Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers (-3.5, 194 o/u)
Two of the top teams in the Western Conference square off tonight as the Memphis Grizzlies (39-14, 16-9 road) land in Portland to face the Trail Blazers (36-17, 23-5 home) at the Moda Center (9:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Moda Center has been kind to the Grizz lately, who have taken four of the last five from Portland on their home court. Memphis has also done well by its backers in the Rose City, going 4-1 ATS in those five games.
Memphis has also taken both meetings with the Blazers on the year. On November 28, Marc Gasol led the team to a 112-99 win on the road. Then, on January 17, backup point guard Beno Udrih came up with two key baskets to preserve a 102-98 win for the Grizzlies at home.
Portland battled hard in that game and head coach Terry Stotts wasn’t displeased with the effort, only the result. “I was pleased with our effort in the second half … [Udrih] made two jumpers that obviously made a difference. We put ourselves in a position to win a game on the road against a good team and just fell a little short,” said Stotts back in January.
Injury-wise, Memphis will be without aging shooting guard Vince Carter (foot). Carter has missed the last seven games, but Memphis hasn’t exactly missed him, going 5-2 in that span.
Of more concern is the health of Gasol. The Spanish center did not practice Thursday due to illness, according Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. He remains questionable for tonight.
For the Blazers, center Joel Freeland is out with a shoulder issue, but the team is otherwise healthy.
Looking at the trends, the total has stayed under in 19 of Portland’s 28 home games this year. With the Grizzlies bringing their top-ranked defense into town tonight, look for this to be another low scoring game. Consider the under (194).
(Photo credit: Verse Photography (Flickr: 20131118 ClippersvGrizzles30.2) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)