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Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies Game Preview and Prediction

The Western Conference foes will meet at the FedExForum on Tuesday when the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Memphis Grizzlies, hoping to end their seven-game road trip with a win, while the hosts are opening their three-game home stint after a narrow loss to Oklahoma City. The teams have traded victories in the recent H2H duels and the season series is currently tied at one, while Portland won the latest tilt in late December. NBA: Tuesday, March 5, 2019, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee, 8:00 PM ET

 

Portland Trail Blazers returned to the winning ways in Charlotte

Portland was in an excellent form of five consecutive wins before the Toronto Raptors stopped them in a close encounter but the Blazers bounced back in the next game as they beat the Charlotte Hornets. The Trail Blazers now improved to the 39-24 record and are currently sitting in the 4th position in the Western Conference with five wins behind the conference leaders Golden State Warriors and three wins behind the Northwest Division rivals Denver Nuggets. The Blazers have eight victories more than the Sacramento Kings, who are in the 9th place and it looks that Portland will not have problems reaching the playoffs. However, the big question is whether they can continue with fine form and finish the regular season in the top four.

Rodney Hood led the Blazers in a 118-108 win over the Hornets with 27 points and a couple of steals off the bench; Jusuf Nurkic posted a double-double of 26 points and game-high 15 rebounds, team-high six assists, and two thefts, Damian Lillard added 23 points and two steals, while Al-Farouq Aminu contributed with 14 points, six boards, and four dimes. It was a pretty tight game in the first three quarters but Portland managed to prevail in the final 12 minutes, mostly thanks to their domination under the rims and 48 rebounds in opposite to Charlotte’s 35.

Evan Turner (left knee) missed the previous five games and is expected to sit out the tilt with Memphis on Tuesday as well.

The Blazers have the top 10 offense in the NBA that averages 113.6 points per contest (10th), while their defense is 12th in the league as it allows 110.9 points per game. Portland’s rebounding is in top 5 as they are recording 47.7 boards per game (3rd), while they are worse when it comes to assists per contest with 22.9 dishes a night (24th). Portland is 12th in field goal percentage as they have 46.5 percent from the floor and 8th from downtown with 36.1 percentage, while they are 17th in the NBA with 11.1 three-pointers made per game.

Memphis Grizzlies dropped a win in Oklahoma City

Memphis showed signs of improvement lately as they performed well even in defeats and they actually won two of three games before they traveled to Oklahoma City and suffered a narrow loss. The Grizzlies dropped to the 25-40 record and are in the 14th place in the Western Conference with 19 wins behind the conference leaders Golden State Warriors and ten wins behind the San Antonio Spurs, who are in the 8th place at the moment. Memphis will likely miss out on the playoffs this year, which was rather expected from them, but they will probably stay above the bottom of the conference as the Phoenix Suns are 12 wins behind.

Avery Bradley led the Grizzlies in a 99-95 loss to the Thunder with 27 points, game-high seven assists, five rebounds, and two thefts; Delon Wright had 17 points, eight boards, six dimes, and a couple of steals; Jonas Valanciunas posted a double-double of 16 points and game-high 13 rebounds, along with game-high three rejections, while Bruno Caboccio ended the clash with 11 points and four boards. Memphis played very well throughout the first three quarters and had an 8-point lead prior to the final 12 minutes but Russell Westbrook switched to beast mode and handed Oklahoma City a tight victory. The ball control was an issue for the Grizzlies who committed 20 turnovers in opposite to the Thunder’s 14, while the hosts were also better in rebounds (53-44).

Mike Conley (general soreness) didn’t play vs. OKC on Sunday and is a game-time decision for the clash with Portland. J.B. Bickerstaff doesn’t expect Jaren Jackson Jr. (quad) to return to the court anytime soon, while Kyle Anderson (right shoulder) is also out indefinitely.

The Grizzlies have the 30th offense in the NBA that averages 101.1 points per contest, while their defense is the best in the league as it allows 103.7 points per game. Memphis’ rebounding is way below average as they are recording 41.0 boards per game (29th), while they are better when it comes to assists per contest with 23.5 dishes a night (20th). Memphis is 25th in field goal percentage as they have 44.9 percent from the floor and 29th from downtown with 33.5 percentage, while they are 30th in the NBA with 9.3 three-pointers made per game.

Trends:

Portland:

  • 5-0 ATS in their last five after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
  • 6-0 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win
  • 6-0 ATS in their last six games played on the road
  • 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win

Memphis:

  • 9-19 ATS in their last 28 games following a straight up loss
  • 6-15 ATS in their last 21 games played on Tuesday

The Winner Prediction

Portland won six out of the previous ten H2H encounters including three of the last five, while the Grizzlies were victorious in the past two meetings at the FedExForum. Memphis did improve recently and they are fighting in every game, which was rather evident following Marc Gasol’s trade to Toronto, but Portland is in an excellent form at the moment and I don’t think even the league’s best defense will hold them back on Tuesday. It depends on Mike Conley and his availability and in case he is out of this clash, I don’t give the slightest chance to the Grizzlies.

The Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -6.5 (-110)

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