Phoenix Suns vs Memphis Grizzlies

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Two Western Conference teams will face off against each other on Monday as the Phoenix Suns travel to FedExForum to take on the Memphis Grizzlies. Phoenix enters this game with a 7-4 record after losing to Washington on the road by 21 points in its last game while Memphis enters this game with a 6-6 record after beating Philadelphia at home by two points in its last game. This game will start at 5:00 P.M. EST.

Suns Finally Get To Return To Action

The Phoenix Suns have been a pleasant surprise in the Western Conference this seas as they have won 7 of their first 11 games. However, Phoenix does enter this game on a bit of a low note after losing to Washington on the road by 21 points in its last game. In that game, Phoenix’s defense was useless as it allowed 128 points while letting the opposition shoot 52.2% from the floor and 44.1% from the three-point line. It is worth mentioning that that game was played about a week ago as the Suns had to cancel three consecutive games due to the coronavirus. Now, Phoenix finally gets to return to action as it will be looking for this road victory on Monday.

Leading the Suns offensively is guard Devin Booker who is averaging a team-high 23.0 points per game along with 4.3 assists per game. However, he is also averaging a team-high 4.0 turnovers per game so he will need to make less mistakes in the future.

Leading up to this game, Phoenix coach Monty Williams discussed how his team can improve over the course of the regular season.

“I’m not quite sure we’re going to call this team special yet, we got a lot more work to do, but we have special people on this team across the board. High-character guys that bring it every day. They put up with me and I’m grateful to have the kind of players that we have.”

Grizzlies Look To Extend Their Winning Streak

The Memphis Grizzlies have been on fire lately as they have won each of their last four games including a two-point home victory against the Philadelphia 76ers in their last game. In that game, Memphis’ defense was fantastic as it only allowed 104 points while forcing the opposition into shooting just 28.0% from the three-point line. However, that amazing defensive performance was expected considering the fact that Memphis is allowing just 107.6 points per game. Now, the Grizzlies will be looking to extend their winning streak with a home game up next on Monday afternoon.

Leading the Grizzlies offensively is point guard Ja Morant who is averaging a team-high 24.0 points per game along with a team-high 6.3 assists per game. In addition, he is shooting 53.6% from the floor as he has been extremely efficient offensively up to this point.

Leading up to this game, Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins discussed how excited his team is to play basketball on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“There is always excitement for the MLK game here in Memphis. So much history with our community rallying around this game and the fans and being in the spotlight and being able to play basketball on this special day means so much to these guys.”

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Suns have been one of the most underrated basketball teams in the league and I think that they are still a bit undervalued in the betting markets. Phoenix has a winning record while Memphis has a .500 record so I think that there is a bit of a talent disparity present within this game. Plus, Phoenix is averaging roughly four more points per game so I think that Memphis will be unable to score enough points in order to keep this game close on the scoreboard. I expect Memphis to hang around for the first three quarters before Phoenix goes on a run in the fourth quarter which will carry the Suns towards a six-point victory.

Prediction:
Phoenix Suns -3

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Both of these teams have been elite defensively this season so I think that this total should be a lot lower. Phoenix is allowing just 106.7 points per game while Memphis is allowing just 107.6 points per game so I think that this game should land somewhere in the 210s. Plus, both offenses are averaging less than 111 points per game so I expect this contest to turn into a defensive war over all four quarters. This game should end somewhere in the realm of 111-105 so I think that there is a lot of value with the over in this spot.

Prediction:
Under 223

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

Phoenix has not been able to play in a basketball game in a week due to the coronavirus so I think that it will be very motivated to get off to a fast start over the first 24 minutes of this road game. Memphis has been playing better lately but it has lost five of its first seven home games while Phoenix has a winning record on the road so I think that the Grizzlies will start off poorly on Monday. Plus, Phoenix is shooting roughly two percent higher from the floor so I think that it will be able to make enough shots in order to enter the halftime break with a four-point lead.

Prediction:
Phoenix Suns 1H