NBA preview and tips: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
After winning in Houston, losses to the Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers, and LA Lakers were to follow, so the Grizzlies will be glad to be back home, where they've previously fared well when rested on the back of a road trip, going 4-1 ATS (against the spread) in this spot.
The Warriors might sound like a tough opponent, but this is not the Golden State of yesteryear. The Warriors have dropped the first two games of their current road trip, 137-128 to Oklahoma, and 113-105 to the Lakers. The former of those results is not a good look and reflects where they are right now - namely, just 7-25 on the road, covering the spread nine times in 32 games. They come against a Memphis side who are extremely tough opponents on home court, where they've gone 26-5. As a defence, they allow visiting teams just 107 points per game, and they know how to score.
The absence of Ja Morant does continue to affect them, but this is not a one-man team, and even just showing up as a solid defensive unit may be enough here. That's something that Golden State has not managed, having allowed, on average, 123 points per game on the road, a number that makes it hard for anyone to win games. And we know they do score well, but Memphis holds teams to around 43% shooting and 32% from beyond the arc. If Memphis can chase the Warriors off the line a little and force tougher shots, you'd expect them to dominate the rebounds. Kevon Looney will suit up at centre for Golden State, but he was limited to 11 minutes in his last outing and continues to struggle with a back injury. Even then, it's a battle the Grizzlies can win. Memphis are missing Steven Adams for this one, but Tillman put up Adams-like numbers and did well against the Lakers, so no real concern there. Memphis are a dominant 40-17 ATS on home court stretching back into last season, even though Morant and other key players have spent time on the sidelines. They've gone 19-7 ATS as a home underdog of 0.5-4.5 points, and 17-5 ATS as a home favourite. From an ATS perspective, you can pick any number of trends that scare you off backing Golden State. 15-33 ATS as a road favourite of 0.5-4.5 points, which suggests they're always being overvalued in tough games. They are also, 7-20 ATS as a road favourite, 0-7 ATS in their last seven on the road, and 7-16 ATS against home teams winning .600% or better of their games, which again suggests they just aren't matching up to elite teams right now. While they won't catch the Nuggets, the Grizzlies are level with the Sacramento Kings and can certainly secure some very key home advantage in the play-offs by finishing second. The top four might be beyond the Warriors given current road form. It does get congested in the middle of the play-off pack, but there's little chance of them dropping out of the picture entirely with everyone healthy. My main hope for this game is that the Grizzlies' defence is on point and they win the battle of the boards. Good defence usually leads to easy offence against the leaky Warriors.
Memphis + 1.5 points
Match starts at 7.30pm EST (12.30am UK time)
George Dempsey provides basketball tips as The NBA Tipster on the Tipstrr platform
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