Portland at Memphis
Time: 7 PM CST (NBA LP)
Spread: MEM -4
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Memphis Grizzlies have won seven of its last 10 games and are 15-13 at home where it hosts the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night on NBA League Pass. The Grizzlies are 4-point favorites in the game, with the over/under set at 235 points according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes.
PORTLAND news & notes:
Portland has gone 6-4 SU over its last 10 games, and at 25-30 it trails the No.8 seeded Memphis Grizzlies by 3 games for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.
Carmelo Anthony has been the headliner for news in Portland, and the free-agent acquisition seems to be nothing but good for the Blazers’ rotation. Melo is averaging 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in 32 minutes a night through his first 23 games (all of which he has started). It has pushed Mario Hezonja back out of the starting lineup, where he was having his struggles. The Blazers also seemed to legitimately have added a true No. 3 option behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who combine to average 48.8 points and 11.4 assists per game in the backcourt.
The Blazers are arguably a better team on paper this year than last, but injuries have prevented it all from fully translating. Hassan Whiteside is something of an upgrade over the injured Jusef Nurkic, but losing Zach Collins to injury was a bit of a blow to a team thin on frontcourt depth. Rodney Hood has been a pleasant surprise as a second-unit scorer, though, with his 50.6 percent shooting and 11 points per game. The Blazers simply need a healthy roster before it can build the chemistry and momentum that it really should.
MEMPHIS news & notes:
The Memphis Grizzlies have snuck into the playoff picture after surging to improve to 27-26 on the season.
In a year that was considered a rebuilding or tanking effort, Memphis has done anything but. The young Grizz are competing and winning games.
Memphis is led by a first-year point guard in Ja Morant and second-year forward Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson leads the team in scoring at 18.1 points per game while coming up with 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.0 steals/blocks in just 28 minutes a game. Ja Morant is seeing 29.5 minutes per game and averaging 17.8 points, 6.9 assists, and 3.4 rebounds. Morant is shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 39 percent from three on 2.3 attempts per game. Jackson is shooting nearly 42 percent from three on 6.4 attempts per game. Memphis attempts 32.8 threes per game and connects on 36 percent as a team.
The Grizzlies average the 8th-most points in the league at 113.4 per game. However, Memphis also has a bottom-five defense that allows 116.1 per game. Interestingly, the Grizzlies lead the league in assists per game with 27.9 per contest as a team. Between that chemistry and an improving defense, the Grizzlies may have a chance to stay in the top-8 and make the postseason in a year few considered it possible.