The Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets are scheduled to clash at the Ball Arena on Monday night. The Nuggets are feeling confident at the moment with wins in 10 of their last 12 outings. After back-to-back losses against the Boston Celtics, 105-87, and Golden State Warriors, 116-107, the Nuggets were in great form in a 123-106 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
They were able to follow up with a monster win over Rockets on the road in Houston, 128-99. The Rockets aren’t the most difficult of opponents, but beating any team by that margin is an impressive night. You see teams take weaker teams lightly all the time, especially on the road, so it was a good 29-point win for the Nuggets in Houston.
The Nuggets advanced to 36-20 on the season with the win against the Rockets. This has been happening without Jamal Murray. Murray is not going to be available for the rest of the year with a knee injury. He will not be ready to return until next season, so the Nuggets will need to make a strong playoff push without his services.
The onus will fall on the favorite to win MVP, Nikola Jokic, to do the heavy lifting for the Nuggets. This was always going to be the case, but the pressure gets turned up a notch or two without their starting point guard in the lineup. So far it has been fine for the Nuggets without Murray in the lineup, but when they face a potential elite matchup in the playoffs, his absence will likely be felt. Fortunately, the addition of Aaron Gordon should help soften the blow of losing Murray.
Most impressively, the Nuggets’ offense was on fire against a quality Heat defense two games back. They scored 123 points in a 123-106 win. It’s not easy to score on the Heat, but the Nuggets cut through them pretty easily in that outing. Jokic posted a triple-double, as he contributed with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. It’s easy work for Jokic at the office, and he certainly deserves the MVP award hence the odds on him to win it.
The Grizzlies would be going to the play-in tournament if it started today. They are going into Denver with a record of 29-26 and eighth in the Western Conference. Memphis is a half game behind the Dallas Mavericks, who have been incredibly inconsistent this season. They’re on a two-game winning streak with a couple of impressive wins over the Bulls, 126-115, and Bucks, 128-115. Head below for our free Grizzlies vs. Nuggets pick on April 19, 2021.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets NBA Betting Odds:
Grizzlies vs. Nuggets Prediction:
The Grizzlies have their moments when they can look like a really good team. I think we can say this over the last ten years for the Grizzlies. It’s just not a destination that is particularly attractive to big name free agents, so the Grizzlies are kind of stuck in the same spot. That’s not to say they don’t have any talent. Ja Morant, and whether you hate him or love him, Grayson Allen has been coming on nicely.
The former Duke star scored 26 points in the win over the Bucks. He’s recorded at least 20 points in two of his last three games. The Grizzlies are going to need a big performance from Allen tonight. It’s going to be important that somebody steps up in the absence of Jonas Valanciunas. JV has been ruled OUT with a concussion against the Nuggets. That’s a huge absentee for the Grizzlies tonight. It’s a hole that no one else will be able to replace in the paint for the Grizzlies.
To make matters worse, Brandon Clarke, who is behind JV on the depth chart is questionable with a hip injury. Xavier Tillman, a 22-year-old out of Michigan State, would be the healthiest Grizzly on the roster at center. This sounds like a terrible matchup against the best center in the NBA. Jokic should be able to have a monster game against the Grizzlies with JV inactive on Monday night. The Nuggets are fourth in the league with 115.3 points per game and shooting an impressive 48.8% from the field.
They can beat a team in a lot of different ways, from around the rim or deep, where the Nuggets are sharp from as well. Denver is fifth with a three-point percentage of 38.5%. The Nuggets have been efficient defensively as well, with 109.8 points against per game for eighth in the league. I think the loss of JV is really going to hurt the Grizzlies in Denver tonight. With the best center in the NBA on the other side, the Grizzlies have their hands full. I like the Nuggets to pull away in this one.