Memphis Grizzlies vs. Philadelphia 76ers Preview 1/31/2022

@memgrizz on Twitter

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Philadelphia 76ers Preview 1/31/2022

NBA Game Previews

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Philadelphia 76ers Preview 1/31/2022

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@memgrizz on Twitter

When you look at the Eastern and Western Conference standings, the seeding of these two teams stands out. Memphis is the third seed in the West in a year where hardly anyone expected them to be in that realm. Philadelphia is third in the East despite the fact that Ben Simmons hasn’t played in one game. Both teams are not only third in their respective conferences but they’re also both on win streaks. The Grizzlies have won their last three games by an average win margin of 12.6 points. Meanwhile, the Sixers come in riding a four-game win streak and have an average win margin of nine points in those games.

Memphis is a stellar 16-8 on the road while Philly checks in at a meager 13-10 as the home team this year. Neither team has all too many players listed on the injury report for this contest. Dillion Brooks is still out with an ankle injury and Tyus Jones is questionable for the Grizzlies. Shake Milton is out with a back injury and Furkan Korkmaz is questionable for the Sixers. 

How Memphis Can Win: 

Now that the Grizzlies have seen the return of most of their rotational players they can run their style of basketball. It’s a style that’s seen so much success this year as evidenced by their 35-17 record and top 8 offense and defense. Memphis has notched a 111.8 ORTG and a 108.3 DRTG which are both good for 8th in all of basketball. Their offensive attack centers around Ja Morant. Recently named an All-Star starter, Morant has been the lead creator in a system that rides or dies with his ability to generate high-level offense.

On defense, Jaren Jackson Jr. has been their anchor. Expect multiple bodies to be thrown at Joel Embiid but Jackson Jr. is best equipped to guard him because of his mobility to defend outside of the paint and 7-foot-4-inch wingspan. An X-factor player for Memphis is De’Anthony Melton. He might be their best defender to track Seth Curry off the ball and shut down his outside scoring production. The biggest mismatch for the Grizzlies is team rebounding. Memphis ranks 1st in rebounding while Philly ranks dead last so this will be the area they should thrive in. 

How Philadelphia Can Win: 

Not enough words can be said about the brilliance of Joel Embiid this season. He’s averaging 29 ppg, 11 rpg, 4apg on 50/36/81 shooting splits and 61% true shooting. His impact on this Sixers team is unquestioned and he’s a top-three MVP candidate. That said, the Grizzlies are a very tough matchup for any big man. Not only are they ferocious on the glass but they are absolute menaces on the interior. Memphis ranks 1st in block percentage at 7.4% and the team that’s second clocks in at 6.7%.

The other big factor that the Sixers must overcome is Ja Morant. Luckily the Sixers can throw one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA at him in Matisse Thybulle and see what happens. It will be exciting to see what happens when Thybulle is hounding Morant’s backside coming off a screen and how he deals with his shiftiness and burst. The X-Factor will be Tyrese Maxey who must provide them a punch of rim pressure to break the Grizzlies defense down and create quality shots from three.

The Spread Via FanDuel: 

Sixers: -3.5 (-160 ML)

Grizzlies: +3.5 (+130 ML)

 

Final Prediction: Grizzlies 108, Sixers 104

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