Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves.
Memphis. FedEx Forum Arena.
Minnesota made the NBA playoffs for the first time in 4 years and will now try to advance beyond the 1st round. In the series against Memphis, the Wolves are clear underdogs, can they surprise in the opening game?Claim Your Welcome Bonus!
The Grizzlies finished the regular season in 2nd place in the Western Conference, and on more than one occasion during the season the team did well without Ja Morant. Nevertheless, the young star's contribution to Memphis' success is very, very significant. Ja Morant is a very capable scorer in the paint, making some terrific shots, and he is even more difficult to stop. Jaren Jackson Jr. is the best blocker in the league, and along with Steven Adams they make a good defensive combination under the basket. And then there's Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks, and the Grizzlies' bench is long. All of the strongest players are in place now, and the club won't even notice the loss of Killian Tillie.
Taylor Jenkins' team lost at home to Boston 110-139 in their last regular season game. The coach did not field a starting five this time, starting with Ziaire Williams, De'Anthony Melton, John Konchar, Xavier Tillman and Kyle Anderson. The Grizzlies could shoot from distance and made only 14 of 47 three-pointers. Without Jackson and Adams, the defense in the paint sagged, so the Celtics' rout shouldn't be surprising. The only troubling thing is that this defeat was their 3rd in their last 4 games.
The Timberwolves finished 7th in the West and secured their ticket to the postseason in the first round of the play-offs. The day before, Minnesota defeated the Los Angeles Clippers at home -109-104. Karl-Anthony Towns wasn't very visible and D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards scored 29 and 30 points, respectively. The Wolves defended well, which was no surprise as they have played quite tenaciously over the course of the season. Patrick Beverley and Jarred Vanderbilt have been key parts of Minnesota's defensive line, and Edwards has been a big help. All of the key players for the Timberwolves are in place right now, with only Taurean Waller-Prince's participation open as a question mark. He's a realistic replacement.
Expert Betting Tips
The meetings between the Timberwolves and the Grizzlies this season were productive, and the bookmakers expect something similar again. Minnesota have many vulnerabilities defensively, but the team worked well in the regular season, constantly going for interceptions, and in the playoffs the intensity should only increase. Stopping Morant, though, will be extremely difficult, as Towns will have an extremely difficult time against one of the NBA's most effective offensive players in the paint. I suggest to bet on the following outcomes:
- Total Under 236.5 points for 1.89;
- Minnesota Handicap (+6.5) for 1.90;
- Minnesota to win including overtime for 3.10.