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Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Preview

Pro Hoops on Thursday and we will see the Memphis Grizzlies travel to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on TNT. Currently the odds for the game have Oklahoma City favored by 10 points while the total sits at 190.  Check out Sportsbook Spy to see who the Public is taking on all of today's games.

Analysis: The Memphis  made a major trade Wednesday night, shipping Rudy Gay to Toronto while acquiring Ed Davis from the Raptors and Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye from Detroit. The move was designed to allow Memphis to remain competitive while reducing its salary cap burden. The departure of Gay leaves a void the Grizzlies hope Prince will fill, while Davis and Daye are expected to provide depth behind Prince and incumbent power forward Zach Randolph. What's unknown is what these changes will do to a Memphis team that's currently fourth in the Western Conference and was hoping to make a deeper playoff run after making back-to-back postseason appearances. Memphis, though, earned its only playoff series victory in franchise history - in seven games over top-seeded San Antonio in 2011 - when Gay was out after undergoing shoulder surgery. Double-double machine Zach Randolph now leads the team with 15.8 ppg, while Marc Gasol and Mike Conley have added pressure to step it up. Memphis is fourth in the Western Conference standings and has won five of seven games, including Monday's come-from-behind 103-100 win at Philadelphia. Gay provided the go-ahead basket with 13.3 seconds left and finished with 26 points. Marc Gasol had a season-high 27 points and Jerryd Bayless had easily his best scoring performance of 2012-13 with 21 points. Memphis will get some help as it adjusts with five of its next seven at home and four of those games against sub-.500 teams. First, though, the Grizzlies will have to face the Thunder (34-11), who will likely be eager to rebound from a lackluster showing on their season-high road trip. 

Oklahoma City alternated wins and losses in each of its six road games and fell 105-96 to the Los Angeles Lakers in Sunday's finale. Oklahoma City suffered numerous lapses during its ho-hum West Coast trek, and head coach Scott Brooks wouldn't use the grueling trip as an excuse for his team's uneven performance. "It was a long road trip, but everybody has the same amount of road games," Brooks told the Oklahoman. " It's not like we're the only team that had a long road trip." Teams exposed the Thunder's shaky defense, which was torched for an average of 106 points during the six-game trek - a stretch that increased Oklahoma City's season points against average from 95.9 to 97.3 .Kevin Durant scored 35 points in the defeat at the Lakers, giving him an average of 35.5 over his last six games, but only one other player had more than 10. Westbrook finished with 17 points and 13 assists but missed 16 of 22 shots. The Thunder are 19-3 at home and have won three straight there, but one of their losses was a 107-97 defeat to Memphis on Nov. 14. Gay had 28 points and Zach Randolph added 20 as the Grizzlies won for the third time in the past four regular-season visits to Oklahoma City. Durant is averaging 30.2 points in his last 15 regular-season games against Memphis and 32.6 in his last seven at home. 

Free Pick:  I like the Under in this one. Memphis plays at a very slow pace and they also play great defense, ranking 1st in points allowed (89.5 ppg) and 7th in defensive FG% (43.6%), while on the road they have allowed just 92.7 ppg. Granted they will be going up against a high powered attack of the Thunder, but Oklahoma City is coming off a long 6 game road trip so they may not be all that sharp in this one. The Thunder also struggled on defense on the road and I look for them to really clamp down on that end and it has been made easier, by the fact that Memphis averages just 94.6 ppg on the road and will also be trying to work new pieces into their offense.  Both teams will be playing very tough at the defensive end and that should keep this game in the 180’s.

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MovieNBA Free Picks: Memphis at Oklahoma City Betting
What NBA bettors need to know about Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday (1/31/13) - a free pick from Pregame.com's Vegas Runner, with Bryan Leonard and host Steve Fezzik.