Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Where to watch: YES, BSSE-MEM
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Nets -7
BetMGM: Nets -7.5
Caesars: Nets -7.5
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Grizzlies - Nets preview, prediction and analysis
Grizzlies: won 121-110 vs. Thunder on Friday
Nets: won 109-107 at Blazers on Thursday
Well it's been fun so far for the Memphis Grizzlies. But it is about to be gut check time for one of the more exciting teams in the NBA, down two very important players in their lineup. All Star point guard Ja Morant is now week to week with a sprained ankle, in addition to guard Desmond Bane being out for the next few weeks with a grade 2 sprain of his big right toe.
Normally we would be excited for the Grizzlies taking on the Brooklyn Nets in a Sunday matinee, especially with the begrudgingly acceptance that Kyrie Irving will be returning to the lineup after serving his Anti-Semitic suspension via the Nets and the NBA, and this would be the right perfect pickings for Brooklyn trying to get back on track.
Before Morant left the game in which he was already struggling with just 19 points and 11 assists on five of 20 shooting, the Grizzlies did pick up a 11 point victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday in which Memphis was bolstered by the return of young forward jaren Jackson. Jackson finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds in just 25 minutes and he will now be the one to be counted upon to carry the scoring load and the all around effort that the Grizzlies need.
But it is a good sign that the Grizzlies have this depth around them even though their star backcourt is now out of Commission for the next little bit. Dillon Brooks scored 16 points despite missing 14 shots and Tyus Jones had 13 points off the bench to go along with five assists.
“You can’t really predict all of that,” Jackson said, “but it just looked a lot better than before rhythm-wise. I felt a lot better out there. I was able to get my feet under me and my legs.”
I think there was a lot of expectation to look at this year for the Grizzlies and think that they were going to run away with the southwest division, along with the Dallas Mavericks, but to be off to just ten wins through 16 games is sort of disheartening but not so much to the standpoint of the Grizzlies are still winning games. But with Morant and Bane out for the foreseeable future, this is going to be a very tough patch for Memphis to overcome.
But the attention will turn to who is on the court for the Nets on Sunday with their star point guard Irving returning to the lineup. And however you may feel about the situation, if he is on his game and his head is on right, and Kevin Durant continues to look like Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons starts to look somewhat serviceable, the betting angle is going to look very good on the Nets. They're going to start winning games again, they are going to start distributing the ball between the three of them and hopefully coach jacque Vaughn will be able to get this team on the right track.
Though I am a fan of the chaos portion of it. Nevertheless, the Nets did get a two point victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night in which Durant scored 35 points and Simmons actually led the way with 13 rebounds. I'm not saying that this is going to be the one game that fixes everything but if the Nets can start putting together some wins especially against depleted teams like Memphis they're going to start making some noise in the Eastern Conference again.
And unfortunately as much as we would like to see the Grizzlies put up a fight, being down two of their best players with Brooklyn getting one of its best players back, is too much of a hurdle for the Grizzlies to overcome. Nets by 12
Grizzlies are 64-42 ATS in all games the last 2 seasons.
Grizzlies are 63-45 ATS off a win the last 3 years.
Nets are 2-11 ATS after 2 straight road games the last 2 seasons.
Nets are 6-20 ATS at home after a win the last 2 years.
Projected starting lineup
PG: Tyus Jones
SG: John Konchar
SF: Dillon Brooks
PF: Santi Aldama
C: Steven Adams
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Joe Harris
SF: Royce O'Neale
PF: Kevin Durant
C: Nic Claxton
Grizzlies: Ja Morant (ankle, out), Desmond Bane (toe, out), Jaren Jackson Jr. (out)
Nets: T.J. Warren (foot, out)
Points: Ja Morant -- 28.6
Rebounds: Steven Adams -- 10.7
Assists: Ja Morant -- 7.1
Points: Kevin Durant -- 30.6
Rebounds: Nic Claxton -- 8.3
Assists: Kevin Durant -- 5.2
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