Minnesota Timberwolves vs Memphis Grizzlies NBA Picks, Odds, Predictions 1/13/21
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Game Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies pay a visit to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center on Wednesday night.
The Memphis Grizzlies have endured a rough start to the season as they’ve lost six of their first 10 games, but they will be gunning for a third straight win in this one after outlasting the Cavaliers in a 101-91 road win on Monday. Dillon Brooks led the team with 21 points on six of 15 shooting, Brandon Clarke added 15 points while Tyus Jones chipped in with 13 points and seven assists. As a team, the Grizzlies shot 51 percent from the field and a miserly five of 20 from the 3-point line as they squandered a 16-point lead, before closing the game on a 12-3 run in the final 3:37 to escape with the much-needed win.
A visit to Struggleville will be on tap for Wednesday’s Western Conference meeting between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves. The injury-plagued Grizzlies have won back-to-back games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets to squash a three-game losing streak. Minnesota, on the other hand, is coming off a 96-88 victory at home over the San Antonio Spurs.
Grizzlies showing resilience in another tough season
Every day gets the Grizzlies another step closer for the long-awaited return of the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, Ja Morant. He has been nursing a sprained ankle, and he recently teased a workout in a shootaround ahead of the Grizzlies’ first meeting with the Cavs.
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Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been in terrible form as they’ve lost seven of their first 10 games, but they will be hoping to build some momentum after putting a halt to a seven-game losing streak with a 96-88 win over the Spurs on Sunday. D’Angelo Russell led the team with 27 points and five assists, Malik Beasley added 24 points while Naz Reid chipped in with 11 points, but no other player finished in double figures. As a team, the Timberwolves shot 42 percent from the field and nine of 26 from the 3-point line as they trailed by as many as nine points early in the fourth quarter, before taking control of the game with a pivotal 11-0 run just when they needed it most.
Looking at the betting trends, the Grizzlies are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog, 1-6 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a losing record and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a win. The Timberwolves are 18-37-1 ATS in their last 56 home games, 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games against a team with a losing record and 12-25 ATS in their last 37 games overall.
Head to head, the under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings overall, the Grizzlies are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings in Minnesota and the Grizzlies are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings overall.
The Grizzlies have come to life with a couple of wins on the trot and they will be full of confidence following their hard-fought win over the cavaliers on Monday. The Timberwolves have really been doing it tough this season, but they will be feeling better after putting a halt to a seven-game skid on Sunday. The Grizzlies are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings overall, but with both teams so severely shorthanded, I think the better play is on the Timberwolves to get the win at home.
The Grizzlies will face off against the Timberwolves in Minnesota for the 3rd time in just 31 days. This matchup will certainly be different than the first two, with it being the first regular season matchup of the year between these two squads. The Grizzlies will enter tonight’s matchup on a 2-game winning streak, their longest on the season. Meanwhile the Timberwolves just snapped a 7-game losing streak after defeating the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.
Although he’s listed as questionable, Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders said that the plan is for KAT to play tonight against the Grizzlies according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. The Timberwolves are a different team with KAT in the lineup, as he’s one of the best all-around big men in the game. Facing off against a mostly healthy Timberwolves squad, tonight’s matchup will likely be more difficult than the two preseason wins.
Here’s a quick look at what the Grizzlies need to do to secure a win and extend their winning streak to 3 games.
With Ja Morant out with an ankle injury, the Grizzlies have had some struggles at the point guard spot. Not necessarily with Tyus Jones, who has played well and gotten into a rhythm as the teams starting point guard with Ja out. Kyle Anderson has also been a solid point-forward for the Grizzlies as the de-facto backup point guard when Tyus goes to the bench. The Grizzlies struggles have been in the minutes when both Tyus and Kyle are on the bench. None of De’Anthony Melton, Dillon Brooks or Grayson Allen are point guards and the offense tends to stall when they are the primary ball handlers and facilitators.
Newcomer Tim Frazier has been a decent addition in the rotation the last 2 games for the Grizzlies, averaging a little over 10 minutes per game in the winning streak. If the Grizzlies stick with Tyus, Anderson and Frazier as the main point guards, they should be able to keep up on offense with the Timberwolves. However, should Jenkins choose to rely on the trio of Melton/Brooks/Allen to handle point guard duties, the offense could get ugly.
The Grizzlies are one of the best teams in the NBA at deflecting the ball. These deflections have helped them rack up nearly 10 steals a game. These steals have allowed the Grizzlies to run out on the break and average nearly 16 fast break points a game. The Grizzlies are also 4th in the NBA in points off turnovers, showing how well they capitalize when they steal the ball. The deflections aren’t just a major piece of the Grizzlies defensive strategy, either. The length of guys like Kyle Anderson and De’Anthony Melton, along with the energy from guys like Dillon Brooks and John Konchar, allow the Grizzlies to deflect and tip away what would normally be easy rebounds for the opposing teams.
Sometimes these deflections give the Grizzlies extra possessions on the offensive end, which they typically put to good use as they are 3rd in the NBA averaging nearly 15 second chance points per game. Naturally, having a guy like Jonas Valanciunas down low gobbling offensive rebounds helps out that stat as well.
The Timberwolves are going to be a better team tonight than what we’ve seen most of the season, assuming KAT is healthy enough to play. The Timberwolves have a pretty atrocious defense, but the Grizzlies will need to capitalize and score on easy looks. They simply can’t allow their offense to stall out in what will likely be a high-scoring game.
Ultimately, even with KAT back and D’Angelo Russell playing well to start the season, the Grizzlies have enough talent to steal another win in Minnesota even without Ja, Justise and Jaren. It’ll be a high scoring game, but one that the Grizzlies should come out on top in.