Free NBA Playoff Predictions: Grizzlies at Spurs Game 2 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 4/20/2011
The Memphis Grizzlies essentially tanked their final few games of the regular season because they wanted a first-round playoff matchup with the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs (although Coach Lionel Hollins denies it). Of course, the Spurs had a “be careful what you wish for” attitude when learning this, but right now Memphis is looking rather smart for that decision after a shocking Game 1 victory in the Alamo City. Now Game 2 is pretty much a must win for the Spurs.
How the Teams Enter
San Antonio clearly missed injured star Manu Ginobili in Game 1. The 101-98 victory was the first-ever in Memphis playoff history. Zach Randolph dominated inside for Memphis with 25 points and 14 rebounds just a day after getting a $71 million extension. Randolph and Marc Gasol had their way with Tim Duncan and Antonio McDyess. The Grizz duo totaled 49 points and 23 rebounds on 19-of-25 shooting compared to 19 points, 14 rebounds and 9-for-18 shooting for Duncan and McDyess. Trade deadline acquisition Shane Battier hit the game-winning three-pointer with 23.9 seconds left for Memphis.
George Hill started in Ginobili's place, but went just 2-of-7 from the floor and finished with 15 points. The NBA's top three-point shooting team clearly missed Ginobili's range and penetration to draw in perimeter defenders as San Antonio was just 6-for-15 from long range. Plus the bench obviously was weakened with Hill in the starting lineup.
Grizzlies at Spurs Betting Story Lines
Think Ginobili might have made a difference in Game 1 late? This season Ginobili made three of the Spurs’ five field goals in the final 24 seconds of a game they were trailing by three points or fewer. Early on Tuesday the Spurs were still calling Ginobili ‘doubtful’ for Game 2 with that hyperextended non-shooting elbow. But the San Antonio Express-News Spurs beat writer Tweeted late Tuesday that Ginobili was 99.9 percent likely to play. Tony Parker clearly missed him too as he was just 4-for-16 from the field in Game 1 as the Grizzlies dared him to beat them from outside. Memphis point guard Mike Conley (15 points, 10 assists) outplayed Parker for most of the day.
The loss was San Antonio’s sixth in a row in a playoff opener. Beginning with the 2003 playoffs, the Spurs are 6-3 in series that started with a 0-1 deficit, including one first-round series against Phoenix and two against Denver in championship years. They were down 0-1 last year against Dallas and still came back to win that series. Since the NBA went to seven games in the first round in 2002-03, it was only the fourth time a No. 1 seed lost its first postseason game. Two of the previous three rallied to win the series – one of them the 2003 Spurs. But Game 2 is a different story. Only three teams in NBA history have lost the first two games of a series at home and recovered to win the series. The most recent to do it were the 2005 Dallas Mavericks.
Grizzlies at Spurs Betting Odds and Key Trends
San Antonio opened as an 8.5-point favorite with the total at 197 on NBA odds.
The Spurs are 1-6 ATS in their past seven following a loss. They are also 1-6 ATS in their past seven vs. teams with a winning record.
Memphis is 8-2 ATS in its past 10 following an ATS win.
The ‘over’ is 4-0 in Memphis’ past four games. It is 6-0 in San Antonio’s past six at home.
Memphis is 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings. The ‘over’ is 5-1 in the past six.
Free NBA Playoff Predictions: Grizzlies at Spurs Predictions
The Grizzlies clearly are in the heads of the Spurs now – Sunday’s win was their third straight this year over San Antonio after dropping the first two. Still, a lot of the numbers did favor San Antonio in Game 1: The Spurs outrebounded the Grizzlies (40-38) for the first time this season and still lost. They beat them with second chance points 15-5. They got to the free throw line 47 times compared to Memphis 33 times. In addition the Spurs only turned it over 10 times compared to the Grizzlies 16 times. And that was all without Manu, whom San Antonio is 1-5 without in the playoffs. Plus Memphis isn’t going to shoot 55.2 percent from the field again. With that said, there’s no way the Spurs lose again. But 8.5 points are simply too many. Take the Grizz and the ‘over’.
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