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OKC Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday NBA Preview & Free Pick

Thunder vs Grizzlies NBA Handicapping

It’s not often Kevin Durant goes zip-for-6 from beyond the 3-point line. It’s not often the Thunder make only 4 of 25 shots from beyond the arc.

Oklahoma City Thunder (50-18) at Memphis Grizzlies (45-21)
Wednesday, March 20
FedExForum, Memphis
8 p.m. EST
Spread – Grizzlies -1.5 at DSI
Total – 191

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But it happened Tuesday night, and Oklahoma City got stiffed by 10 at home by the red-hot Nuggets. And in true NBA fashion, the schedule requires that the Thunder play again tonight, some 450 miles to the east, in Memphis against a good Grizzlies team that is fighting for playoff position.

““In this league, you have to do it quickly,” said OKC coach Scott Brooks in referring to the quick turnaround and back-to-back set. “We’re a prideful group and our guys, they love to compete and they want to win every game. That’s why we have the record that we do have right now.”

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The Denver loss was hardly crippling for the Thunder, who barring a late-season collapse that no one expects will finish with no worse than the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

The schedule over the next two weeks looks manageable before an April 4 game at home against current No. 1 San Antonio ushers in a difficult 8-game stretch to finish the season.

So the iron is hot right now, and it’s time for the Thunder to strike, starting with the Grizzlies tonight. [ad-6571516]

Memphis has shrugged off the mid-season trade of Rudy Gay and has developed into one of the better defensive teams the NBA has seen in recent years. In fact, the Grizzlies have kept 15 straight opponents under 100 points. The last team to get to triple digits was Sacramento, when the Kings put up 28 meaningless points against the Grizz bench in the final quarter of a blowout loss to Memphis.

Lionel Hollins’s team figures it can make a good run at the No. 3 seed in the West, take care of the 6 seed and then use its suffocating defense to make life a living hell for either the Spurs or Thunder in the conference semifinals. OKC will get a taste of that defense tonight.

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Durant had – for him, anyway – a somewhat unproductive game against the Nuggets, going 10 for 23 from the floor with 4 fouls and 6 turnovers.

He did score 34 points, though, and will no doubt take better care of the ball tonight. The key stat will be minutes. Will Brooks keep Durant on the court for more than 40 after resting him for only 5 minutes last night? Memphis covers this one, as OKC loses two in a row for only the third time this season.

Totals players should note that both teams have been trending under for the last two weeks.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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