Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Pick
The Oklahoma City Thunder will host the Memphis Grizzlies in what could be the final games for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol in a Grizzlies uniform. Memphis is currently 22-33 on the season and second to last in the Western Conference. This is no longer a team that can sneak into the playoffs off the backs of a tremendous defense and Conley, and Gasol are too talented to be stuck on this team. Trade rumors have been swirling, and reports say that the Charlotte Hornets had engaged in "strong talks" with the Grizzlies regarding a Marc Gasol deal, although it remains unclear what Charlotte is offering.
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Grizzlies Looking to Trade
Mike Conley had been drawing interest from the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons, but nothing concrete yet. This is obviously not something that Memphis fans will be happy to hear, as Conley has been with the team since he was drafted back in 2007. Gasol has been with the team since 2008, and it's, unfortunately, time to blow this team up and build through free agency and the draft. Memphis has a pretty good piece to build around in Jaren Jackson Jr., who the Grizzlies selected 4th overall in the 2018 draft. In his rookie season, Jackson is averaging 13.6 ppg and 4.7 rpg.
OKC Rolling Along
The Oklahoma City Thunder aren't in the position to rebuild, as they hold the third best record in the West at 34-19. Between the triple-double machine, Russell Westbrook and Paul George, this team is set to make a deep run in the playoffs. Westbrook is averaging an absurd 21.4 ppg, 11.1 apg, and 11 rpg. In his last game against the Orlando Magic, Westbrook dropped 16 points, 15 rebounds, and 16 assists. Paul George went off for 39 points and 8 rebounds, as the Thunder have gone 8-2 over their last 10 games. George is having the best season of his career averaging 28 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 4 apg and 2.3 stpg.
Another pretty underrated acquisition this offseason was the Thunder getting Dennis Schroder. As Oklahoma City’s sixth man, Schroder is averaging 15.7 ppg, 4.2 apg and 3.4 rpg. Unlike in Atlanta where he had to be his team’s top player, Schroder is now able to capitalize on his strengths in a role that doesn’t come with nearly as much pressure. The six-year NBA veteran has meshed well with Westbrook, too, as the Thunder are shooting 47 percent from the field when both of them are on the floor at the same time.
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Memphis at Oklahoma State Prediction 02/07/2019
Memphis will likely hold Marc Gasol out of this game, as he is listed day-to-day with an injury. With the trade deadline approaching, the Grizzlies are most likely just keeping Gasol fresh if they do decide to move him. ESPN's matchup predictor is giving the Thunder an 80.1% chance of winning this game at home. The Thunder hold an 18-7 home record, and the Grizzlies are 9-19 on the road. The Grizzlies will travel back home for a couple games after Thursday night's game against the Thunder. Take the Thunder at home.