This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
Last weekend the Wild Card Playoffs were so bad, I actually thought that the NBA games had a shot of surpassing them in the ratings. I was extremely wrong, which rounded out a week where I was wrong on three different occasions: Wednesday's column (0-2), the ratings game, and my Golden Globes bracket. Turns out Hollywood really does love movies about Hollywood. On another note, Donald Glover winning two awards for Atlanta and thanking Migos for writing "Bad and Boujee" was the realest moment in awards show history.
This weekend, the NFL games, save for the Patriots eventual thrashing of the Texans, should be far more interesting. Let's try to get some of Wednesday's NBA games right so you can roll it on over to the weekend.
A rather small amount of Wednesday games this time around, only two of which I really like.
Knicks at 76ers (+2)
The Knicks are an incompetent organization, whose brightest moments occur only in July. Over the summer, the Knicks dominate headlines with promises of a brighter future, clips of Porzingis draining threes from Steph Curry range, Carmelo Anthony winning Olympic Gold Medals and trading for ex-superstar players. Fast forward to Monday's tilt with the Pelicans: Derrick Rose did not show up, disappeared for a few hours, finally claimed he had a family emergency to attend to. Then, Knicks President Phil Jackson allowed Head Coach Jeff Hornacek to be eaten alive by the media wolf pack.
Given the inevitable implosion of this team, one would think that it seems like a lock to take The Process with the points here, but save for the handful of optimism that Joel Embiid has brought Philly this season, the Knicks are still the far better team on paper in this matchup. The 76ers are 1-2-1 over their last four contests at home ATS, while Derrick Rose is set to return and start the game. Hold you money until an hour before tip-off, and triple-check that Rose is actually in the building.
The Pick: Knicks (-2)
Grizzlies at Thunder (-4.5)
The Grizzlies love to bring it against Western Conference teams, and with Mike Conley continuing to post one of his best seasons (even with the injury in December), Memphis is in line to continue to surprise.
Conley's numbers over the last five contests: 21.2 points, 8.0 assists, 4.4 boards and 2.2 threes per game.
Before Mike Conley was posting respectable numbers across the board as an offensive talent in the league, we praised him for his defensive capabilities. Holding Russell Westbrook to anything below his insane average is a win, but Conley presents one of the toughest matchups for the Thunder point guard all together. The Grizzlies also have the presence in the paint and beneath the rim to constantly fight off the Westbrook-Adams PnR.
Memphis likes to beat up great Western Conference teams, as noted by their 4-2 record over their last six games, where three of those wins have come against the Warriors, Jazz and Thunder.
I'd go as far as to say that this is one of the best moneyline opportunities of the season.
The Pick: Grizzlies (+4.5)