Memphis Grizzlies vs. Miami Heat
Monday, December 06, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at FTX Arena
In spite of losing their star and leader Ja Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies have achieved four wins in a row. Their most recent was a seven-point win in Dallas on Saturday night. Now they head to Miami to take on a Heat team that's been struggling with injuries as well.
Since the injury to Morant, the Grizzlies have been led by Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, and Dillon Brooks. Bane had 29 Points and 9 rebounds in the win over Dallas. Jaren Jackson chipped in 13 points and 5 rebounds. Jackson played excellent defense to lead the Grizzlies to another victory.
You have to give credit to the Grizzlies’ young players for stepping up and continuing the good momentum of the season. Filling in for Morant has been a group effort. In his absence, Dillon Brooks has averaged 17 points per game while Bane and Jackson have averaged 16 points per game each.
The Grizzlies will be 5-5 on the road this season. With Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson leading the way, they are first in the league in rebounds at 48 per game. The Grizzlies are a high-scoring team averaging 111.3 points per game, which is good for sixth in the NBA.
The Grizzlies’ weakness has been defense. They give up 111.8 points per game, which is 26th in the league. The Grizzlies play a gambling style of defense as indicated by the fact they are 1st in the league at 9.7 for steals per game. They challenge shots effectively. They are 1st in blocks at 6.35 per game.
The Grizzlies are dealing with the loss of their top player. The Heat is dealing with the loss of their top two players.
Bam Adebayo will be out at least until at least January. Jimmy Butler has missed the last four games and it's a game-time decision for tonight. Marcus Morris has not played since his scuffle with Nikola Jokic. Victor Oladipo lives on the injury list. I can't remember the last time I saw that guy actually play basketball.
The Heat have a talented roster but they are not the same without their veteran leaders.
Tyler Herro will lead the way on offense. His scoring average is close to 22 points per game. After a tough season last year where he experienced a sophomore slump, he has bounced back and is doing an excellent job at the catch and shoot as well as creating off the dribble. Without Adebayo and Butler, the Heat are relying on Herro and Kyle Lowry. They become a perimeter-oriented team rather than a team that likes to attack the rim.
They haven't dealt with injuries as well as the Grizzlies. They have lost three of their last four games. Most recently they fell 124-102 in Milwaukee on Saturday night. The Heat was hoping Duncan Robinson would be of help in the absence of their stars, but he has been less than stellar. Last season he shot 41% from 3-point range. This season he is a pedestrian 33% from behind the arc.
With Adebayo out, the Heat have used the option of PJ Tucker as a small-ball center more often. It will be interesting to see if Memphis counters by going big with Steven Adams in the game, or lets Jaren Jackson run the five when Miami goes small. This will be something to keep an eye on; for if it works well, it will indicate how Memphis will respond to small-ball lineups for the rest of the season.
Dillon Brooks vs. Tyler Herro. Miami has become very dependent on the sharpshooting Herro. Dillon Brooks has returned to the lineup. He is Memphis’ best perimeter defender.
If Brooks is able to trouble Herro the way he troubles other shooting guards, the Memphis Grizzlies have a great chance to continue their win streak.
If Herro is able to have a big night against the strong defense of Brooks, the Miami Heat have a strong chance to get back to their winning ways.
I like Memphis here to cover the spread and maybe even win outright. Memphis is playing well even with Morant's absence, while Miami is still struggling to adjust to life without their stars. With Adebayo out, the Heat does not have a good answer for Jaren Jackson, Jr. Dillon Brooks should do a great job on Tyler Herro. Today's play of the day Memphis Grizzlies +5 at one of BMR's best sportsbooks.
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