Memphis Grizzlies vs Phoenix Suns Preview (12/23/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns, two of the top teams in the Western Conference, face off on Friday night at the Footprint Center. Check out the in-depth analysis and breakdown of this game below, featuring the projected starting lineups, injury reports, predictions, and current odds.

Memphis Grizzlies Vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Odds

The Memphis Grizzlies are 1.5-point road dogs against the Phoenix Suns. Desmond Bane and Danny Green remain out for the Grizzlies. Bane should return in the next week or two. Meanwhile, Phoenix will miss Jae Crowder, Cam Payne, and Cameron Johnson for this bout. Jock Landale, Josh Okogie, and Devin Booker are all listed as questionable leading up to game time.

Memphis Grizzlies Vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction

Memphis and Phoenix are both looking to bounce back after disappointing losses. The Grizzlies dropped a road game to the now No. 1 team in the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile, Phoenix lost to the coldest team in the NBA: Washington. The Suns aided the Wizards in snapping their ten-game losing streak, allowing Kyle Kuzma to drop 29 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Bradley Beal also had a big game for Washington.

On the other hand, the Grizzlies lost a tough road game against Denver; they got blown out in the first quarter and could not climb back into the game. Memphis has sometimes struggled on the road this season, boasting a 6-9 record. While that isn’t an awful record away from home court, the Grizzlies’ net rating on the road is 23rd in the NBA. That won’t get it done if they want to be the top team in the West.

Assuming that Devin Booker is able to play, this game should be close. Since returning Jaren Jackson Jr, the Grizzlies have the second-best defensive rating in the NBA. While a slow first quarter against Denver resulted in a hole too big to climb out of, I don’t anticipate Memphis allowing that to happen again. The Grizzlies actually outplayed the Nuggets in the last three quarters of the game; they have to know how important a strong start is on the road.

Additionally, the Grizzlies match up well with Phoenix, and I particularly like Dillon Brooks defending Devin Booker. Booker will get “his,” but he will have to work for it, and with Jaren Jackson Jr protecting the rim, this Grizzlies team has an advantage. I’ll roll with Memphis against the spread here.

Betting Trends

  • Memphis is 3-11-1 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Phoenix is 11-7 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 29-31-2 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

The battle of the frontcourts makes up our key matchup in this bout between the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns. Check out which frontcourt has the advantage in this game below!

Grizzlies Frontcourt vs. Suns Frontcourt

With Cameron Johnson still out for at least a few more weeks, Torrey Craig will again be tapped to start at the four for Phoenix. Craig is by no means a small NBA player, standing at 6-foot-7 and weighing every bit of 215 pounds, but against certain teams that roll out bigger starting lineups, his presence at power forward can be a liability.

Luckily, Craig shoots at a 39% clip from deep, which should pull Jaren Jackson Jr from the paint at least a little bit, but in terms of rebounding, rim-protecting, and dominating the paint, Memphis has a significant advantage. The Grizzlies are a top-two rebounding team in the NBA, and Jaren Jackson Jr is arguably the league’s top shot blocker.

Additionally, Ayton has averaged around 18 points and ten rebounds in the 2022-23 season; however, in his past three games against Memphis, he has averaged just over ten points and nine rebounds. Steven Adams is one of the tougher matchups for opposing bigs as he is a pretty good defender in the interior but also is a menace on the offensive glass. It’s easy to see Ayton getting frustrated with Adams’ effort and picking up some quick fouls. All things considered, Memphis has a huge frontcourt advantage here. Advantage: Grizzlies Frontcourt.

Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup

PG: Ja Morant
SG: John Konchar
SF: Dillon Brooks
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr
C: Steven Adams

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineups

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Torrey Craig
C: Deandre Ayton

Key Injuries

Memphis Grizzlies Injuries: Desmond Bane (Out), Danny Green (Out)

Phoenix Suns Injuries: Cam Payne (Out), Cameron Johnson (Out), Jae Crowder (Out), Josh Okogie (Q), Jock Landale (Q), Devin Booker (Q)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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