MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (42-19)
at PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (29-33)
Tip-off: Tuesday, 10:05 p.m. ET
Line: Memphis -1.5, Total: 185.5
The Blazers will be looking to get revenge for their recent loss against the Grizzlies when they take their home floor on Tuesday night.
Memphis enters Tuesday nightís matchup on a four-game winning streak and a stellar 12-1 SU (9-4 ATS) mark in its past 13 games. The Blazers have also played well, as their two-point loss at New Orleans on Sunday snapped a seven-game ATS win streak. Memphis recently defeated Portland 91-85 at home last Wednesday, but failed to cover the spread. In fact, the Blazers are on a 6-0 ATS run in the series since the 2011 calendar year, including 3-0 (SU and ATS) at Rose Garden. Memphis PF Zach Randolph didnít play in last week's game with Portland due to a sore ankle, but he is likely to suit up for this game. The Blazers top two players, PF LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) and PG Damian Lillard (shoulder), are also less than 100 percent, but both are listed as probable for Tuesday.
Can the Grizzlies extend their win streak in a tough venue? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. All four experts remain red-hot in NBA Best Bets. StatFox Gary is 75% ATS (12-4) in March and 74% ATS (20-7) since Feb. 20, StatFox Brian is 63% ATS in March (10-6), including 64% ATS (7-4) since March 4, StatFox Scott is 60% ATS (35-23) since Feb. 3 and StatFox Dave is 54% ATS (7-6) since March 2. Since February began, the experts are a collective 57% ATS (128-98), including 53% ATS (35-31) in March. Scott is now 56% ATS (105-84-1) for the season, while Gary is 54% ATS (83-71-4). For NBA Totals, Gary is a perfect 5-0 in the since March 7, while Scott is 61% (11-7-1) since Feb. 22 to raise his season record to 56% (87-68-1) in Totals.
The Grizzlies offense has been solid during their 12-1 SU run with 96.0 PPG on 47% FG and 37% threes. But the defense has been unbelievable over this stretch, holding teams to 87.3 PPG on 43.5% FG and 34.4% threes. In Saturday's 96-85 win over New Orleans, Memphis ran away with the game in the third quarter. PG Mike Conley was the difference maker in that game, finishing with 22 points and eight assists, while C Marc Gasol stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four blocks. This duo also shined in last week's win over Portland, as Conley notched 20 points and six assists, while Gasol finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds (five offensive). PF Ed Davis had perhaps his best game since being traded to the Grizzlies, winding up with 12 points, nine rebounds and five blocks starting for injured PF Zach Randolph. Although Davis played well for Memphis, the team will be happy to have their All-Star Randolph back from an ankle injury. In 10 career games against the Blazers, Randolph has 21.3 PPG (48% FG) and 11.2 RPG. One player who the Grizzlies really need to continue his high-level play is SG Tony Allen. Over the past five games, Allen is averaging 11.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 1.2 SPG in 26.8 MPG. He always provides value with stellar defense, but when heís providing on the offensive end, itís very tough to stop Memphis. PG Jerryd Bayless (7.2 PPG, 3.3 APG) provided a huge spark off the bench in last week's victory over Portland with 13 points and a game-high +19 rating in 25 minutes of action.
The Trail Blazers are coming off a bad 98-96 loss to the Hornets in which they were dominated on the glass 48-30 and allowed New Orleans to shoot 47% FG and 11-of-20 threes. The Blazers got plenty of production from their starting lineup in the game including 20 points and eight assists from rookie PG Damian Lillard. They also got 24 points on 8-of-15 FG (6-11 threes) from SG Wesley Matthews, PF LaMarcus Aldridge went for 16 points and six boards, while C J.J. Hickson posted 14 points and 14 rebounds. The problem in the game for Terry Stottsí team is that they got absolutely nothing from their bench in terms of production. The Portland bench combined for a total of 11 points in the game. The same thing happened in last week's loss in Memphis when all five starters scored in double-figures, led by Lillard's 20 points. But the bench combined for just 22 points and a minus-16 rating. Aldridge also shot poorly that game (2-for-13 FG), which diminished his 10 rebounds and six assists. Portland has struggled with a lack of depth all season and it has really held back what could have been an even more promising season for a young up-and-coming team.