MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (38-18)
at MIAMI HEAT (41-14)
Tip-off: Friday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Miami -8, Total: 186
The Heat will be playing to avenge an early season loss to the Grizzlies when these two teams with long winning streaks take the court Friday in Miami.
Memphis enters Friday night’s game on an eight-game winning streak, while Miami has won 12 in a row, including an 8-4 ATS mark. The last time the Heat played the Grizzlies was on Nov. 11 when Memphis drained 14-of-24 threes and won easily, 104-86. The Grizzlies are now 3-1 (SU and ATS) in the past four meetings with Miami. A big recent for this recent series success for Memphis is rebounding. The Heat are last in the league in rebounding (38.6 RPG) while the Grizzlies are 12th in the league with 42.9 RPG. One of the ways Miami is able to beat teams is by going very small with SF LeBron James guarding other teams' power forwards, but Memphis doesn’t allow them to do that. Memphis has the most traditional frontcourt in the league with PF Zach Randolph and C Marc Gasol and those two could be too much for the Heat. Memphis is 8-0 ATS in road games after playing four consecutive games as favorites, which has mostly to do with the confidence of the team, which is soaring high right now. However, explosive home teams (103+ PPG) after allowing 120+ points are 67-28 ATS (71%) over the past five seasons, which is great sign for Miami.
Which team will extend its lengthy win streak on Friday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. For NBA Best Bets, StatFox Scott is in the midst of a monster run, going 29-9 ATS (76.3%) since Feb. 3, and improving his season record to an impressive 59% ATS (99-70-1). The experts capped off an excellent month of February with a 3-0 ATS mark on Thursday, which gives them a collective 58.1% ATS (93-67) record for the month. StatFox Gary is a sizzling 8-3 ATS (73%) since Feb. 20, and was 63.0% ATS (17-10) for February. For NBA Totals, Scott is 6-1 (86%) in the past seven days to raise his season mark to 57% (82-62) in Totals.
On Wednesday, the Grizzlies were down as many as 25 points against Dallas, but ended up winning without much of a problem in the fourth quarter. PF Zach Randolph has really come on strong over the past five games, recording double-doubles in all of those games, and averaging 17.2 PPG and 13.2 RPG over this stretch. He also had a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win over Miami in November. C Marc Gasol has also been dominant over the past three games for the Grizzlies, averaging 18.0 PPG and 10.7 RPG in that period. This frontcourt has been dominant over the past eight games, and has propelled the Grizzlies to this winning streak after many left them for dead after the Rudy Gay trade. PG Mike Conley had a huge performance in the home win over the Heat earlier this season with 18 points (7-of-11 FG), nine assists and a +26 rating.
SG Dwyane Wade was horrible in the Nov. 11 loss in Memphis (8 pts, 3-of-15 FG, minus-21 rating), but he has played incredible basketball for the Heat over the 12-game win streak with 24.5 PPG (54% FG), 6.2 RPG and 5.5 APG. He erupted for 39 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in a 141-129 overtime victory over the Kings on Tuesday. Fortunately for Wade, he wasn’t alone in that game, as SF LeBron James tallied 40 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds. During the 12-game surge, James has 29.8 PPG on 65% FG and 44% threes. Not only is he scoring the basketball, but he’s taking on the role of the point guard, with an incredible 53 assists and just 12 turnovers (4.42 Ast/TO ratio) in the past five games. PF Chris Bosh is also a big reason the Heat have averaged 109.3 PPG during their 12-game win streak, as he's put up 16.8 PPG (56% FG) with 6.7 RPG over this stretch. Both Bosh (22 pts, 8 reb) and James (20 pts, 10 reb, 6 ast) posted big numbers in Memphis during the November loss, but the other 11 Miami players made just 12-of-48 shots (25%) that night.