NBA on TNT Preview [Jan. 31]

NBA on TNT Preview [Jan. 31]

The Memphis Grizzlies, playing for the first time after trading away Rudy Gay, get set to face the Thunder in Oklahoma City tonight. While the Gay swap for Ed Davis, Tayshaun Prince, and Austin Daye saves the tea money and improves depth in the long-run, they’ll be fairly depleted in tonight’s match-up.

AccuScore has the Thunder as heavy favorites with 87.3 percent chance at getting the win. They also have nearly a 62 percent chance of covering the -9.5 spread. The average score after 10,000 simulations is 102-89. While the over/under percentages are fairly equal, keep in mind that the total has gone over in 11 of Memphis’s last 13 games when playing on the road against OKC. The Thunder are also 15-1 straight up in their last 16 games at home.

This match-up would easily be a fantastic playoff series, but just for tonight, the Grizz will be quite short-handed. With OKC losing earlier this week to the Lakers, they’ll be focused on not letting another Western Conference rival sneak in a win. So far this season, OKC is 9-1 after a loss. Numbers don’t lie [usually], give up the points and take OKC.

Kevin Durant is projected to lead the way for OKC with 31 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists. For Memphis, Zach Randolph is projected to finish with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

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The second game in tonight’s double-header on TNT features the Golden State Warriors playing host to the Dallas Mavericks. The Warriors will again be without should-be all-star Steph Curry, but with Bogut back and healthy, the team can sustain their run a while longer without Curry in the mix.

AccuScore simulations have the Warriors as fairly heavy favorites, with a 62.9 percent chance at getting the win. The average score after 10,000 simulations is 102-99, and the Warriors have just a 52.5 percent chance of covering the -3.5 spread. There is a 57 percent chance the total score goes over 205.5. The total has gone over in 6 of Golden State’s last 7 games, and in 7 of Golden State’s last 9 games when playing at home against Dallas.

With Dallas losing a heartbreaker in their last game (vs Portland, 106-104), look for the Warriors to pounce on the Mavericks early and take any initial hope away from them. When Klay Thompson shoots better than 42 percent, the Warriors are 11-2; when he shoots below that mark, they are 11-15. He’s projected to get 17 points on 41 percent shooting tonight.

I don’t have much faith in this Dallas team to bounce back from the type of loss they had against Portland. Oracle Arena will be pumped, especially this being a nationally televised game, and Coach Jackson’s guys will start raining jumpers early. They are projected to make 5 three-pointers on the night, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that number reach close to 8 or 9. Prediction- Warriors win by 7.

Dirk Nowitzki is projected to lead the way for Dallas with 19 points and 7 rebounds. For Golden State, David Lee is projected to finish with 25 points and 12 rebounds.