#705 Memphis Grizzliesvs.#706 Oklahoma City Thunder
Wednesday, January 1 2017, at 8:05pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino
Memphis Grizzlies (24-16; 21-19 ATS; 18-20 O/U) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (23-16; 21-17-1 ATS; 17-22 O/U)
NBA: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 8:00pm EST
Line: Oklahoma City -4.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder will host the Memphis Grizzlies in a Western Conference matchup Wednesday night from the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Grizzlies defeated the Jazz 88-79 on Sunday night, and the Thunder are coming off a solid 109-94 road win over the Bulls. Memphis handled Oklahoma City by a 14-80 score late last month.
The Memphis Grizzlies played dazzling defense in their 88-79 home win over the Utah Jazz in a defensive showdown on Sunday night. Memphis shot 43% from the field, and held the Jazz to 38% shooting in the victory. Mike Conley led the way offensively, sinking 19 points along with nine assists. The 29-year old point guard has had some injury trouble this season and the Jazz can’t afford to have him miss more time. Conley is averaging 18.7 points per game, and leads Utah with six assists per game. Marc Gasol was not at his best against the strong Jazz defense, making only 7 of 18 attempts from the field for a total of 17 points. Overall Gasol is having a career-year, averaging a team leading 19.7 points per game after averaging 16.6 last year. The Grizzlies are on a roll right now, coming off wins against the Warriors and the Jazz and now sit at fifth in the Western Conference only two games back of the Clippers.
Memphis has been more productive offensively as of late and are now averaging 99.3 points per game, ranking them 25th overall, and are shooting 42.5% from the field. The Grizzlies play outstanding defense, allowing an average of only 98.6 points per game, good for third in the NBA.
The Oklahoma City Thunder took the early lead and never looked back in a convincing 109-94 road win over the Bulls on Monday night. The Thunder shot a remarkable 56% from the field and out-rebounded the Bulls 42-38 in the win. Russell Westbrook came one rebound shy of another triple-double, scoring 21 points with 14 assists along with nine rebounds. The star point guard is having a phenomenal season, leading the NBA in scoring with 31.2 points per game. Steven Adams continued his hot play in the win, going 8 for 11 from the field for 22 points. The seven-foot center is now averaging 12.4 points per game. The Thunder will no doubt have the 114-80 loss to Memphis from two weeks ago on their minds in this one. Westbrook scored 21 points in that one before being tossed in the third quarter after being issued two technicals. It will be interesting to see how they fare against the Grizzlies stifling defense this time around. The Thunder are currently riding a two game wining streak and now sit in seventh place in the Western Conference but hold a seven game lead over the eight place Trail Blazers.
Oklahoma City is now scoring an average of 106.9 points per game, ranking them eighth in the NBA, and are shooting 46.1% as a team. The Thunder are now conceding an average of 105 points per game, placing them 18th overall.
The Memphis Grizzlies are:
The Oklahoma City Thunder:
I am going with Memphis in this one. The Grizzlies have been much more productive on the offensive end, averaging 107.7 points per game over their last nine games, so I am confident scoring enough points won’t be an issue, and the Thunder have been struggling defensively over the last week. The Grizzlies outstanding defense made it difficult for the Thunder to get get looks in the Grizzlies 114-80 win last month, as the Thunder only shot 33.8% from the field in the loss, so I am confident taking Memphis in this one.
The Grizzlies are not a high scoring team, but lately they have been more productive and I think that carries into this one against the Thunder defense, and the over is 6-0 in the Grizzlies last six road games. OKC continues to score a lot of points, and I expect them to score more than the 80 points they scored against Memphis last month. This total seems low and the over is 18-8 in the last 26 meetings in OKC when these two teams meet.
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Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about about various sports as well as personal finance. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.