Bulls vs. Grizzlies Highlights Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

Bulls vs. Grizzlies Highlights Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday | NBA Game Preview & Betting Odds

One of the marquee regular-season NBA days every season is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and that’s Monday in the United States. Thus, there are 12 games on the slate including several matinees. Arguably the best matchup is Chicago at Memphis – the Grizzlies always play at home on the holiday.

How to Bet Bulls at Grizzlies NBA Odds & TV Info

Series History

This is the first meeting between the teams with Memphis going to Chicago on Feb. 26. Last season, the Grizzlies swept the series for the first time since the 2012-13 season. The game in Memphis was a 101-90 Grizz win. Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 14 rebounds but he’s now with New Orleans. Dillon Brooks finished with 17 points and Grayson Allen added 14. Ja Morant had 13 points and 10 assists. Zach LaVine scored 21 points, but he was just 5 for 14 from the field

Why Bet on Chicago?

The Bulls are in their worst funk of the season, losing a third straight game Saturday in Boston, 114-112. Robert Williams hit a pair of free throws with 9.7 seconds left and the Celtics scored the final eight points. Chicago was up 112-106 with 1:57 left.

The Bulls played without second-leading scorer Zach LaVine, who injured his knee on Monday and will miss a while – but an MRI showed no structural damage. LaVine landed awkwardly while grabbing an offensive rebound during the first quarter of Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors. He took an intentional foul on the next play before taking himself out of the game. In 38 games for Chicago this season, LaVine is averaging 24.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists while shooting 49% from the field.

“Well, obviously very optimistic and very grateful that it wasn’t something more,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “That’s why they wanted to do the MRI, so he’ll continue to get therapy and we’ll re-evaluate him after a period of time. I don’t think it’s something that’s long-term, which is a good thing. So the biggest thing is how does he respond to therapy, treatment, those kinds of things.”

Starting point guard Lonzo Ball missed Saturday’s game with knee soreness and will not play in this one. Guard Alex Caruso has cleared COVID protocols but will not return Monday. Coby White and rookie Ayo Dosunmu will once again start at the guard spots. White had 19 points Saturday and Dosunmu a career-high 21.

At 27-14 (.659), Chicago sports the best record in the East. Last time the Bulls were 13 games over .500 was March 21, 2015 (42-29). For the first time since the start of the 2015-16 season the Bulls have strung together three consecutive winning months (5-1 in October, 9-7 in November and 9-2 in December). The last time Chicago enjoyed four straight winning months happened during the back half of the 2013-14 season.

This season the Bulls are 15-1 (.938) when its bench outscores their counterparts. They are also 12-1 (.923) when they shoot 50% or better from the floor, and 18-2 (.900) when they hand out more assists. Chicago has reached the 130-point mark six times this season, the most of any team in the NBA. Those six games are also tied for the fifth-longest streak in team history.

Why Bet on Memphis?

The Grizzlies had an 11-game losing streak snapped Friday in a 112-85 home loss to Dallas. Luka Doncic had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his 40th career triple-double or Dallas. The Grizzlies were playing the second night of a back-to-back and their fifth game in a week. Star Ja Morant said the schedule may have finally caught up with them. Memphis shot 38% from the field and made only seven of 31 shots from beyond the arc.

“Pretty much from our legs being heavy and our shots were short,” Morant said, later adding the fatigue contributed to his eight turnovers and other mistakes in the game.

Morant led Memphis with 19 points and eight assists, Desmond Bane had 16 points and Kyle Anderson added 12. The Grizzlies lost for the first time since Dec. 23, getting little help beyond its top three scorers. Steven Adams returned from a four-game absence and had six points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in 21 minutes. Second-leading scorer Dillon Brooks is currently out with a sprained ankle.

The Grizzlies are one of four teams to rank in the NBA top 10 in both offensive and defensive rating, joining Miami, Milwaukee, and Phoenix. The Grizzlies lead the NBA in second chance points (17.8). Memphis, which scored a franchise-record 35 points off second chance opportunities on Dec. 26 at Sacramento, has the highest second chance scoring average by an NBA team in the last quarter century (since 1996-97).

Memphis leads the NBA with six wire-to-wire victories this season, most recently on Jan. 3 at Brooklyn. The Grizzlies also have an NBA-best 10 double-digit comebacks this season.

Why does Memphis always host a game on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday? Because Dr. King was assassinated in the city in 1968 while standing on the balcony at the Lorraine Motel. That site is now home of the National Civil Rights Museum, which is not far from the Grizzlies’ home arena, FedEx Forum. The Grizzlies also were the first NBA team to honor King with uniforms.

Expert Prediction

  • Grizzlies 110, Bulls 102
 
 

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