Stephen Nover Free Tuesday Play

On December 22, 2015, in Free Picks, NBA, by Stephen

76ers plus 10 hosting Grizzlies

Backing the 76ers not only can be a costly exercise in futility, but also an embarrassing experience. Hopefully neither will be the case today because I’m taking double-digits with Philadelphia hosting Memphis.

The Grizzlies are just 15-14 on the season. That record is somewhat skewed by playing the league’s most difficult schedule up to this point. However, nobody can say the Grizzlies have played consistently well so far. They are 12-16-1 ATS and their defense is way down from past seasons. Memphis is 15th in points allowed per game, 21st in defensive field goal percentage and 24th in 3-point defense.

Memphis coach Dave Joerger is concerned enough to change the direction of his team by getting them to adopt a small ball approach. One ramification of this decision is Zach Randolph has been removed from the starting lineup. Defensive whiz Tony Allen has missed the last five games, too, with a sore knee. He’s questionable for this matchup.

This will be the sixth game the Grizzlies are going with this style. They are averaging only 89.6 points during their past three games.

This marks the Grizzlies’ fourth game in six days and third in four days. They had a satisfying 12-point home victory against Indiana in their last game. The Grizzlies play again on the road Wednesday against Washington, an opponent they are likely to treat far more serious than the one-win 76ers. Memphis is 9-19-2 ATS the past 30 times against opponents with a winning percentage below .400.

Beating the NBA is fading teams in a flat spot. This sure looks like a flat spot for Memphis.

The 76ers should be pointing to this matchup because they are not home again until Jan. 4. The 76ers have been a joke under general manager Sam Hinkie tanking now for the past three seasons.

Enough is enough. Philadelphia has shown it is getting serious about turning things around as during the past week they hired NBA veteran Mike D’Antoni, a former head coach for four NBA teams, as associate head coach and named highly respected executive Jerry Colangelo as chairman of basketball operations.

This shows an overdue commitment to winning and puts the youthful 76ers players on notice. Philadelphia has played Memphis tough at home losing four of the last five times by five points or fewer. The 76ers led the Grizzlies by four points with under six minutes left in their previous encounter this season on Nov. 29 in Memphis before losing, 92-84, as 13 1/2-point ‘dogs.


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