The Grizzlies and Nets will almost surely not meet each other in the NBA Finals this year, but they’re certainly a pair of franchises trending in the right direction. The Grizzlies have beaten the odds to get themselves into the thick of the playoff race in a year many thought they would be one of the worst teams in the entire league. The Nets, meanwhile, have big plans for the future with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving set to team up starting next season.
The future is bright for both clubs, but for now they have the matter of a playoff chase to focus on. Memphis enters play Wednesday at 30-31 on the year, which is good enough for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Grizz have a 3-game cushion on the Sacramento Kings, who have quietly been one of the hottest teams in basketball over the past few weeks.
The Nets’ path looks a little bit murkier. Brooklyn is just a half-game ahead of the Orlando Magic for the No. 7 spot, but they do have a 5-game edge on the Washington Wizards, who sit ninth. The problem for the Nets is that Irving will miss the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery yesterday. Brooklyn has typically played well without Kyrie this season, but the team’s 27-33 record leaves plenty to be desired.
The Grizz and Nets will do battle in Brooklyn on Wednesday night. The Nets currently check in as 1.5-point favorites in a game with a 223.5 total at BetOnline.
Grizzlies at Nets Betting Odds
Over 223.5 (-110)
Under 223.5 (-110)
Brooklyn Nets vs Memphis Grizzlies Game Notes
Kyrie Irving underwent shoulder surgery on Tuesday that will force him to miss the rest of the season.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke still out for shorthanded Grizzlies.
Caris LeVert scored 51 points in Brooklyn’s OT win over Boston on Tuesday.
LeVert’s Monster Night
Caris LeVert is hardly a household name, but perhaps that’s about to change. With Irving injured, Brooklyn’s offense is centered almost entirely around LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie. LeVert is a player hardcore basketball fans will be familiar with, but casual fans may not recognize him. Maybe they will now, though.
The Michigan product was in the midst of a middling game last night in Boston. LeVert had just 14 points through 3 quarters, and the Celtics looked as though they were on their way to an easy win. Boston had a 17-point lead through 3 quarters. Then, LeVert completely took over. He bulldozed his way to the rim seemingly at will as he helped the Nets stage one of the more dramatic comebacks of the season. Brooklyn put 51 points on the board in the fourth quarter alone, which pushed the game to overtime.
LeVert scored all 11 of the Nets’ points in the extra session, and he ran his total between the fourth quarter and overtime alone to an incredible 37 points. The 51 points he scored for the game were a career-high by a huge margin. Brooklyn wound up winning the game by 9 points, but it remains to be seen how much they have left in the tank when they have to do it all again tonight.
As mentioned, Memphis will still be without Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke tonight. That didn’t matter at all on Monday when the Grizz went down to Atlanta and absolutely blasted the Hawks, 127-88. With two big men out, the Grizzlies have relied on a smallball lineup around Jonas Valanciunas at center. For the most part, it has worked nicely.
Kyle Anderson has been starting in Jackson’s place at power forward, with guys like Josh Jackson and John Konchar chipping in off the bench. Even Anthony Tolliver, who was signed earlier this week after being waived by the Kings, played 19 minutes in his Memphis debut.
Zion Williamson has gotten a lot of attention lately, but Ja Morant is still the odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year. The former No. 2 overall pick has been sensational this season, averaging 17.6 points and 7 assists per game in about 30 minutes a night. Morant has been everything the Grizzlies could have possibly hoped for and much more. They finally seem to have a new face of the franchise in the post “Grit-N-Grind” era.
Between Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Clarke and Dillon Brooks, the Grizzlies suddenly have a very interesting young core moving forward. Brooks signed a lucrative contract extension earlier this season, and Morant and Jackson both have the look of future perennial All-Stars.
Memphis Grizzlies at Brooklyn Nets NBA Pick
Between the overtime game and the fact that the Grizzlies have had a night off, I think there’s value in betting on Memphis as a road underdog on Wednesday night. Brooklyn’s starters all logged heavy minutes in helping the team erase a 21-point deficit, while the Grizzlies have had more time off after thrashing the Hawks a couple of nights ago.
Betting on the Grizz to cover the 1.5-point spread looks pointless when you can get passable plus-money value on the moneyline. I like Memphis to win this game outright, so I’d take a shot on the Grizzlies at +105 as opposed to settling for the -110 odds that come with Memphis +1.5 on the spread.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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