MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (19-9)
at BOSTON CELTICS (14-16)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 7:35 p.m. ET
Line: Memphis -4, Total: 179
The Celtics are looking to get on track in the new year with a victory over the Grizzlies Wednesday night. Boston is off to its worst start in recent memory, sitting below .500 after having lost three straight games. But the Grizzlies are also in a funk, losing three of their past four contests (SU and ATS). The Celtics have really struggled to rebound the basketball this season (38.5 RPG, last in NBA), and a Grizzlies team with Zach Randolph (12.5 RPG) and Marc Gasol (7.5 RPG) down low will be extremely tough to keep off the glass. Adding injury to insult, Boston star PG Rajon Rondo is questionable for this game with an injured thigh/hip.
Can the red-hot Clippers keep their streak alive with a tough road matchup? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts have posted a stellar 15-7-1 ATS (68%) mark in the past four days and are 35-19-1 ATS (65%) since Dec. 22. StatFox Brian has had eight perfect records in the past nine game days, going 11-2 ATS (85% ATS) over this span. StatFox Dave is 9-5 ATS (64%) since Dec. 22 and StatFox Scott is 10-5 ATS (67%) since Dec. 19. Brian has the best record for the entire season at 56% ATS (50-40-3), with Scott (55.1% ATS) and StatFox Gary (54.4% ATS) not far behind. The four experts are collectively 53.1% ATS (190-168-11) on Best Bets for the season.
Despite the Grizzlies struggles, Randolph has been playing very well lately, averaging 18.7 PPG and 10.3 RPG over the past three games. In Mondayís loss to Indiana, Randolph scored 21 points and hauled in 15 rebounds. The Grizzlies must do a better job getting Gasol the ball though, as he is averaging just 9.8 field-goal attempts over the past five games. Heís not a volume shooter, but he does average 14.3 PPG in limited shot attempts. PG Mike Conley has been shooting horribly over the past five games (30% FG, 21% 3-pt FG), so heíd be best getting the ball to his big men or attacking the rim to get to the free-throw line early and establish rhythm.
Boston has lost three straight games and its most recent defeat was the most disturbing for Celtics fans. Boston went to Sacramento on Sunday and lost by 22 points. Rondo, who may not play in this game, has really struggled for Boston. Heís shot just 38% FG with 8.0 APG over the past four games compared to his season averages of 50% FG and 11.6 APG. On a brighter note for the team, PF Kevin Garnett played one of his best games of the year in the loss to the Kings, scoring 16 points while grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out six assists in the loss. The Celtics will need SF Paul Pierce (19.9 PPG) to pick up the scoring for his team in games that the rest of their players canít buy a bucket.