Friday, August 14

Milwaukee Bucks vs Memphis Grizzlies, 6:10 am
Grizzlies +3

I’m jumping on the Grizzlies yet again here, this time catching 3 points against Milwaukee.

This is a crucial game for Memphis, with a win guaranteeing them a spot in the play-in tournament.

Milwaukee have had the #1 seed locked up for a while now and again have nothing to play for here.

I don’t expect an especially strong lineup from the Bucks, with Giannis and Wes Matthews already ruled out.

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins used to be an assistant for Budenholzer and I can see the Bucks coach doing his good friend a solid here.

Even if the rest of Milwaukee’s starters play, I’d expect a cap of 15-20 minutes with this being their last game before the play-offs.

Despite their poor recent form, tenacity and effort haven’t been a problem for Memphis.

Their problem has been inferior talent against much stronger teams, but they should be on a level playing field with Milwaukee’s lack of motivation.

I think they win this one outright to cap off a solid season, but will gladly take the 3 points currently on offer.

Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks, 6:10 am
Suns -5.5

The Suns have been very impressive in the seeding games thus far and I’d expect them to continue that here.

Dallas is locked into the #7 seed and has no upside to gain from winning here.

Several of their key players are already likely to miss this one and I don’t envisage big minutes for the starters that do play.

If Memphis lose and the Suns win, Phoenix will clinch a spot in the play-in tournament.

Since they play at the same time as Memphis, I don’t see a potential lack of motivation (if Memphis win) being an issue here.

They enter this clash fairly healthy and have found a cohesive starting five that plays well together.

5.5 points is a substantial amount to lay here, but they’ve got very high stakes and should be playing hard.

Especially if Dallas rest more key players, this line could climb before tip-off.

Potential Bonus Play: Spurs vs Jazz, 8:40 am
Spurs -6.5

Just a note that I only like this play if both the Suns and Grizzlies lose.

According to current odds, that only has roughly a 20% chance of coming to fruition.

If it does though, a win here would grant San Antonio a spot in the play-in tournament.

Utah are another side with nothing to play for, locked into the #6 seed and a first-round series with Denver.

Gobert and Conley have already been ruled out and I don’t anticipate big minutes for any of the starters that do play.

The Spurs have been very impressive throughout the bubble and have played a fast-paced and engaging style.

They enter this clash healthy and motivated (should Phx and Memphis lose) and should be able to win this comfortably.