Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#523 Utah Jazz -7.5 vs.
#524 Memphis Grizzlies 215
Friday, November 15, 2019 at 8:05pm EST
FedEx Forum, Memphis
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#523 Utah
#524 Memphis
8-3
4-7
46-39-2
39-42-1
40-45-2
36-45-1
110
103
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106

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When and where: November 15, 2019, FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN, 8:00 PM ET

The streaking Memphis Grizzlies could extend their winning streak to three games in Friday’s clash with the visiting Utah Jazz. A pair of wins over the San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Hornets has given the Grizzlies some hope after a rough start. It’s the first time they’ve managed to put together consecutive wins this season. But they won’t have time to sit back and celebrate that accomplishment with the No. 2 defensive team in the league coming to town. The Jazz have won their last four straight games against the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.

Mitchell’s offensive game growing for the Jazz

The stellar defensive effort by the Jazz has made star guard Donovan Mitchell’s continued offensive development slip by unnoticed. Yet, the third-year former No. 13 overall draft pick out of Louisville is averaging a career-high 25.1 points per game with a 48.4 field goal shooting percentage and a 36.2 3-point shooting percentage.

He recently dropped 30 points, six rebounds and two assists in a 119-114 win over the Nets.

The Jazz haven’t really stood out collectively as a team on offense, but they are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the league. They’ll be facing a young Grizzlies defense that alternates between hot and cold on a nightly basis with their defensive play. Teams are averaging a 46.2 shooting percentage against them, which gives the Jazz some hope they can get the offense rolling with Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic. Even Mike Conley is stepping up in a growing offensive role for the Jazz.

They have been lights out on the defensive end of the floor, and they have a great shot of keeping things that way against the third-worst offense in the league. For all of the talk of a lack of scorers for the Jazz, Memphis clearly has it worse with an entire team’s hopes hanging on the sudden emergence of rookie guard Ja Morant.

Memphis reunites with Conley

The Grizzlies will get to see a familiar face on Friday with the return of former longtime guard Mike Conley. After spending 12 years in Memphis, Conley was sent packing in the offseason in a trade with the Jazz. The veteran guard is finally starting to hit his stride and could pose a problem for his former team in this meeting.

It’ll be interesting seeing him go head-to-head with the player selected as his franchise replacement. Morant has been everything the Grizzlies hoped he’d be so far this season. The rookie No. 2 overall draft pick is averaging 18.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists with a 48.3 field goal shooting percentage. Conley isn’t much of a scorer these days, but there are still shades of the former lockdown defender.

Speaking of defense, the Grizzlies haven’t been as consistent on that end of the floor with all of the new faces. They’ve been even worse at home with opposing teams averaging 120.5 points per game against them. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the Jazz can’t get buckets when they aren’t averaging a ridiculous total after every single game. It’s an efficient group that will test the Grizzlies in ways they have yet to see this season.

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You can rest assured Conley will get up for this game more than any other game this season. This is his opportunity to return to Memphis to exchange hugs and handshakes with familiar faces before attempting to make them regret ever sending him away to Utah. It was a beneficial trade that ultimately worked out for both sides in the end, but I’m still expecting a form of a vengeance performance coming from Conley.

I’m not saying he’s going to turn into a superstar and drop 30-plus points, but it would be considered a great night if he finished with 20-plus points and the Jazz came away with a victory. Mitchell and Bogdanovic’s scoring abilities, particularly from beyond the arc, make them an exceptionally dangerous duo for a Grizzlies team that hasn’t been great defending against long-range shots.

But the story of the game will once again belong to the Jazz’s defense. There is too much youth for the Grizzlies to make a stand in this particular match-up. I’m taking the Jazz to complete the vengeance game for Conley and hand the Grizzlies their eighth loss.

Prediction: Utah Jazz (-7)

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The Grizzlies are void of any elite offensive scorers on their roster at the moment, which makes it hard for them to partake in offensive shootouts. They won’t have to worry about that against this Jazz team. It’s a group that prioritizes playing good defense and capitalizing on efficient offensive play. This isn’t the popcorn and soda team that’s dropping 3-pointers from every spot on the floor. In many ways, the Grizzlies are a far lesser version of a similar concept.

They play decent defense without a particularly splashy offense. The team is only averaging 110.0 points per game, and that number is sure to take a considerable hit in Friday’s meeting with the Jazz. Give me the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (216)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.