The Memphis Grizzlies will face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday. Despite the teams having two of the best defenses, they play different brands of basketball, with the Grizzlies wanting to play fast and the Cavaliers preferring to grind out games.
This will be the second game of a back-to-back for the Grizzlies, recently losing to the Portland Trail Blazers 122-112. In the Cavaliers’ last game, they lost to the Miami Heat 100-97 in a game featuring two of the top three defensive-rated teams.
Let’s check the latest NBA news, stats, injury report and NBA lines for Grizzlies vs Cavaliers. We’ve got plenty of NBA picks for you to consider.
Grizzlies Important Injury Leading to Slump
For most of the season, the Memphis Grizzlies have been regarded as one of the top teams in the NBA. Much of this is due to Ja Morant playing at an elite level, averaging 27.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists. On top of that, they have the best defensive rating and, possibly, the Defensive Player of the Year, Jaren Jackson Jr., averaging 3.3 blocks per game.
However, the loss of Steven Adams has been a big issue for the Grizzlies. Adams is the top rebounder on the team, 11.5 per game, but his biggest impact was on the offensive glass, 5.1. He has been head and shoulders above the next-best offensive rebounder in the league, allowing the Grizzlies extra possessions for their subpar half-court offense.
Adams’ absence is also missed on the defensive end, being the enforcer alongside Jackson. The presence of Adams allowed Jackson to take the easier assignments and play almost as a free safety and focus on protecting the rim. That has kept him out of foul trouble, averaging 3.3 per game. But in the games without Adams, he averages 4.2 fouls and has fouled out once.
That had led to the Grizzlies’ recent slump, losing six out of the last seven games.
Cavaliers Don’t Get Lose Big
While the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ record is not surprising to people who paid attention to them last season, how it has happened is interesting. They have one of the top backcourts in Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, combining 49.4 points and 13 assists per game. But the team has the lowest rate of possessions per 48 minutes, 95.5.
However, when you look deeper into the team, it makes sense. The Cavaliers have two top-tier bigs, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, but making them run up and down the court, a bunch is not a great use of their skills.
The team is still relatively young, the oldest starter being Mitchell, 26 years old, but it has a good comprehension of how it wants to play. That is a testament to head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. His time coaching at the end of the “Grit and Grind” era with the Grizzlies, a team historically known for a slow pace and brutal defense might have prepared him for his current role.
This Cavaliers team maintains that same gritty style of play. They keep every game close, with eight of their 22 losses over 10 points, with the biggest point differential being 15. They also have the fourth most minutes in clutch games.
Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Game Injuries
Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Head-to-Head
The Grizzlies have won four straight games against the Cavaliers. They played each other over two weeks ago when the Grizzlies won 115-114 behind 49 points from Morant and Desmond Bane.
Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Game Information
- Game: Grizzlies (32-19) vs Cavaliers (31-22)
- Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH
- Day/Time: Thursday, Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m. EST
- Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Betting Lines
Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Picks and Prediction
There are two main differences between the Cavaliers and the Grizzlies since the last time they played: The game is in Cleveland and the Cavaliers are now tied for the second most home wins with the Grizzlies. Additionally, Mitchell missed the last game, and this time the Grizzlies will be without a crucial member, Adams.
The game should still be close, with two of the best defenses playing, but the Cavaliers have the advantages in their favor.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are listed at -230 in our Vegas NBA lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Cavaliers, you have a chance to win $43. The Memphis Grizzlies are +190, offering a chance to win $190 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the NBA betting lines gives the Cleveland Cavaliers a 69.70% chance to win, with the Memphis Grizzlies at 34.48%.
Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Trends
Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Edge
Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Results
Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Game Summary
Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Previous Game (Jan 18, 2023)
Six wins during this win streak have been at home, clearly showing an advantage for the Grizzlies, with a 19-3 record in Memphis. That should help them, along with the offense having at least 130 points in three straight games.
While the Cavaliers’ defense could cause problems for the Grizzlies, their offense may not be able to keep up, especially with the possibility of Mitchell missing the game. The Grizzlies are the only team with a better defensive rating than the Cavaliers.