The Utah Jazz are two wins away from advancing to the next round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
The Memphis Grizzlies would love to get a win in Game 4 to guarantee themselves at least another game at home. Whose Tuesday mission will get accomplished?
Catch this game live on Tuesday, June 1, at 9:30 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Memphis Grizzlies (1-2, 0-1 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Ja Morant
- SG: Dillon Brooks
- SF: Kyle Anderson
- PF: Jaren Jackson Jr.
- C: Jonas Valanciunas
Ja Morant scored 28 points in Game 3’s 121-111 home loss to Utah. He got ample support from Dillon Brooks, who had 27 points, but the rest of the starters pretty much underwhelmed.
Matched up against a high-scoring Jazz team, Morant and Brooks can’t be the only ones generating offense among the starting unit. Morant is averaging 33.7 points in the series, while Brooks is putting up 27.0 per contest.
Jonas Valanciunas was thoroughly outplayed on both ends of the floor by Rudy Gobert in Game 3, as he only had 10 points. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Kyle Anderson combined for just 8 of 24 from the field. The problem right now for Memphis is efficiency.
The Grizzlies are winning the possession battle, but are not just converting at an acceptable clip. In fact, among all playoff teams, the Grizzlies lead them all with 95.0 field goal attempts per game, while the Jazz are only 12th with 84.0.
The Grizzlies also managed to take their first lead of the game in the fourth quarter, but then went cold from the field to allow the Jazz to make a big run to secure the game. That might help with their self belief, but they’ve got to make shots down the stretch.
The Grizzlies will enter Game 4 with a 4-0 record against the spread after losing at home by at least 10 points.
ROAD TEAM: Utah Jazz (2-1, 1-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Mike Conley
- SG: Donovan Mitchell
- SF: Bojan Bogdanovic
- PF: Royce O’Neale
- C: Rudy Gobert
The Jazz made sure they would score a win in Game 3 as a tribute to Utah legend Mark Eaton, who recently passed away in a bicycle crash. Gobert dedicated his performance to Eaton, as he finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks.
His rim protection has been superb in the series. The Grizzlies are shooting 7.5% worse within six feet of the basket when Gobert is on the floor. Memphis also struggles outside partly because of Gobert’s presence, as the Grizzlies are shooting nearly 35% worse from deep when Gobert is inside the court.
The Grizzlies are too often forced to make lower-percentage shots because of Gobert, and it’s showing in the numbers.
On offense, the Jazz are shooting 38.8% from deep in the playoffs, while also taking 30.3 free throws per game. In Game 3 alone, the Jazz had 27 free-throw shots to just 14 by the Grizzlies.
The foursome of Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, and Mike Conley are taking turns in punishing Memphis’ defense that doesn’t have an answer to them yet.
The Jazz are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games overall.
The Jazz have the series now under control. They have established their dominance with back-to-back blowout wins. Take the Jazz to win and cover (-5.5) in another lopsided contest.
The Jazz will keep pouring it on. The Grizzlies’ shot volume will trend just the same. Take the Over (224.5)