WHEN: 8:00 PM CST
WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/NBA League Pass/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Dillon Brooks (right thigh soreness, questionable), Jaren Jackson Jr. (left knee, out), Killian Tillie (left foot, out), Justise Winslow (left hip, out)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Grayson Allen, Kyle Anderson, Brandon Clarke, Jonas Valanciunas
PHOENIX: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikail Bridges, Jae Crowder, DeAndre Ayton
The Memphis Grizzlies are back above .500 after a home win against the lowly Detroit Pistons on a frigid Friday night on Beale Street. To stay above .500, Memphis will have their hands full with a tough Phoenix Suns squad who are 7-3 in their last 10. Phoenix is also playing a second night of a back to back so the Grizz will have the upper hand being at home. Chris Paul is a thorn in the Grizzlies side, but maybe they opt to rest the veteran.
The defense for Memphis has been struggling as of late, but the returns of De’Anthony Melton and Brandon Clarke will go a long way in fixing those recent issues. Memphis will have to be crisp in order to slow down a potent Suns team. As with most teams, the Grizzlies will have the depth advantage and will have to win the bench battle by a wide margin.
OWN THE BLOCK
Jonas Valanciunas has been arguably the most consistent Grizzlies player so far this season. On most every night, he takes advantage of the mismatches provided him and works hard on the glass. The rebounding will be crucial in this match as both Ayton and Jonas are top rebounders in the league. Ayton, while improving each season, is a career negative defensive player so Jonas will have to teach the young star a thing or two on the block.
DEFEND THE ARC
Phoenix has some snipers on their roster. For years defending the three point line plagued Memphis as they did not have the shooters to engage in a shootout with other teams. It seemed as if the Taylor Jenkins coached rosters improved on that line of defense, but of late, Memphis has been torched from deep. If Devin Booker, Mikail Bridges, Cam Johnson and company get looks early, it is going to be a long night in FedExForum for the Grizz.
BET THE BEAR
Memphis opens as a 3 point underdog at home against Phoenix.
The Suns are 18-10 against the spread while the Grizz are 13-11-1. This means that when either team wins, they also cover.
The opening over/under is set at 224. The Grizz fell way under against Detroit on Friday night.
In the last 10 matchups against Phoenix, Memphis is 7-3 and 7-3 ATS. The under hit 7 times.
The best bet for your money would be to take Phoenix -3 and bet the under.