NBA Free Pick & Prediciton Grizzlies vs. Warriors
Memphis Grizzlies (43-28, 20-14 away) @ Golden State Warriors (44-27, 23-12 home) 02/28- 10:30PM EST
Line: GSW -2.0
With the NBA season winding down and teams in the Western Conference still battling for positioning, the Memphis Grizzlies will try to move even with the Golden State Warriors when both teams take the floor in Oakland on Friday night.
The playoff seedings are still up for grabs and with not many games separating the fifth and ninth place teams in the tough Western Conference… both the Grizzlies and Warriors understand what is needed the rest of the way so they are not sitting at home come playoff time.
With a win over the Warriors, the surging Memphis Grizzlies (43-28) will have a chance to draw even with six-place Golden State… although I feel confident both teams will advance to the postseason.
The Grizzlies, since Jan. 10 have been one of the hottest and better teams in the league having won 28 of their 37 games, with only the San Antonio Spurs, which has won 15 straight the only hotter team with a better winning percentage. But, prior to the Grizzlies playing the type of basketball we’ve come to expect, they were sitting at the bottom of the Southwest Division at 15-19.
Memphis has won three straight and nine of 11 games and with the likes Portland, Golden State, Dallas and Phoenix all fighting for the final four playoff spots, the Grizzlies must continue to use what has gotten them to where they are… defense.
“We know how important each of these games are for us,” said Marc Gasol, who along with Zach Randolph and Mike Conely are the cornerstones of this team.
With a win in Oakland, a place where they have had success in recent years, the Grizzlies can move a season-high 16 games above .500 and having won 15 of 19 games versus the West with the Trail Blazers coming up on Sunday, Memphis is poised to continue their success and make a strong playoff push.
After five days off, a well rested Golden State team will try to bounce back following last Saturday’s 99-90 home loss to San Antonio, a team that won without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in the lineup.
“It’s a disappointing loss,” said Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson, who along with the Grizzlies are 13-5 since the All-Star break. “It’ll make us better.”
Starting swingman Andre Iguadala will be back in the lineup after missing the last three games due to a sore right knee and will give the Warriors another offensive weapon along with Stephen Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson to go up against the tough defense of the Grizzlies who have allowed an NBA-low 90.2 points per game since the return of Gasol back on Jan. 14.
Golden State is a team that lives and dies from the outside and it’s all-or-nothing for them, where in their seven wins since March 5 have averaged 110.1 points per game and in their three losses have averaged only 94.0 ppg.
Memphis has won the last five contests in Oakland holding the home Warriors to only 88.8 points per game, but the oddsmakers are giving Golden State the slight edge making them a (minus -2.0) point favorite with an over/under of 188.0, but get the latest odds on the game up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.
It will be the high powered offense of Golden State versus the stingy defense of Memphis on Friday night and we all know defense wins games. Expect a good close game between these two teams but I predict the Grizzlies to continue form and leave Oakland with a tough road victory.
By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter