On Monday, the Memphis Grizzlies (20-14 SU, 20-14 ATS) will continue their brief road trip as they play the Suns (26-6 SU, 17-15 ATS) at the Footprint Center in Phoenix. Will the Suns bounce back from their Christmas Day loss or will the Grizzlies win two straight on a back-to-back?
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Odds and Lines
Point spread: Suns -8 (-110)
Moneyline: Grizzlies +270 / Suns -330
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns Injury Report
The Memphis Grizzlies have six players in Health and Safety Protocols that will miss this game: Dillon Brooks, Santi Aldama, Jarret Culver, De’Anthony Melton, Yves Pons and Zaire Williams.
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) December 27, 2021
The Phoenix Suns lost Jae Crowder and Elfrid Payton to Health and Safety Protocols as well. In addition, they will be without Abel Nader (Knee), Frank Kaminsky (Knee), Dario Saric (ACL) and Ish Wainright (Back).
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns Preview
Suns Hit Letdown on Christmas Day
The Suns lost to the Golden State Warriors outright as six point favorites on their home floor on Christmas Day. They were held back by Devin Booker and Jae Crowder’s poor performances. Booker shot 5-19 from the field, including just 1-5 from beyond the arc.
Crowder, who will miss tonight’s game, went 3-11 from the field, including 2-8 from three. Deandre Ayton (8-10 FG) and Chris Paul (7-14 FG) did everything they could to keep the Suns in it.
But when two of your main contributors aren’t performing, the Warriors become impossible to beat. It also doesn’t help when Otto Porter Jr. shoots 8-13 from the field and pours in 19 points, including some late buckets.
Prior to the loss, though, the Suns were on a 7-1 stretch and were blowing out every single opponent that they faced. On the season they are 9th in Adjusted Offensive Rating, 3rd in Adjusted Defensive Rating and 4th in Adjusted Net Rating, per Dunks and Threes.
Grizzlies Got Back on Track
Prior to defeating the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, the Grizzlies had dropped three straight games to the Trail Blazers, Thunder and Warriors.
While losing to the Warriors is excusable (even though the Warriors had everyone out), losing to the Thunder and Trail Blazers is more than head scratching.
But after trailing by a point at halftime to the Kings Sunday, they outscored Sacramento 78-52 in the second half.
Memphis had seven players in double figures, headlined by Desmond Bane’s 28 point performance that saw him shoot 11-19 from the field and 4-6 from beyond the arc.
Bane picked up the slack from beyond the arc as Ja Morant (0-3) and Jaren Jackson (1-8) both struggled to knock down threes.
The Grizzlies also did not meet any sort of defensive pushback against Sacramento. After all, the Kings are ranked 28th in Defensive Rating this season. The Suns, though, are a defensive stalwart.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction
The Suns are out to prove something in this game. They were embarrassed on their home floor on National Television on Christmas Day by their conference challenger.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, were able to take advantage of an overly porous defense on Sunday.
The Kings’ performance was so bad it made Alvin Gentry “the most disappointed” he had been in 34 years.
Eight points is a lot of points for a solid Memphis team, but this is the last game of a three-game holiday road trip, as well as the second game of a back-to-back.
I expect a bounce back game from Devin Booker, as well as for the Suns defense to give major fits to perhaps a bit of a tired Grizzlies team.
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