Western Conference high-flyers the Memphis Grizzlies (35-18) head to Madison Square Garden to take on the sputtering New York Knicks (24-27) tonight. The Grizzlies are looking to consolidate their position as a Top 3 seed in the Western Conference, while the Knicks are desperately trying to cling on to the bottom end of the playoff picture in the East.
Who should you pick? Who should you pass on? Read on for tonight’s predictions and best bets for the Grizzlies at the Knicks.
Memphis Grizzles at New York Knicks
Madison Square Garden, Wednesday 2nd February, 7:30pm EST
The Memphis Grizzlies travel to New York, where they will look to continue their ascension to the upper echelon of teams in the Western Conference. This has been on the back of a breakout season for Sophomore Sensation Ja Morant, currently listed as the $1.43 (-233) favourite for Most Improved Player.
The Knicks, on the other hand, are desperately searching for wins to keep them in the hunt for a Play-in position in the East. With only 2 wins in their previous 8 games, the Knicks certainly need another win at home before they head west for a 5-game road trip.
The Grizzlies are coming off a 119-122 overtime loss in Philadelphia. Given MVP Candidate Joel Embiid was missing for the 76ers, the Grizzlies will come out of that game knowing they missed an opportunity in knocking off another big team.
Morant took the responsibility for the loss, indicating he was to blame given his 9 turnovers, critical missed free throws and shooting 0 for 5 from beyond the arc. Look for Morant to come out firing in this one to make up for his apparent poor showing 2 days ago.
Morant has been getting solid backup from second year swing-man Desmond Bane, who has averaged 22.5 points over the past 4 games, whilst shooting 47.8% from the field. But make no mistake, this is Morant’s team, and how he goes, so go the Grizzlies.
The Knicks meanwhile are coming off a solid win against the hapless Sacramento Kings at home on Monday, leading by 13 at halftime and running out 116-96 winners. They were helped by contributions from Alec Burks (21,5,4), Evan Fournier (18 points, 4/7 3s) and Julius Randle (17,9), however they aren’t getting the production from Julius Randle that they received last season. As a result the Knicks are struggling to match it with the bigger teams this season. Randle has had some big games, but the consistency is not there at this stage of the season. Look for the 2020/21 Most Improved Player to up his production in this one, with 3 big performances against the Grizzlies in the last 2 seasons.
The Knicks are strong at home, but I’m looking for Morant to lead the Grizzlies to a strong victory at Madison Square Garden and cover the -3.5 spread. I also like the under (217), with the Knicks generally playing lower scoring games at The Garden.
The only injury concern for either team is Grizzlies big man Steven Adams (ankle), who is listed as Questionable.