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Tuesday Upsets Preview Article

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Daily Upset Alert: NBA Underdog Picks

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Miami Heat
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida

Addressing Miami’s Current Win Streak

One might try to make a case for Miami by pointing to its ongoing four-game ATS winning streak.

But such a case for Miami fails to get off the ground for two reasons:

One, the Grizzlies are also on a four-game ATS losing streak.

Two, the Heat are facing a defense that is unlike any other defense that they’ve faced during this ongoing win streak.

Miami has been playing well partly because it’s been able to limit turnovers on the offensive end and to prevent the opponent from turning too many of those turnovers into points.

In their last game, for example, the Heat only turned it over 11 times as they benefitted from facing a Cleveland team that missed Larry Nance Jr., who is the key source of the havoc that Cleveland likes to create.

Why Memphis Is Different

Memphis’ uncontested upset win over Philadelphia in its last game and its recent near-upset of Western Conference-leading Utah is largely a product of its defense.

In its past three games, Memphis is averaging 106.3 opposing points per game.

If 106.3 were a season-long defensive scoring average, then the Grizzlies would rank third in NBA scoring defense.

What the Grizzlies are also known for is turning defense into offense. And this is where they can do particular damage to Miami.

On the season, Miami’s offense ranks 10th-to-last in limiting offensive turnovers.

Now the Heat face their toughest recent test in terms of limiting their own turnovers.

On the season, the Grizzlies rank second in number of turnovers forced per game and first in fast break points.

The two stats are connected: Memphis will turn you over and then hit you with the fast break.

Turnovers

Memphis relies on players in the interior and along the perimeter to disrupt what the opposing offense wants to do.

Guys like Grayson Allen, Dillon Brooks, and Tyus Jones show active hands. Brooks, in particular, injects physicality to his repertoire.

Brooks will body opposing defenders and help scratch and claw for the ball and to poke or swipe it away.

Besides combining length with active hands in their on-ball defense, Grizzly defenders will coordinate traps and dig in order to disrupt opposing bigs down low.

In Ja Morant, in particular, the Grizzlies have a guard who then thrives on the run, using his speed to help beat opposing defenders down the court.

Three-Pointers

Recently, the Grizzlies have been extra dangerous because of their improvement in three-point shooting.

In their last three games, they have made an average of 13.3 three-pointers per game, which would tie them for 11th if it were a season-long statistic.

Strong shooting is important against a Heat defense that allows the highest rate of open three-point attempts and the sixth-highest one of wide open three-pointers.

Brooks, too, is important for Memphis in this regard as he’s becoming more selective in his shot selection.

Previously criticized for shooting too much, he’s no longer wasting possessions and is instead being more efficient on the offensive end.

During the Grizzlies’ ongoing two-game SU win streak, Brooks is a combined 4-for-5 from deep.

Best Bet: Grizzlies +5 at -108 with Heritage


Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 10 p.m. ET (TNT) at Chase Center in San Francisco, California

Milwaukee’s Defense

Milwaukee’s struggles on defense place the team on upset alert tonight.

After allowing 128 points to Sacramento in their last game, the Bucks have dropped to 19th in scoring defense.

One key problem is its ball-screen defense. With its ball-screen coverage schemes, Milwaukee is experimenting.

Experimentation, for now, is opening up the Buck defense to further problems as teams take advantage of the fact that Buck defenders have not figured things out.



As you see in the tweet, the Bucks are trying to do more switching. But switching requires communication and coordination and good communication and coordination only happen over time.

So it’s easy to take advantage of the Bucks’ ball-screen defense right now.

Three-Pointers

The Bucks are known for their conservative drop coverage scheme that focuses on protecting the paint at the cost of allowing more threes.

They are still uniquely vulnerable to teams who shoot well from deep as they rank 28th in limiting opposing three-point attempts.

Despite —or rather, right now, because — they are trying new things defensively, the Bucks are performing even worse in this respect.

Positioning is a problem for Milwaukee’s defense. The Bucks can’t stop shots from going in if they aren’t in any position to contest them.

So it’s important to note that the Bucks allow the third-highest rate of wide open three-point attempts.

Warrior Offense

Steph Curry shows positive form for the Warriors as he’s accrued over 30 points in each of his past three games.

I like him especially tonight because he is coming off a rare, bad shooting performance.

Typically, he bounces back. For example, after converting one of eight three-point attempts on March 11, he converted six of nine against Utah’s highly-ranked perimeter defense in his next game.

Thanks to Curry, the Warriors rank top-10 in three-pointers made and in three-pointers attempted.

Given what they want to do offensively, they will be comfortable against Milwaukee’s vulnerable perimeter defense.

Home Court

Playing at home will be meaningful for the Warriors tonight because they shoot much better percentage-wise in the arena they are most familiar with.

Moreover, the Bucks’ three-point percentage drops significantly in their road games.

Against a higher-ranked interior defense — as measured by Golden State’s opposing field goal attempt rate and opposing field goal percentage within five feet of the basket — the Bucks will be rather limited to trying to shoot well on the road.

Best Bet: Warriors ATS (Odds TBA)
 

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
The way Dub D been playing and Bucks been scoring, full game over probably good? If Dubs win, I think they‘ll do it by outscoring the Bucks

(lol you know what I mean by the last line)
 
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