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NBA Lines - Memphis Menaces

Posted by Elio Masi on 3/11/2012 9:16:04 PM

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NBA Lines – Memphis Menaces

Tuesday marks the second of three NBA lines regular season meetings between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers. Both teams will be fighting to stay ahead, with only a game and a half separating them in the standings.

(23-16) Memphis Grizzlies vs. (25-16) Los Angeles Lakers
Live from: FedEXForum – TN
Tipoff: 8:00 PM ET Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Broadcast: SSO-MEM, KCAL-LAL, KSPN, WMFS

Lakers Road Woes

Los Angeles has had trouble when it comes to road games this NBA lines season. Their 7-14 record on the road remains the worst record out of all the teams currently in a playoff position. Due to their road woes, the Lakers are experiencing their worst win percentage in their last 5 seasons. With a record of 25-16 and a win percentage of .610, the 16-time NBA Champions are currently 3rd in the West and are being chased by their city rival Clippers for first in the division - although the Clippers do have three games in hand. Simply put, the Lakers would love to get some distance between them and Los Angeles brothers. What better way to do it than to get their road game going? Tuesday’s game will give them the opportunity to do so against a team that has been playing roughly at their level.

Grizzly Greatness

Memphis has been great recently and a big part of it is due to their home play. They’ve gone 9-2 in their last 11, in which 6 of their NBA lines wins came at the FedEXForum. They’ve also been great offensively recently as well as defensively all season long, where they rank 7th in the league with 92.1 points allowed per game. A large part of their defensive game can be credited to the play of Marc Gasol, the 7’1’’, 265-pounder from Spain. He’s averaging 2.1 blocks per game, placing him 6th in the NBA. Mike Conley also deserves honorable mention, considering he is leading the NBA in steals. His 2.54 steals per game place him atop the leader board, giving him a .24 lead on second-placed Chris Paul. Their defense has been a large part of their game this NBA lines season and they’ve had to come up big in that department repeatedly. Considering Memphis is 18th in the league in points per game with 94.3, their winnings are largely credited to their defense.

Second of Three Meetings

The 16-time NBA Champions looked good in their prior matchup against the Grizzlies, winning 90-82 at home, but may have some trouble repeating come Tuesday. Kobe Bryant picked up 26 points and 9 assists in their prior meeting while Rudy Gay led his team with 19 points and 4 rebounds. Los Angeles dominated Memphis in turnovers, 27-9, and took advantage of them when Memphis coughed up the ball. The Lakers were 35 for 74 in field goal attempts while the Grizzlies were 38-93. If Memphis is to tie up the series, they’ll need to take advantage of their field goals and their 3 pointers, where they went 1-9 last time around.

Who To Watch

Center Marreese Speights came off the bench and played 29 minutes, collecting 17 points against the Lakers last time around. Look for him to have another good game, given he gets some solid minutes. His game time has been increasing as of late allowing for Center Gasol to get some rest during games. Gay is also one to watch. He is currently leading Memphis with 19.1 points per game, beating his career average of 17.9.

Watch for Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum to pick up some points for the Lakers. Bryant currently leads the Lakers as well as the league with 28.9 points per game. The 15-year veteran is having yet another terrific year and looking to add another championship to his legacy.

Andrew Bynum has also been great for Los Angeles. Number 17 leads the team in rebounds per game with 12.6 and also places third in the league in the category. His seven-foot frame seems to always be right in front of the hoop at the perfect timing. Look for him around the net in Tuesday’s game, helping his team the way he knows best.

Elio’s Edge

I like Memphis in this one. With a 9-2 record in their last 11, what’s not to like. They’ve been great at home and Gasol and Gay are peeking at the right times. I’m looking for great games from both of them as well as L.A.’s Kobe Bryant (obviously) and Andrew Bynum. Predicting a 92-88 finish for Memphis, in what should be a relatively low scoring NBA lines affair.

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