Bulls Need to Beat Grizzlies to Stay in Playoff PictureBy David A.
The Windy City hosts the NBA Wednesday night when the Memphis Grizzlies visit the Chicago Bulls. The current line has Memphis favored by 2 points with the over/under point total sitting on 201.
Entering this game, Memphis has an overall record on the season of 37-30 straight up and 33-34 against the spread. On the road, the Grizzlies are 17-16 SU and 16-17 ATS. Chicago on the season is 32-35 SU and ATS. At home, the Bulls are 19-14 SU and 16-17 ATS.
Both teams ended losing streaks Monday, but only one of the two remains close to the top eight of its conference. Chicago has fallen out of the eight playoff spots in the East, while Memphis continues to hang on to a playoff spot out West.
Chicago lost five straight to fall out of the top eight in its conference including a 20-point loss on Sunday at Boston.
The Bulls managed just 26 points during the entire first two quarters. On Monday, with Rajon Rondo back as the starting point guard, the Bulls beat Charlotte 115-99.
Memphis also ended a slide of five straight games on Monday with a 20-point win over Milwaukee. Coach David Fizdale credited his team’s defense down low in the paint with making the difference.
Marc Gasol, the star center for Memphis, scored just 8 points on Saturday in a loss to Atlanta, but played tough defense in Memphis’ win Monday over Milwaukee. Gasol ended the game with 13 points 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals.
Chicago is just a half game behind Milwaukee for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Chicago on Monday played Rondo, Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade in the starting lineup. All three players scored 20 or more points in the game.
Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic had 24 points on Monday in just 29 minutes of play after sitting out for three straight games.
Memphis guard Vince Carter, who is 40 years old, is the oldest NBA player in the history of the league to make a minimum of eight straight field goals as he was 8-for-8 in Monday’s win.
Chicago beat Memphis 108-104 on January 15.
Memphis is 1-5 ATS in its past 6 games played.
Chicago 2-6 ATS in its past 8 games against teams from the Western Conference.
Prediction: The Bulls ended a poor run but are still a team in turmoil. Lean toward the Grizzlies to cover.