MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (30-17)
at ATLANTA HAWKS (26-21)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 7:35 p.m. ET
Line: Memphis -1.5, Total: 181
Both the Hawks and the Grizzlies are a looking to put an end to their recent struggles with a win in Atlanta on Wednesday night.
The Hawks are coming off of a 114-103 loss at Indiana on Tuesday, while Memphis was just embarrassed at home by the Suns, 96-90, on the same night. Both of these teams have started to struggle, but it’s a little more alarming for Memphis after trading Rudy Gay for Tayshaun Prince and others in a cost-cutting move. Atlanta is 10-2 SU versus Memphis in their most recent 12 meetings, although the teams have split two wins apiece ATS over the past three seasons.
Which team will snap out of its funk on Wednesday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. For NBA Totals, the experts are an outstanding 34-14 (71%) in the past 12 days with StatFox Gary at 13-4 (76%) StatFox Brian going 10-4 (71%) and StatFox Scott at 11-6 (65%) since Jan. 25. For the season, Scott is a whopping 59% (73-51) in Totals, while Gary is a solid 53% (64-57-4). For NBA Best Bets, the experts went 5-1 ATS (83%) on Tuesday and are a collective 29-19 ATS (60%) over the past seven days, with StatFox Dave going 10-5 ATS (67%) over this stretch. Scott is 10-4 ATS (71%) in his past eight days of Best Bets and is now 54.4% ATS (74-62-1) for the season.
The Grizzlies have been shooting poorly in their past five games, making just 42.2% FG, which has led to just 90.0 PPG during this stretch. PF Zach Randolph (15.6 PPG on 47.4% FG) has really struggled with his shot for Memphis over this span, averaging just 12.2 PPG on 40.9% FG, but he's also pulled down 13.6 RPG during these five contests. Randolph’s must turn himself around, and Tuesday's 21-point, 13-rebound performance versus Phoenix shows that he's capable of being the team's go-to scorer. C Marc Gasol (13.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG) finished the game against Phoenix with just six points and three rebounds in 23 minutes before fouling out. The skilled center did however, have 13 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in the win over Washington the game before. Gasol is not one of the players the Grizzlies have to worry about playing well, as he has been one of their most consistent players all season. He had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the home loss to Atlanta on Dec. 8. PG Mike Conley has also shot poorly since returning from an ankle injury, making just 17-of-45 shots (38%) and 4-of-15 threes in the past three contests.
The Hawks are going through an 0-3 ATS skid, coming off losses to both the Bulls and the Pacers. But one of the bright spots has been SF Kyle Korver (11.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG), who is in the middle of a great run of three-point shooting. Korver is averaging 15.4 PPG over the past five games on 48.8% shooting from downtown. He has connected on 20-of-41 from three-point range in that stretch, which has really opened up the floor for the Hawks. PF Josh Smith (16.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG) is one of the players taking advantage of the spacing Korver is creating, averaging 17.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.8 APG and 1.6 BPG over the past five contest. Smith shot poorly against the Pacers Tuesday, connecting on just 4-of-12 shots, but dropped 24 points (10-of-17 FG), eight rebounds, four assists and three steals against Memphis in December. C Al Horford (15.9 PPG, 9.8 RPG) has continued to put up good numbers consistently. Over the past five games, he’s shooting 58.2% from the field while averaging 18.2 PPG and 9.8 RPG. This includes when Horford went 8-for-8 from the field in New York on Jan. 27. He has shown great touch and instincts this season and has really improved as a player since SG Lou Williams (14.1 PPG) went down with a torn ACL.