The Miami Heat are hoping to stay on track at home against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Grizzlies continuing to fall south
The Grizzlies have started off the season with one of the top records in the NBA, but that has turned completely south over the last several weeks. Memphis has faltered out of the playoff picture and further below the .500 mark on the season. It has been a tough last two weeks having dropped seven out of their last 10 games played. Much of this has centered on their lack of consistency offensively ranking as one of the worst teams in the league. Memphis is currently ranked 29th with just 100.9 points per contest along with being 19th with 45.4 percent shooting from the floor and 24th with 34.2 percent from beyond the arc, and 21st with 23.1 assists per contest. This has continued to put them in a hole on a nightly basis that has certainly been the case over their last 10 games falling closer to being out of playoff contention.
24 points, 12 boards & a Wednesday night dub for our man in the middle @MarcGasol last night. 📹
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) January 10, 2019
One of their bright spots has been rookie big man Jaren Jackson Jr. averaging 13.4 points on 52.4 percent shooting from the floor. Jackson Jr. has posted 549 points on 52.4 percent shooting with 38 steals and 63 blocks through his first 41 career games. He has been a major factor in helping to provide stability to the offense. Big man Marc Gasol is coming off a strong game with 26 points and 14 rebounds against the San Antonio Spurs. However, what may give them a chance to pull out a win is their defense. Memphis holds the second-best scoring defense in the NBA by holding opponents to just 102.5 points per game. This has been their calling card over the last several years and has been able to steady the ship when their offense has stuttered this season. If they hope to top the Heat, the Grizzlies will need their stout defense to step up.
Miami defense leading the way
Through the first 40 games of the season, the Heat have split it down the middle that has kept them in the playoff hunt. It has featured more balanced play as of late with their defense stepping it up toward being one of the more stout in the league up to this point in the year. This has largely been fueled by their strong play defensively currently ranking tied for fifth giving up 105.6 points per contest along with being second with opponents shooting just 43.8 percent from the floor. This has helped elevate them toward being one of the more formidable teams in the Eastern Conference, especially over the last few weeks. In fact, the Heat are 13-1 this season when holding opponents to under 100 points. They have also forced their opponent to notch below their respective scoring averages 12 of their last 13 games while going 9-4 over that span.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 11, 2019
What has also stood out has been their collective play off the bench. Their reserves are averaging 48.5 points over their last 22 games. During that span, Miami’s bench has outscored their opponent’s bench 20 times while scoring at least 50 points in nine of those games. This balanced play off the bench has allowed from them to continue to make strides forward this season and gather some sort of stability offensively. This has seen former All-Star guard Dwyane Wade lead the charge with that unit as he’s averaging 14.1 points on 42.1 percent shooting from the floor along with 3.9 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per contest. He has continued to provide reliable production as a reserve in his final campaign in the league. However, what should lift them over the top on Saturday night is their strong play defensively in what should be a comfortable win at home.
- Heat are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games against Southwest division opponents.
- Heat are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS win.
- Heat are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games against Western Conference opponents.
- Grizzlies are 0-4 ATS in their last four Saturday games.
- Grizzlies are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a straight up win.
- Grizzlies are 0-6 ATS in their last six games against Eastern Conference opponents
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Heat have picked it up over the last few weeks trending in the right direction. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have continued to push south with their offense being at the forefront of their issues. Keep in mind, the favorite in this matchup is 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 contests.
Prediction: Miami -5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Grizzlies hold one of the league’s best defenses in the league, which should push this toward being a lowering scoring affair between both teams. The Heat are also a middle of the pack offensively this season. The under is 6-1 in Grizzlies’ last seven road games.
Prediction: Under 199.5