CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (3-10)
at MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (9-2)
Tip-off: Monday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Memphis -12.5, Total: 194
On Monday night, the short-handed Cavaliers are looking to cool down the red-hot Grizzlies, who have now won nine of their past 10 games (SU and ATS).
Cleveland is still playing without its superstar PG Kyrie Irving for another couple of weeks due to a broken finger. But since the injury to Irving, Byron Scott has turned to Jeremy Pargo to fill the void at the point guard position. Pargo has started three games for the Cavaliers, and the offense has looked great averaging 101.3 PPG. Memphis is 5-1 (SU and ATS) at home this season, outscoring these visitors by 8.0 PPG.
Can the Grizzlies cover this hefty spread on Monday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Gary leads the experts at 58% ATS (11-8-2) Best Bets for the year, as he's currently on a 6-3 ATS run. StatFox Scott is also at 58% ATS (19-14) Best Bets for the season after going 3-1 ATS over the weekend. For NBA Totals, StatFox Scott is 15-4 (79%) since Nov. 11, boosting his incredible season mark to 28-9 (76%) on NBA Totals.
Since taking over for Irving at the point, Pargo has averaged 19.7 PPG (48% FG, 7-of-16 threes) and 4.0 APG, and has done a good job keeping the Cavs above water. Dion Waiters has also picked up his offense, chipping in 19.0 PPG in the three games. This Cleveland team works very hard on both ends of the floor (8.6 SPG, 9th in NBA) and it doesn’t quit easily (13.5 offensive RPG, 4th in NBA), most likely due to head coach Byron Scott’s fighter mentality.
Memphis is one of the stories of the season so far. After losing to the Clippers in the playoffs last season, the Grizzlies came back healthy to start the year and have stolen the show early on in the year. Zach Randolph is healthy now and is averaging 16.7 PPG and 13.6 RPG, thanks to double-doubles in all 11 games this year. They have also gotten very steady play out of their floor general Mike Conley Jr. who is averaging a career best 14.8 PPG and 49% FG to go along with a career-high-tying 6.5 APG and 2.2 SPG. SF Rudy Gay (20.1 PPG, 38% 3-pt FG) and C Marc Gasol (15.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 4.9 APG) are also looking like borderline All-Stars this season for Lionel Hollins’ bunch. This team plays hard on both sides of the basketball (9.5 SPG, 3rd in NBA) and is one of the more balanced teams in the NBA with the top four scorers all averaging 14.8 PPG or better.