Spurs at Grizzlies Picks and Game 4 NBA Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 5/27/2013
The storyline here is easy to decode. The Spurs have a chance to fatally twist the dagger that they have planted in the guts of the Grizzlies the last three games. Memphis is fighting to salvage some pride — even if their chances of advancing past this round are dim at best. This is good old, plain and simple playoff drama. Desperation versus determination. Momentum versus frustration. The most establishment of teams versus the squad trying to prove they truly belong in the top tier. Good stuff.
Spurs at Grizzlies Betting Storylines
I have to give the Spurs tremendous credit. They got a very lucky break from the Russell Westbrook injury in Oklahoma City, but the way they are playing I am not entirely sure it would have mattered. This is a team that has been well-coached forever, and it is showing as much as ever right now. With Tim Duncan now 37 and Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli far from spring chickens, they know that their window is closing, and this could be their last chance at glory — at least with this core. That reality has bred a determination that has elevated the play of this team beyond what I really thought they were capable of. Tim Duncan was an absolute beast in overtime in Game 3 and is generally playing like he hasn’t in a year or two. The team hasn’t played in a Finals since 2007, but that will likely change and could do so as soon as Monday night. When a team this talented and focused is this determined they are a pleasure to watch — and a nightmare to play against.
While the Spurs have a commanding lead here, it is important to remember that they haven’t completely overwhelmed the Grizzlies. In fact, Memphis could have two wins if they could finish games. Their failure late in games has really illustrated the mental shortcomings this team has the tendency towards. At the end of regulation in Game 3 they had the ball and the chance to take the last shot. Mike Conley killed most of the clock and then orchestrated the most ridiculous waste of a drive you will ever see. Instead of life in the series, they were left with overtime, and they forgot to show up for the extra period. The younger team shouldn’t look much flatter than the ancient one in overtime, but that’s what we saw. Teams facing the massive hurdle that the Grizzlies are need to be extremely mentally-tough to thrive. In this case I’m just not convinced.
The Grizzlies just aren’t going to be able to beat elite-caliber teams if Zach Randolph doesn’t play well. He needs to dominate, and he really hasn’t in this series — at least in terms of what he is capable of and what his team needs from him. The credit for that goes largely to two somewhat unlikely role players for the Spurs — Matt Bonner and Tiago Splitter. The two have been tasked with slowing down Randolph, and they have done a remarkable job. They are inside his head, frustrating him immensely. That is making him do things he wouldn’t normally do and is forcing him away from the strengths of his game. He has still been impressive — averaging 16.5 rebounds in his last two games — but he isn’t getting the cheap inside points that he has almost patented, and offensive rebounds aren’t nearly the automatic points we are used to with him. He needs to find a way to take the team on his shoulders and overcome the burden of his defenders if this team is going to shine — or at least live to fight another day.
Memphis isn’t used to losing at home as they did last time out. That was their first home loss in six playoff games, and they were 32-9 in the regular season — fifth best in the NBA. The home crowd is a knowledgeable and passionate one, so the home-court advantage will be at least as significant as usual in these situations and likely more so.
Spurs at Grizzlies NBA Game 4 Odds and Betting Trends
San Antonio is 5-1 ATS in their last six road games and has gone “over” the total in their last six conference final games. Memphis has covered in each of their last six games following an ATS loss. San Antonio is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall and has the same mark in their last five in Memphis.
Spurs at Grizzlies Picks and Game 4 Betting Predictions
The Spurs are going to win this series. I have little doubt of that. I don’t see them sweeping, though. Memphis has been close enough in two of the three games that a win is certainly possible. They are skilled enough to compete and will have boisterous support behind them. If the line were a couple of points higher, the Spurs would warrant close consideration, but at this price the Grizzlies are the clear pick.
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