Underdog Thunder Sweat on Gilgeous-Alexander’s Status for Grizzlies’ Visit
Today’s NBA schedule tips off with a Memphis Grizzlies vs Oklahoma City Thunder matinee. Whether or not the Thunder make this one more of a contest than yesterday’s 22-point loss to the New York Knicks will hinge on the presence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Today’s NBA odds reflect the possibility that it could be another blowout in Oklahoma City, with the Grizzlies favored by a touchdown on the road.
Memphis Grizzlies (17-17) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (16-22), Fox Sports Oklahoma, 2:00 pm ET
Grizzlies Poised to Score Another Road Rout?
Today’s stop in Oklahoma City is the front end of a back-to-back for the Grizzlies, who travel to Phoenix to face the Suns after this one. Memphis is 3-2 this season on the front end of back-to-backs thus far this season. Only one of those games was on the road, and it was a 133-102 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
The Grizzlies have been much better on the road than at home. Eight of their 12 double-digit wins have come on the road, where they are 9-5 this season. Their two biggest wins this season came on the road as well. In addition to that win over the Spurs, they own a 49-point win over the Houston Rockets.
The Grizzlies average 6.2 more points on the road (115.4) than they do at home (109.2). They also defend better on the road, giving up an average of 108.3 points per game on the road compared to 112.2 points per game at home.
Friday’s 103-102 home loss to the Denver Nuggets was a rare close game for the Grizzlies. Only two of their last 21 games have been decided by fewer than nine points.
Thunder Sweating on Shai’s Status
All of those numbers do not really point to a positive day for the Thunder, especially if Gilgeous-Alexander is out again today. Gilgeous-Alexander missed yesterday’s loss due to a quad bruise suffered in Thursday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks, and his status for today’s game is still uncertain.
Without their leading scorer, the Thunder could not keep up with the Knicks. They did start brightly and led by nine after a quarter. But the Knicks outscored them by 31 points the rest of the way in a 119-97 win. Seven players scored in double digits for the Thunder, but no one scored more than 16. With no SGA, OKC needed a strong game from Lu Dort. That did not happen, as Dort hit only two of nine shots from the field. Dort missed all three of his threes, and the Thunder were only 8 of 32 from deep overall.
Consensus NBA picks are split on the side for today’s matchup. The Grizzlies’ aversion to close games means that one is not likely regardless of the personnel on the floor. But if the Thunder are without their star again, it stands to be a long afternoon for the home team.
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