Although it is typically the more winter-appropriate games like hockey that draw our attention in and around the holidays, for basketball fans, this will not be the case this year.
And with a bumper schedule due to be played across the holiday period, NBA fans are in for a real treat this year – particularly if you have some unwanted company you are trying to escape during the holidays!
One of the most hotly anticipated matchups due to take place is Warriors vs Grizzlies. And if the buzz already being generated among the experts on Bookmakers.com is anything to go by, we could be in for a bit of a Christmas miracle!
Grizzlies Secure Overtime Win Against Warriors in October Clash
All eyes will be on the last time the Grizzlies and the Warriors matched up ahead of their Christmas clash.
This match was one of the more exciting in recent memory, with the Grizzlies putting in a thrilling performance on Steph Curry’s home court.
For the Warriors, this was a particularly disappointing episode. And thanks to a stunning stroke of luck in overtime, the ever-tenacious Grizzlies ended the Warriors’ unbeaten start to the season.
Notably, however, a big part of their 104-101 win was due to the stellar performance put in by Ja Morant, who is currently out injured with a sprained knee.
While Morant put in an incredible performance that outclassed his number match Steph Curry – and which saw Morant secure 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists – this won’t be much good to the Grizzlies come Christmas.
There are many takeaways from this clash as we look forward to the rematch at Christmas. Of these, perhaps the most important is the Grizzlies’ uncanny ability to secure a victory, even in the dying moments of the game when the odds are stacked against them.
Grizzlies Secure Record-Breaking Beatdown of Oklahoma City Thunder
The Grizzlies should certainly not be counted out in this matchup – particularly as they are coming off the back of a few impressive wins, not least the 73-point record-breaking beatdown they enacted on Oklahoma City Thunder at the beginning of December.
This 152-79 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder smashed the previous NBA record for the largest margin of victory. And while the Thunder were by no means putting on the best performance of their career, the Grizzlies looked completely unstoppable on the night.
The Memphis Grizzlies put a total of 12 players to use on the night, with nine of them reaching double digits in terms of scoring. Notably, Jaren Jackson Jr. racked up a total of 27 points.
This performance is even more impressive given the Grizzlies were down one of their strongest players on paper – Ja Morant – who was injured.
And although they were only going into half-time at a respectable 72-36, they were unrelenting in adding numbers to the board.
In terms of what this means for the upcoming matchup with the Warriors, while we should be careful not to place too much weight on relatively rare, record-breaking performances like this, it is nevertheless a really strong sign of where they are at.
Grizzlies Bounce Back Against Mavericks Loss
Despite bringing their winning streak to a finish, things are looking a lot more positive for the Grizzlies following a victory over the LA Lakers last week.
Although the margin of victory was by no means as wide as it was against the Thunder, the Grizzlies nevertheless secured a reasonably comfortable margin of 108-95 after a tough battle with the Lakers.
This endeavor was all the more impressive in light of the fact they still lack Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks, who are currently both out with injuries.
Ultimately, it seemed like the Grizzlies simply wanted victory more than the Lakers on the day. And by the end of play, they had secured 14 offensive rebounds – of which Steven Adams took 13.
Star Picks and Player Favorites
Grizzlies Picks and Favorites:
Although the entire Grizzlies roster has been putting in fairly solid performances, here are some of the players to look out for:
Jaren Jackson Jr: Jackson scored a whopping 27 points in their record-breaking victory over the Thunder. He looked even better against the Lakers, scoring 25 points.
De’Anthony Melton: Contributed to the Grizzlies making 62.5 percent of their shots against the Thunder, with Melton scoring 19 points.
Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks: Although Morant and Brooks are some of the most well-loved and best performing players on the Grizzlies roster, they are out with injuries for the foreseeable future, ahead of the holiday clash with the Warriors.
Warriors Picks and Favorites:
While the Grizzlies have been putting in some stellar performances lately, we should not count the Warriors out. With that said, here are some picks to watch out for:
Klay Thompson: Having been out of action for the bulk of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 season with a torn ACL and Achilles, Thompson is due to make a return this Christmas.
Although a precise date is not yet known, he will undoubtedly be keen to make a statement when he makes his return.
Stephen Curry: As by far the Warriors’ biggest name, you should most definitely be paying attention to Curry in the Christmas clash – not least because he has been consistently putting in cracking performances this season. Underestimate him at your peril!