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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

NBA Trends Dec 14 2005

The Memphis offense has sputtered during the team's current two-game mini-slump. The Grizzlies shot 34 percent and converted 41-of-65 attempts from the charity stripe in their past two outings. They lost those games by a combined 21 points, making those 24 misses from the free throw line even more noteworthy.

Compare those statistics to the six-game winning streak, when the Grizzlies averaged 21 assists, out-rebounded opponents (230-222) and outshot teams (48-39.5 percent).
Memphis looks to break out of its brief funk Wednesday when it hosts the Los Angeles Lakers. The Grizzlies have been idle since losing Saturday at Indiana, while the Lakers will be playing their sixth straight road game.

Los Angeles treated Memphis rudely when it had Shaquille O'Neal, but the tables have been turned recently. The Grizzlies have won and cashed in the last four series battles by an average of 16.3 points per game.

The Lakers were hammered in their initial visit to the FedEx Forum this season, scoring only 47 points through three quarters en route to an 85-73 loss. Memphis has cashed six of its last seven versus Los Angeles at home.

However, the Lakers have shown marked improvement since, winning five of their last six overall and four of five on the road. Los Angeles has cashed five of its last six as road underdogs.
The Grizzlies have slipped below the number in their last six trips to the post, while the Lakers have followed suit in seven of 10 on the highway.

Trends and angles for the remainder of Wednesday's menu appear below.

Atlanta played Tuesday at Cleveland while Philadelphia took the night off following a home win over Minnesota in overtime. The Hawks have lost 10 of 11 on the road, coming up short in three of their last four as underdogs. The 76ers are 4-9 against the spread since Nov. 18 and they have failed in their last three chances as home favorites. Philadelphia has won three straight after falling short in eight of its previous 10 games. Atlanta has lost its last three at the Wachovia Center by an average of 18 points. The last four clashes have been on the low side with the teams combining to average 191.8 points per game.

Chicago has won and cashed nine straight versus Toronto, getting the money in the last four clashes at Air Canada Centre. Toronto has been idle since winning Sunday at Charlotte. The Bulls played Tuesday versus Miami at home. Chicago has won three straight and six of its last seven on the road, both straight up and ATS. The Raptors are 1-9 at home, failing in eight of 10 as underdogs. The 'over' is 8-3 in the last 11 series showdowns with five of six north of the border zipping above the number. The Bulls have eclipsed the total in their last six road games.

Indiana and Boston meet for the first time since last season's second-round playoff matchup that the Pacers won in seven games. The Celtics won in overtime at Conseco Fieldhouse only to get routed by 27 points at home. Indiana has cashed seven of its last 10 regular-season meetings against Boston, getting the cheddar in four of five in Beantown. The Pacers have won two straight and look to match their longest winning streak of the season. The Celtics return home after losing consecutive road games versus San Antonio and Dallas. Boston has yet to drop three straight this season.

It is unlikely Detroit has forgotten what happened the last time it faced Sacramento this season at Arco Arena. The NBA slapped the Kings on the wrist after they showed derogatory images of Motown on their video screen. The Pistons prevailed on the court that night as 2 1/2-point favorites, 102-88. Detroit has won two of its last three versus the Kings at home by double-digits. The Pistons return home after winning three of four on the road. Sacramento played Tuesday at Minnesota. Detroit has dropped two straight as home favorites after getting the money in its first four opportunities. Detroit and the Kings have slipped below the number in the last seven series clashes, combining to average 182.4 points per game.

Orlando has won and 'covered' two of its last three versus New York after falling short in its previous eight ATS. The Magic snapped a four-game spread losing skid when they beat the Knicks at The Garden in their final visit last season, 104-98. Orlando put an end to a five-game slide with Sunday's home victory over Denver, 94-83. New York has lost three straight and five of its last six, including its last pair at home. The Knicks have zipped 'over' in their last five in the Big Apple.

New Jersey has won its first five versus Charlotte, cashing at a 4-1 clip. The Nets prevailed in the initial test this season as 2 1/2-point road favorites, 97-84. New Jersey played Tuesday at Washington while the Bobcats were hosting Denver. The Nets have lost three straight at Continental Airlines Arena, where they are just 2-6 as favorites. Charlotte has lost 10 straight on the road, though it has cashed three straight as underdogs. The last three series encounters have slipped 'under'.

Miami played its first game under coach Pat Riley on Tuesday at Chicago. Milwaukee had the night off after trouncing New York at home, 112-92. The Bucks have won three straight and six of their last seven, following a stretch where they lost six of nine. The Heat fell short in their first trip to the Bradley Center this season as three-point dogs, 105-100. Miami had won the five previous series showdowns, getting the cheddar four times. Ten of the last dozen series scrapes have been on the high side, including the last seven in Milwaukee where the teams combined to average 202.1 points per game. The Bucks have zipped 'over' in six of their last seven games and in four straight at home. The Heat have slipped 'under' in seven of their last eight away from home.

This was a very competitive series last season when the Los Angeles Clippers won three of four but could only 'cover' one of those meetings. New Orleans has come up short in three of its last four spread decisions against the Clippers at home. The Hornets have been idle since Monday when they snapped a five-game skid by upsetting Phoenix on the road, 91-87. Los Angeles toiled Tuesday at San Antonio. New Orleans and the Clippers have been on the low side in six of the last eight series encounters, including the last four played on the Hornets' court.

Phoenix dropped its home opener to Dallas this season in double overtime, 111-108. The Mavericks have cashed five of seven versus the Suns, though they lost the last two series meetings at home, both SU and ATS. Phoenix had cashed five straight on the road until losing to the Clippers in their last try, 101-91. The Suns have 'covered' four straight as road underdogs. Conversely, Dallas has been a poor investment at home, faltering in six of eight as favorites.

The host won and 'covered' all four series confrontations last season. Utah got a jump on the Portland in the initial test this season at the Rose Garden, 98-93. The Jazz are 8-4 ATS in the last dozen meetings and they have cashed five of six at the Delta Center. Nine of the last 12 series clashes have slipped 'under', including five of six at Utah.

Houston heads to Oakland looking to extend a three-game winning streak, its longest of the season. Golden State toiled Tuesday at Seattle. The Warriors have cashed three of four when playing on consecutive nights. Golden State has 'covered' six of its last nine versus the Rockets, getting the green in the last four at home. Houston is 7-2-1 ATS on the road this season.

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