Grizzlies Thunder Odds

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The Memphis Grizzlies (0-1) will try to square their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0) as the teams meet in Game 2 of their best of seven opening round Western Conference series Monday night. The game tips off at 8:00 pm ET from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and will be televised nationally on TNT. Oklahoma City is currently a 7 point favorite with the over/under set at 189.5 points.

Why Memphis Will Cover

The Grizzlies dropped a 100-86 decision on the road to the Thunder in the opener of this series Saturday. Memphis trailed by 22 at the half but cut the lead to four entering the final quarter before running out of gas. Zach Randolph led four Grizzlies in double figures with 21 points and 11 rebounds in the defeat. Mike Conley scored 16 points while handing out 11 assists, Marc Gasol contributed 16 points and Tony Allen had 13 off the bench. Memphis was held to just 36.3 percent shooting in the game; they went 2 of 11 from three point range and clanked 13 of 31 free throw attempts while losing the rebounding battle 51-41.

Memphis continued their struggles in scoring from the regular season; they were 27th in the league with an average of 96.1 points per game. The Grizzlies were 19th in the league in rebounding with 42.4 boards per game while finishing 14th in assists with 21.9 a night. Randolph led four Memphis players in double figure scoring with 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per contest. Conley is an effective floor general; he scored 17.2 points while handing out a team best 6 assists per night. Gasol added 14.6 points, 7.2 rebounds plus 3.6 assists a game and Courtney Lee put in 11 points a night in 49 games with Memphis; he averaged 9.6 points a game overall on the year. The Grizzlies were 7th in the league in field goal percentage as they knocked down 46.4 percent of their attempts from the floor. Memphis was last in the league in three point field goals made (4.9) and attempted (14) per game on the season; they were tied for 19th in three point field goal percentage as they hit 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.

The Grizzlies have a solid bench group to work with, even with Nick Calathes suspended for violating the league’s drug policy. Allen, Ed Davis, Jon Leuer, Kosta Koufos, Mike Miller and James Johnson all are versatile players that can step up and make plays. The Grizzlies were 3rd in the league in scoring defense as they allowed 94.6 points per game on the season. Memphis was 9th in the league in field goal percentage defense as they allowed opponents to shoot 45 percent from the field. The Grizzlies were tied for 11th in the league in three point field goal percentage defense as opponents shot 35.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Why Oklahoma City Will Cover

The Thunder took the lead in the series and defended their home court with a 100-86 win in the series opener Saturday night. Oklahoma City led by 13 after one and 22 at the half; they had to survive a Memphis rally that cut the lead to four entering the final quarter before pulling away late. Kevin Durant led three Thunder players in double figures with 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Russell Westbrook scored 23 points while grabbing 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka chipped in 17 points, nine rebounds plus four blocks in the contest. Oklahoma City shot 44.7 percent from the floor, 4 of 16 from three point range, 28 of 32 at the line and won the rebounding battle by a 51-41 margin.

Oklahoma City was 5th in the league in scoring offense on the year as they put up an average of 106.2 points per game on the season. The Thunder was 7th in the league in rebounding with an average of 44.7 boards a game while finishing 13th in assists with 21.9 per game. Five Oklahoma City players averaged in double figures for the season; led by Durant’s league leading 32 points a night to go along with 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Westbrook put up 21.8 points, 5.7 rebounds along with team highs in assists (6.9) and steals (1.91) per game. Ibaka contributed 15.1 points with a team high 8.8 rebounds and was 2nd in the league in blocks with 2.7 per contest; Reggie Jackson was good for 13.1 points plus 4.1 assists a game. Caron Butler averaged 10.5 points a game; he contributed 9.7 points a night in 22 games with the Thunder. Oklahoma City was 6th in the league in field goal percentage as they hit 47.1 percent from the floor on the season. The Thunder was 14th in three point field goal percentage as they knocked down 36.1 percent from long range; they were tied for 14th with 8.1 three point field goals per game and 14th in three point attempts with 22.4 per game.

Scott Brooks has a nice mix of reserves to go to in order to step up. Derek Fisher, Jackson, Butler, Nick Collison and Perry Jones are all solid players that know their role in the lineup. Oklahoma City was 12th in the league in scoring defense with an average of 99.8 points per game on the season. The Thunder finished 3rd in the league in field goal percentage defense by limiting opponents to 43.6 percent shooting from the floor. Oklahoma City was 27th in the league in three point field goals as they allowed 8.6 per game; they were 14th in three point field goal percentage defense as teams hit 35.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Head to Head Matchup

The teams have split two playoff series in their history with the Grizzlies holding a 7-6 advantage in games won during the postseason. In the last meeting between the clubs in the playoffs, the Grizzlies knocked off Oklahoma City four games to one in the 2013 Western Conference semifinals. Oklahoma City holds a 50-21 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the two teams.

Prediction

One has to think that Oklahoma City won’t shoot as poorly in Game 2 as they did in Game 1, which will make things more difficult for the Grizzlies. Memphis has to play better on the offensive end than they did Saturday; they can’t afford to go down double digits to the Thunder. The Grizzlies are tough defensively and have depth but they lack enough to pull out the win in this one. Take the Thunder to go up 2-0 in the series with a win here. Thunder 101-90

About the Author: Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.
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