoenix by winning the first three games of the season series. The Grizzlies won in Memphis 110-91 December 3, and 99-91 January 2. Memphis also won in Phoenix 104-99 January 10. The Suns have dropped 2 straight at home to the Grizzlies after winning 11 of the previous 13.
Memphis is coached by David Joerger. The Grizzlies have won 4 of their last 5 games, including 3 straight. The Grizzlies won at the Los Angeles Lakers last night 102-90. While Memphis has won 13 straight games at home, they have dropped 4 of the last 6 on the road. The Grizzlies are 35-42-3 ATS and the total is 38-42 this season.
Memphis is outscoring teams 96-95 this season. The Grizzlies are #3 in points allowed but #27 out of 30 teams in scoring. Memphis is shooting 46.3% from the field and 35.2% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies are #8 in field goal percentage. Memphis makes 74.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44.9% from the field and 35.9% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies are 15th or better in both categories. Memphis averages 42.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 39.4 per game. The Grizzlies are #21 in rebounding but lead the league in rebounds allowed. Memphis averages 21.7 assists, 13.6 turnovers, 7.7 steals and 4.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 19.8 assists, 14.2 turnovers, 7.1 steals, and 5 blocks per game.
Point guard Mike Conley averages 17.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 6 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Forward Zach Randolph averages 17.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Center Marc Gasol averages 14.4 points, 7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game. Guard Courtney Lee averages 11.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1 steal per game. Guard Tony Allen averages 9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. James Johnson, Mike Miller, Kosta Koufos, Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis, and Nick Calathes will also get significant minutes. Prince is questionable with an ankle injury. Guard Quincy Pondexter is out for the season with a broken foot.
Phoenix is coached by Jeff Hornacek, a contender for coach of the year. The Suns have lost 2 straight games. Phoenix lost on the road to Dallas 101-98 Saturday night. The win clinched a playoff spot for the Mavericks. Phoenix is 51-28-1 ATS and the total is 39-38-3 this season.
Phoenix is outscoring teams 106-103 this season. The Suns are #6 in scoring and #22 in points allowed. Phoenix is shooting 46.35 from the field and 37.4% from 3 point range. The Suns are #7 in field goal percentage and #6 in 3 point shooting. Phoenix makes 75.8% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 45.5% from the field and 33.8% from 3 point range. The Suns are #2 in 3 point defense. Phoenix averages 43.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.7 per game. The Suns average 19.2 assists, 15.4 turnovers, 8.3 steals and 4.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.3 assists, 15.3 turnovers, 7.4 steals, and 4.1 blocks per game.
Guard Goran Dragic averages 20.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He is nursing a sore ankle but is expected to play Monday night. Guard Eric Bledsoe averages 17.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Guard Gerald Green averages 15.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Forward Markieff Morris averages 13.6 points, 6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Forward Channing Frye averages 11 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. Marcus Morris, P.J. Tucker, Miles Plumlee, Ish Smith and Archie Goodwin will also get significant minutes. Guard Leandro Barbosa is out indefinitely with a broken hand. Center Emeka Okafor is out for the season with a neck injury.
Memphis is 6-2-1 ATS after a straight up win of more than 10 points, 14-6-2 against Pacific Division teams, 2-7-1 overall, 2-8-1 after a straight up win, 1-4 against teams with winning records, 3-12-2 against Western Conference teams, 1-4-1 after scoring 100 points or more, 1-5-1 when the opponent allows 100 points or more in the previous game, 1-9-1 in road games, and 0-8 against teams with winning home records. The Grizzlies ahve covered 4 of the last 5 against the Suns.
Phoenix is 6-1 ATS in Monday games, 8-3 against teams with winning records, 36-14-1 on one day rest, 25-10 after a straight up loss, 9-4 when the opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game, and 3-7 against Southwest Division teams. The last six games in Phoenix in this series have gone under the total.
Memphis has struggled on the road recently. However, they have beaten the Suns all three times this season. Phoenix picked a bad time for a two game losing streak but playing at San Antonio and Dallas back-to-back is a tall order for any team. It is a shame one of these two teams will miss out on the playoffs because they are both talented teams that could give the top 3 seeds in the West a run for their money in the first round. I think Memphis finds a way to grind out a win on the road with their defense.