It loos like the Memphis Grizzlies are fading into the sunset. After losing the team’s last two games of 2018, they have come into the new year and promptly lost 7 of its last 8 games. The league’s 29th worst scoring team (101 PPG) has only managed to score 98 PPG over its recent fade. The fact they also rank 30th in rebounding (40 RPG) doesn’t bode well for a team that continues to struggle on the offensive end of the floor. In the modern-day NBA, slow-paced play doesn’t work. With C Marc Gasol having a down year in most offensive categories, the scoring responsibility has fallen on Michael Conley (19.9 PPG), who only shoots 41.8% from the field and has never been the consummate scoring machine.
The Celtics have a good basketball team but haven’t yet been able to create any level of consistency. Last out, they returned from a brutal 3-game road trip (0-3) to beat the Toronto Raptors at home. It was a much-needed victory over one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. That game gives the Celtics a 7-game winning streak at home. It’s noteworthy that the Celtics have picked up its pace of play recently as evidenced by the team’s 119 PPG scoring average in the last 5 home games. G Kyrie Irving leads the team in both scoring and assists with 22.8 PPG and 6.7 APG respectively. With high-priced free agent Gordon Heyward still trying to find his rhythm after missing all of last season, the Celtics don’t have a reliable secondary scorer.
Prediction: These two teams met in December with the Celtics walking away with a 112-103 victory in Memphis. With the Celtics playing and scoring well at home in January, the total on this game looks low. Let’s hope the Celtics control the pace. Play over 206 (score – Boston 114 -101)