In the NBA, there are game you really want to watch and there are games you really want to gamble on. Memphis vs Miami falls squarely into that second category.
Tonight’s 5:00 p.m. tip off from American Airlines Arena figures to be a dog of a game as the sputtering Grizzlies lock horns with the maddeningly mediocre Heat. If you have children at home, you may want to cover their eyes if you insist on watching this one from beginning to end.
The Heat began as 5.0-point favorites for this match up, with a meager over/under total of 197. Memphis is 18-23-0 against the spread this year and 16-25-0. Miami, meanwhile, is 22-18-0 ATS and 22-18-0 over/under.
Miami’ issue has been on offense, as the Heat have been consistently outscored by opponents.They’re averaging 106.5 points per contest on 42.0% shooting from the floor and 36.0% from beyond the arc. Miami ranks 11th in field goal percentage and 11th in three-point percentage in the Association. The meagre offense they have received has come mainly from Josh Richardson, who is leading the Heat with 18.1 points per game on 40.0% shooting, and Goran Dragic, who is chipping in 15.3 points per game.
Memphis has also been struggling to put the ball in the hoop. The team’s 28th ranked offense is averaging 100.9 points and the Grizzlies are 30th in rebounds and 21st in assists. One of their few bright spots has been Mike Conley, who is putting up 20.1 points per game on 40.0% shooting.
Memphis will have to hope its defense can make up for its offenive shortcomings. The Grizzlies rank first in points allowed at 102.5 points per game, and are allowing opposing teams to shoot 224.0% from the field and 36.0% from downtown. Memphis forces 16 turnovers per game and is 30th in the league in rebounding.
The Heat, meanwhile, have been truly fearsome on D. They rank fifth in points allowed at 105.6 points per game, and are holding opponents to 44.0% from the field and 36.0% from beyond the arc. Miami forces 14.3 turnovers per game and is fifth in the league in rebounding.
Add it all up and you’ve got a team that can flourish even when its offense isn’t firing on all cylinders. And that’s a good thing, since their offense rarely is.
Still with us? You won’t be after the first half. Make your bet now and occupy yourself with a more entertaining game while this one unfolds.