Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#543 Atlanta Hawks vs.
#544 Memphis Grizzlies
Friday, November 26, 2021 at 8:10pm EST
FedEx Forum, Memphis
Written by Jordy

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The up-and-down Memphis Grizzlies try their hand at putting an end to the Atlanta Hawks’ six-game winning streak on Friday. After losing to the Denver Nuggets, the Hawks took advantage of their five-game road stretch by winning every game. They returned to the road on Wednesday and handed the San Antonio Spurs a 124-106 loss as 3.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies were disappointing in failing to cover at home against the Toronto Raptors.

Will the road woes ruin Atlanta’s streak?

It’s literally a tale of two teams for the Hawks right now.

When they’re at home, they look like one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference with wins averaging in the plus-11.6 margin range. And then there’s the road version of the Hawks. That group has looked like imposters this season with a 2-8 record. They recently earned their second road win of the season by beating up on the lowly San Antonio Spurs.

Trae Young is going to have his hands full in a head-to-head matchup with Ja Morant on Friday. It’s always a treat when watching two of the league’s best scorers at the point guard position step onto the hardwood against one another. That’s assuming Young even suits up for this game with him being listed as day-to-day on the injury report.

If anything, the horrific defense being played on both sides will make this game fun. Both of these teams are sitting in the bottom-five of the league in defensive efficiency. So it’ll be raining buckets on both sides. The Hawks will have their work cut out for them in winning on the boards with the Grizzlies having at least four people with five-plus rebounds per game.

Grizzlies need a little consistency

The Grizzlies turned heads with their 119-118 victory over the Utah Jazz at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. It was one of those victories that made them look like real contenders in the Western Conference. And what did they do after that marquee win?

They got smashed at home by the Toronto Raptors.

Memphis has to show a little consistency in these games. Are they going to break through as a legitimate contender, or are we looking at another Western Conference pretender with one top star on their entire roster?

A good start to answering that question would be the Grizzlies fending off the Hawks on Friday. It isn’t often they get to play someone as bad as they are defensively, but they’ll be facing a Hawks team allowing an average of 113 points per game this season. Memphis might be a mess defensively, but that offense can be devastating, especially when they’re playing at home.

Ja Morant is transferring into a superstar before our very eyes, and Dillon Brooks is making his own case as a rising star with an average of 19.4 points per game. The future comes and goes like the wind for the struggling Grizzlies.

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The Hawks are coming into this game pretty banged up right now.

Both Trae Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic are listed as day-to-day with injuries heading into this matchup, while Onyeka Okongwu has already been ruled out. Everything is sugar and rainbows when the Hawks are playing on the road, and then it turns into an everlasting nightmare the moment they step on someone else’s court.

Say what you want about the Grizzlies’ moribund defense, but that group can put up some serious points offensively. If their defensive effort was just a smidge better, they’d have more than just two wins on the road.

Ja Morant will be in attack mode against a Hawks team that’s allowing nearly 47 percent shooting to opponents. The road woes will kick in right on time for the Hawks to figure out a way to blow their ninth game of the season away from their home building.

The defense will only get worse, and they’ll continue to struggle shooting on the road. I’m laying the points.

Prediction: Memphis Grizzlies (-1)

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The Memphis crowd has a treat on their hands in a game where defense will likely be an afterthought. Memphis is allowing an average of 127.3 points in their last three outings. No other team is even close to that number in that span of time. However, the Hawks have a tendency of turning their opponents into a scoring sponge as well. Assuming Trae Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic are in the lineup for this game, these two teams are going to go blow-for-blow offensively. Ja Morant is putting up the sort of superstar numbers—25.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 7.1 assists—that’ll push this game towards the direction of a shootout. Give me the over in this one.

Prediction: Over (225.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "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.