Grizzlies at Spurs Picks and Game 2 NBA Odds
by Alan Matthews - 5/21/2013
I have never played professional sports, sorry to say. Thus, I never bought into that experience thing when it comes to the playoffs. What difference does it make if you have played in big games before? Athletes live in the moment. What, when you are shooting a last-second free throw you are more likely to make it than miss if you have playoff experience?
Well, the San Antonio Spurs are starting to change my thinking. The Memphis Grizzlies looked great in beating the high-flying Los Angeles Clippers in Round 1 and then even better in knocking off the Western Conference top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference semifinals. However, Memphis looked outclassed in Game 1 of the West Finals by the veteran, experienced Spurs. That San Antonio won at home wasn't a shocker, but the decisiveness of the 105-83 victory certainly was. Now we will see what the Grizzlies are made of in Game 2 on Tuesday night. Lose that one, and I find it hard to believe that Memphis could win four of the next five games to advance to the franchise's first NBA Finals.
Grizzlies at Spurs Betting Story Lines
Memphis is a terrific defensive team, leading the NBA in points allowed during the regular season and ranking No. 2 in opponents' three-point field goal percentage. The Spurs gouged the Grizzlies for a franchise-record 14 three-pointers in Game 1. It was the most three-pointers Memphis had allowed in its past 193 games. Memphis had been allowing opponents to hit an average of six three-pointers per game in the playoffs. Tony Allen was named a member of the NBA's all-defensive team this season, but he wasn't good in Game 1. He wasn't the only guy guarding Tony Parker, but he didn't stop him when he did. Parker was 9-for-14 from the field for 20 points and nine assists and was pretty clearly the best player on the floor in the opener.
Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph totally disappeared with just two points and was a game-worst minus-28 when on the floor. Memphis is good because it has arguably the best inside game in the NBA with Randolph and Marc Gasol. It has no chance against San Antonio without Randolph playing way better. I mean, Matt Bonner outscored Randolph by 10. Randolph had been averaging 19.7 points on 51.2 percent shooting in the postseason. He destroyed the Thunder in eliminating them in Game 5 with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Randolph was mostly a beast when the Grizzlies upset the Spurs in the 2011 playoffs as well. That's the last time the Spurs lost a Game 1.
What should really worry Memphis backers is that it was blown out despite the fact Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili combined for just 14 points. It will be vital for the Grizzlies to get off to a good start in this one after falling behind big so quickly in Game 1. The Spurs outscored Memphis 31-14 in the first quarter of Game 1 and leads all teams in shooting (52.2 percent) and scoring differential (+6.2) in the first quarter of these playoffs.
Grizzlies at Spurs NBA Game 2 Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BookMaker, the Spurs are five-point favorites with the total at 182. Memphis was 24-16-1 ATS on the road during season and 17-23-1 “over/under”. In the playoffs Grizzlies are 5-2 ATS on road and 5-2 O/U. The Spurs were 19-20-2 ATS at home during season and 17-24 O/U. In playoffs they are 4-2 ATS and 4-2 O/U.
The Grizzlies are 4-0 ATS in their past four after a loss. Memphis is 10-1-1 ATS in its past 12 playing on one day of rest. The Spurs are 5-1 ATS in their past six after a win by at least 10 points. San Antonio is 6-13 in its past 19 after a win. The over is 7-1 in Memphis' past eight Tuesday games. The under is 5-1 in the Spurs' past six playing on one day of rest. Memphis is 2-7 ATS in the past nine meetings.
Grizzlies at Spurs Picks and Game 2 Betting Predictions
The good news for Memphis is that it has rallied from a 1-0 series hole in the first two rounds of these playoffs. The bad news is that San Antonio is 19-3 in series in which the Spurs win Game 1 since Duncan arrived from Wake Forest. Oh, and no team in NBA history has ever won three postseason series after losing Game 1 in the same playoffs. Only four teams ever have won a series after losing the opener by at least 22 points.
I do think Game 1 was a bit of a fluke (every Spur scored except for Tracy McGrady). The teams split four regular-season meetings and three were very close. The opening loss was Memphis' third-worst of the season. It will be much better in Game 2. The last time Randolph was lousy, with eight points in Game 3 of the Thunder series, he bounced back with a big game. The Grizz will make it a point to feed him after Randolph got just 11 offensive touches in the opener. Take the Grizzlies and the under.
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