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Denver Nuggets vs Memphis Grizzlies Predictions, Picks & Odds
The Denver Nuggets were flying high earlier in the season, but have fallen on some struggles of late, especially defensively. The Memphis Grizzlies were also expected to be one of the top teams in the West, but injuries have challenged the team to stay above .500. Two teams that are fighting for a top-four slot in the Western Conference playoff race will face off Friday when the Nuggets visit Memphis. This will be the second meeting this year between these two teams, with Memphis winning at home in overtime, 100-97. The latest NBA spreads show the Grizzlies laying four points to the Nuggets.
Denver Nuggets (17-13) @ Memphis Grizzlies (16-14), 8 p.m. ET
The Nuggets lost six of their last eight games after falling 102-84 at Dallas Wednesday night. Over this stretch, the Nuggets have allowed 99 or more points six times, which has put pressure on their second-ranked scoring offense (103.4 ppg) to score consistently to win, and the offense has been inconsistent of late and hasn’t been able to cover for the team’s 26th-ranked defense (100 ppg). The team loses some toughness without Nene (13.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg), who has been day-to-day with heel and ankle issues and missed Wednesday’s game. Six players average double-figures in scoring, led by Danilo Gallinari’s 17 points per game.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, have won four of the last five games following a 105-100 win at New Jersey Wednesday night, doing so without the services of Zach Randolph. Randolph has only recently been cleared for non-contact workouts after suffering a knee injury and only playing in four games so far. While Denver is one of the top offensive teams, Memphis has had success on defense, ranking eighth in points allowed (91.9 ppg). Other than Randolph, five players average double-figure scoring, led by Ruydy Gay (18.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Marc Gasol (15.0 ppg, 9.8 rpg), who combined for 40 points and 26 rebounds in the Grizzlies’ overtime win over Denver Jan. 31.
This game should be an interesting contrast in styles. Memphis won out the last time by holding Denver to 91 points in regulation – that may likely be what would need to happen again for Memphis to be successful again, because without Randolph the Grizzlies don’t have the offensive firepower to keep up with Denver. Denver’s inconsistency on offense does play into Memphis’ favor, but Denver is one of the better road teams at 9-6. If Memphis can hold Denver to fewer than 95 points, the Grizzlies will have a good chance to win; but if Denver runs past 95, the Nuggets will get the upper hand. Being at home, Memphis has the advantage, along with its defense.
With our free NBA picks we are taking the Grizzlies -4 over the Nuggets.