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Where's The Defense?

The Memphis Grizzlies are struggling on defense, but they're hoping a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves will help.

The Grizzlies will be trying to take advantage of a battered Timberwolves' lineup when the teams meet on Saturday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Memphis -9 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 213 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 51% of bets for this game have been placed on Memphis -9 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Memphis (5-10) relies on a high-powered offense that is averaging 104.2 points per game. However, defense has been the team's undoing, as the Grizzlies are allowing opponents to shoot 47.8 percent - the worst mark in the NBA.

Memphis has allowed its opponents to score in triple digits in all but three of its 15 games and is coming off Wednesday's 103-91 defeat in Toronto. The Grizzlies have allowed at least 100 points in each of their last four games.

"The whole key is good defense, and we didn't do that very well," Mike Miller said. "They did a good job pushing the tempo."

The Grizzlies, however will be up against a Minnesota team that is averaging just 93.9 points per game and has reached triple digits in just four of its 14 contests.

Memphis has won eight of its last 10 against Minnesota, including five of six at home. The Grizzlies averaged more than 110 points in winning two of three last season.

Minnesota has been hampered by a banged-up backcourt. Randy Foye has been out all season while recovering from a stress reaction in his left kneecap and might be sidelined for another month. Marko Jaric, who has been his replacement, sprained his right foot and left after the first quarter of Friday's 106-91 loss to San Antonio.

Rashad McCants, who ranks second on the team with 14.4 points per game, was a surprise scratch from the game because of a sore right knee. Coach Randy Wittman said McCants showed up before the game and was hurting.

Wittman added that Jaric's injury is "probably not good."

Al Jefferson, who leads the team with 20.9 points and 11.2 rebounds, had 23 points and 11 boards on Friday. Jefferson was coming off a season-best 31-point performance in Wednesday's 109-103 loss in Dallas.

However, the Timberwolves (2-12) allowed the Spurs to finish Friday's game on a 40-11 run.

"It stings. It hurts. It hurts, because we put so much into preparing for the game and going out there and doing all the right things and just not finishing it off," said Sebastian Telfair, who started at point guard and had 17 points.

The Grizzlies will be trying to bounce back from their first loss in three games. Juan Carlos Navarro scored 15 points and Pau Gasol added 13 on Wednesday for Memphis, which had won back-to-back games for the first time this season.

"We wanted to get that momentum going and put a nice winning streak together," Gasol said. "You come here and don't play at the level you are supposed to, it is frustrating.

"We have two home games coming up, and we are expecting to play well and come up with a win."

The Grizzlies are just 3-4 at home this season.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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