Forty-eight games into the season and the Denver Nuggets still have the 2nd best record in the NBA. This is a good basketball team. Unfortunately, the team has been struggling a little on the road of late. In fact, the team has lost 5 of its last 8 games away from home, including a terrible 102-93 loss at lowly Phoenix earlier this month. If this team is going to compete against the best teams in the league going forward, they will need to find a little more consistency. In those last 8 road games, the Nuggets averaged 109 PPG, a bit below the team’s overall average on the season. The Nuggets have the current longest stretch of no representation in the All-Star game. C Nikola Jokic is looking to fix that issue on the heels of a great season, 20.1 PPG, 10.4 RPG and 7.7 APG.
The Grizzlies look like a team that is ready to fold on the season. They are already looking at trading leading scorer Michael Conley (20.0 PPG) before the trade deadline. This is an old team that needs to get younger. It’s the 2nd lowest scoring team in the league at 101 PPG and the worst rebounding team in the league at just under 40 RPG. For the month of January, the Grizzlies have a dismal record of 2-12 to go along with a home record of 2-6. There’s just nothing working right for this team at this time. Because of the team’s slow pace of play, the defense ranks 2nd in the NBA, giving up just over 104 PPG.
Prediction: This will be the third time these two teams have met this season with Denver winning 105-99 at home and Memphis returning the favor 89-87 in Memphis in November. Since Denver doesn’t seem to play with the same level of intensity on the road, this could be another low-scoring affair. Play under 209.5 (score – Denver 106-92)