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After a subdued Tuesday night for the NBA, they kick off their Wednesday with an exciting nine-game evening!
In the Western Conference, the struggling Portland Trail Blazers take on one of the top teams in their conference, the Memphis Grizzlies. Also in the West, the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to use each other to climb the standings. And in inter-conference play the Utah Jazz host a downward-trending Toronto Raptors team.
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When: 7:00 PM EST
|Portland Trail Blazers||+5.5 (-110)|
|Memphis Grizzlies||-5.5 (-110)|
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Both the Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies are trying to improve on their recent inconsistent run of form. The Memphis Grizzlies are second in the West with a 32-18 overall record and a 21-3 home record. The Portland Trail Blazers are 12th in the West, with a 24-26 overall record and a 10-15 road record.
The Portland Trail Blazers are a team that try to find success and efficiency from three-point range - averaging 114.1 points per game (17th in the NBA) on 37.7% shooting from three (7th in the NBA). They were terrific offensively in their last game, with the Trail Blazers scoring 129 points on 54.4% from the field and 47.5% from deep. The Memphis Grizzlies will try to counter with their excellent defense, as they hold opponents to 112.3 points per game (9th in the NBA) on 44.9% from the field (1st in the NBA) while forcing 15.3 turnovers per game (7th in the NBA). They got back on track in their last game, holding their opponents to 100 points on 45.6% from the field, and 28.1% from deep while forcing 17 turnovers.
We're taking the Grizzlies on their home court, where they've been spectacular all season long. Portland don't have the depth to dominate the paint, even with Memphis' injuries taken into consideration. Portland's shooting is something to worry about, but Memphis have kept tougher offenses in check.
When: 8:00 PM EST
|Golden State Warriors||-2.5 (-110)|
|O 240.0 (-110)|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||+2.5 (-110)|
|U 240.0 (-110)|
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Both the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves are aiming to climb up the Western Conference standings with a win over the other. The Warriors are fifth in the West with a 26-24 overall record and a 7-18 overall record. The Timberwolves are eighth in the West with a 27-26 overall record and an 18-11 home record.
The Warriors are all about scoring the ball, as they average 118.1 points per game (2nd in the NBA) on 38.0% from three (5th in the NBA) while hitting 16.5 threes per game (1st in the NBA). They were locked in from deep in their last game, a win over the Thunder, as they scored 128 points on 20 made threes while hitting at a 42.6% clip. The Timberwolves similarly score at a high and efficient clip, averaging 115.1 points per game (11th in the NBA) on 49.2% from the field and 57.6% from two-point range. They struggled in their last game though, a loss to the Kings, as they scored just 111 points on 46.7% from the field while committing 18 turnovers.
The Timberwolves are the kind of team that succeeds against traditional matchups but don't be surprised to see them struggle against the outside-in game of the Warriors. The points will flow in this matchup, but the games should swing in the favor of the Warriors quickly.
When: 9:00 PM EST
|Toronto Raptors||+3.5 (-110)|
|O 230.5 (-110)|
|Utah Jazz||-3.5 (-110)|
|U 230.5 (-110)|
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Both the Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz have seen their stock fall in recent weeks and are more than ready to get back on track. The Toronto Raptors are 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 23-29 overall record and an 8-17 road record. The Utah Jazz are ninth in the West, with a 26-26 overall record and a 17-9 home record.
The Toronto Raptors get by off the strength of their defense, which holds teams to 112.3 points per game (10th in the NBA) while committing 16.6 turnovers per game (2nd in the NBA). In their last game, a loss to the Suns, the Raptors failed to convert efficiently from range as they scored just 106 points on 44.9% from the field and 27.3% from three. The Utah Jazz are a scoring force in their own right, averaging 117.5 points (4th in the NBA) on 36.8% from three (10th in the NBA) due to their excellent passing - averaging 25.9 assists per game (9th in the NBA). They earned a hard-fought 108-100 victory in their last game, led by a 29-point effort from Lauri Markkanen.
We're taking the Jazz in this matchup and the difference is depth. Toronto play a focused eight-man rotation, but in their last game, their bench mustered just 15 points to their opponents' 38. Given the fact that the Jazz average 40.2 points off the bench (4th in the NBA), they should be able to take care of the struggling Raptors.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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