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Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts after scoring a three-point basket in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts after scoring a three-point basket in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)|Associated Press
NBA

NBA Saturday: Greg Frank picks Mavericks vs Grizzlies, Rockets vs Bulls

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

1-1 Friday night, 15-13-1 overall.

Mavericks (-4.5) @ Grizzlies (221.5)

Pick: Mavericks -4.5

The National Basketball Association is turning into the Load Management Association. More and more teams have started to pick spots to rest their stars and the Memphis Grizzlies decided to join the party on Saturday. Rookie Ja Morant is getting an off night tonight and the Grizzlies injury report states that it is due to rest. It’s hard to think a player who has played less than 10 NBA games needs an off night, but the Grizzlies must think so and that’s all that matters. For a young team, we’re not so sure they’ll respond well to their Rookie of the Year candidate not in the lineup. Before seeing Morant was resting for Memphis, I would have leaned with the Grizzlies catching the 4.5 with Dallas on the second night of a back-to-back here. However, the Mavericks did lay an egg last night at home in a 106-102 loss to the Knicks, so I’d look for them to respond against a Memphis team that might not have much life.

Rockets (-6.5) @ Bulls (233.5)

Pick: Bulls +6.5

I guess all the Bulls needed to pick up some steam was for us to fade them. We took Detroit as a short road dog in Chicago last Friday night and the Bulls ended up winning and covering. They’ve covered two more games since then and are now 4-5 ATS. That might not be great, but it is compared to Houston’s league-worst 2-6 ATS record. However, the biggest reason we’re on the Bulls here is because we do believe they’ve turned a corner early in the season. They let a big lead slip away on Tuesday at home against the Lakers in a 118-112 loss. The response from Chicago on Wednesday to come right back and win convincingly on the road the next day 113-93 in Atlanta was telling. Now they get a couple days off and another crack at a Western Conference contender. We’ll take Chicago and the points in another game the Bulls should compete in from start to finish.

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