NBA Predictions: Grizzlies at Warriors Odds and Picks
by Aaron Smith - 11/19/2013
The Memphis Grizzlies made it to the Western Conference Finals last year. The Golden State Warriors lost to the San Antonio Spurs one round earlier. Both of these teams are doing their best to advance a little bit farther in this year’s playoffs. The Western Conference is loaded with high-quality teams, but both of these teams are legitimate contenders.
After a bit of a slow start, the Grizzlies picked up a massive win in Los Angeles on Monday night over the Clippers. Golden State has been red hot to start out the 2013 season. The Warriors are 8-3 overall, and they are a perfect 5-0 at home.
Memphis won all four of the meetings between these two teams last year, so it will be up to Golden State to figure out the formula to beating the Grizzlies this season. Their first chance comes Wednesday night at home.
Grizzlies at Warriors Betting Story Lines
Stephen Curry is the most valuable member of the Golden State Warriors, and he is listed as “questionable” for this game after hitting the floor Monday night in the team’s game against the Jazz (editor’s note: after this story was submitted, Curry was downgraded to “out”). If Curry can’t play, it forces the Warriors to go with guys who aren’t very accustomed to playing the point guard spot. It also takes away the team’s leading scorer and top outside shooter. Curry will likely be a game-time decision.
Memphis lost five of their first eight games before winning three straight on the road. They beat the Lakers, Kings, and then the Clippers earlier this week. The Grizzlies have been getting great play out of point guard Mike Conley early in the season. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol haven’t been quite as dominant as they were last year, but they have been heating up in the team’s last couple games.
Why did Memphis get out to such a slow start this season? I have to think that the strange coaching change in the offseason had a lot to do with it. Lionel Hollins was a very well-respected coach in the NBA, and the Grizzlies players loved him. When he wasn’t brought back for the year, rumors are that the Memphis locker room was pretty upset.
Dave Joerger was named the coach of the Grizzlies, and he made it clear in the offseason that he wanted this team to speed up their pace this year. Memphis did do a little more running early this year, but it seemed to hurt the team’s ability to win with their defense and post presence. As the year has progressed, the Grizzlies have gradually gone back to a more half-court oriented offense with a slower tempo. It really makes sense to walk the ball up the court and feed it inside when you have Gasol and Randolph posting up in the paint. My guess is the faster-paced Grizzlies was just a brief experiment that we won’t see much of moving forward.
When Mark Jackson inherited this Warriors team, they were all about flying up and down the court and trying to outscore their opponent. The team still runs whenever they have the opportunity, but the biggest change in the Warriors is they now play very good defense. Golden State is fifth in the NBA in field goal percentage defense. Jackson isn’t letting Warriors players get away with missed assignments on the defensive end, and I believe that makes them a much more dangerous team come playoff time.
Andre Iguodala was a terrific addition to the Warriors roster in the offseason. Iguodala fills up a stat sheet about as well as anyone in the NBA. He is a pass-first type of guy, and he fits in perfectly with a bunch of great shooters around him. Iguodala’s versatility gives this team a major extra piece that they didn’t have a year ago.
Grizzlies at Warriors NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened Golden State as an 8.5-point favorite with the total listed at 195.5.
Not only did Memphis win all four games against Golden State last year, but the Grizzlies covered the spread in each of those games as well. Memphis won each game by at least seven points, so the Grizzlies really had the Warriors number. Memphis is 8-0-1 ATS in their last nine games against the Pacific Division. The Warriors are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall. The “over” is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these two teams.
Free NBA Picks: Grizzlies at Warriors Betting Predictions
Memphis is playing with renewed confidence right now. The Grizzlies have a definite advantage inside against Golden State, and they have been great at exploiting that in previous matchups. Curry may miss the game, and if he does play he is likely to be slightly less than 100 percent. Golden State is a team that I’m very high on, but the Grizzlies are a tough mountain for them to climb. I like Memphis in this one.
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