NBA Picks 2/18/12
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Only four games tonight, so a short card, and some previews of other games.
Golden State Warriors (12-15-0 ATS) at Memphis Grizzlies (15-16-0 ATS) -5.5 8:00 EDT
The Warriors head to the FedEx Forum this Saturday to take on the Memphis Grizzlies, a place where they haven’t won since April of 2008. The Warriors and Grizzlies are both on the 2nd leg of back to back nights of games, with Golden State falling to Oklahoma City last night in a blowout loss, which saw them shoot a season low 34.8% from the field. The Grizzlies on the other hand, have won four straight games, winning a close game against the Denver Nuggets last night 103-102.
Golden State heads into Saturday’s matchup with their top two guards hurting from injury. Stephen Curry continues to rehab his sore ankle daily and is stuck in a shooting slump, shooting just under 32% from the field and averaging just over 10 points a game. Monta Ellis has also had his troubles, inconsistent shooting of late and a bout with the flu, has left him fatigued over the past few games. Last night, things got worse for Ellis, as he hyper extended his knee in Friday’s night game against the Thunder. He is questionable for tonight’s game.
Memphis enters the game shooting the ball extremely well over the last few games. Guards Mike Conley and Tony Allen are both shooting the ball with ease and are great defensively, making things on worse the already hobbled Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. Rudy Gay has also been shooting lights out of late and has scored over 22 points a game in his career against Golden State. The Warriors, also lack size in their frontcourt, where All-Star Marc Gasol has a great matchup advantage. He should be able to dominate Andris Biedrins and really limit the red hot David Lee’s effectiveness.
I like the Memphis Grizzlies to dominate the boards tonight and limit the Ellis/Curry combo, while they ride their hot shooting to a victory.
The Play: Memphis Grizzlies -5.5 2 units
This is my only play for today but let’s look at the other action around the league.
San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers -3 3:35 EDT
Division leaders take the court in this Western Conference battle, the Spurs look to keep building on their 9 game win streak, as they try to notch a 10 consecutive victory at Staples Center. Both teams have been hot, as the Clippers have also won 4 out of their last 5. The game for me too is too close to call as both teams are matched up very evenly, Griffin could explode for a big game but I could just as well see the Spurs come out with a great game plan and build on their win streak. I won’t be betting on this game but I would lean towards San Antonio +3.
New Jersey Nets at Chicago Bulls -12.5 4:05 EDT
The Nets are woeful especially at the United Center, they’ve lost four straight games in Chicago and have lost 8 out of the last 9. Even though this is the case, -12.5 is an awful lot of points, especially considering the Bull’s may be without Derek Rose. The Bulls have done well without Rose and still have a big advantage because of the Nets lack of size down low. However, the Nets offensively are finally healthy and look forward to the return of Brook Lopez tonight. I don’t think this one gets out of hand, but check updates on Rose closer to tipoff.
Atlanta Hawks at Portland Trailblazers -4 10:05 EDT
Both teams have been extremely inconsistent lately and the Blazers may be without Lamarcus Aldridge. Atlanta has held the upper hand against Portland winning seven consective games against the Blazers. Josh Smith has been on a tear lately for the Hawks, exploding for 30 points and 17 rebounds against the Suns on Wednesday. This game may be a close one, as the last five games have been decided by nine points or less. Be sure to keep an eye out for information on Aldridge’s injury.
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