The final ticket to the playoffs will be contested this Saturday by the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors. Which side will get the rights to face the Utah Jazz in the 2021 NBA Playoffs?
Catch this game live on Saturday, May 22, at 9 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Golden State Warriors (39-33, 25-11 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Stephen Curry
- SG: Andrew Wiggins
- SF: Kent Bazemore
- PF: Draymond Green
- C: Kevon Looney
The bad news for the Warriors is that they have to play a do-or-die game for a chance to get in the playoffs. The good news is that the team they’ll face this Saturday is the same one they’ve beaten twice in three games back in the regular season.
The Warriors won the last meeting with Memphis just last Monday at home, 113-101. Stephen Curry blasted the Grizzlies with 46 points on 16-of-36 shooting from the floor before going off for 37 points with six 3-pointers in their 103-100 loss at STAPLES Center Thursday against the Lakers. Despite that loss, the Warriors must like what they’re seeing not only from Curry but from Andrew Wiggins as well.
Wiggins has been the Robin to Curry’s Batman lately, as he’s chipped in an average of 22.8 points in his last four games. Having another scoring stud who can make break defenses down alongside Curry is going to be key for the Warriors against Memphis. Even though they took a stumble against the Lakers, the Warriors are on a six-game cover streak. They are also 6-0 against the spread in their last six games at Chase Center.
ROAD TEAM: Memphis Grizzlies (38-34, 20-16 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Ja Morant
- SG: Dillon Brooks
- SF: Kyle Anderson
- PF: Jaren Jackson Jr.
- C: Jonas Valanciunas
The Grizzlies earned the right to live at least another game this season after tarnishing the playoff hopes of the San Antonio Spurs with a 100-96 home win Thursday. Dillon Brooks was locked in on both ends of the court, scoring a team-high 24 points while also making life hard for DeMar DeRozan on defense.
Brooks will likely draw Wiggins as his defensive assignment, and this time he’s looking to do a better job. The Grizzlies might also take all of Grayson Allen’s minutes away and give it to somebody else after the former Duke Blue Devils star’s atrocious play that helped San Antonio cut down a huge lead. Also look for Memphis to keep slashing and giving the ball at the post against the Warriors, whom they outscored in the paint in the last meeting, 56-42.
The Grizzlies ended the regular season as the best-scoring team in the paint, with 55.8 points in the shaded area per contest. The Grizzlies will be stepping on the court this Saturday on the heels of a 9-2 run against the spread in their last 11 games as the underdog.
The Warriors have been red-hot against the spread over the past several games, but they’re coming off a deflating loss. The Grizzlies, on the other hand, are riding a wave of confidence. I’m taking the Grizzlies to win and cover (+4).
This won’t be as entertaining as the Warriors-Lakers play-in game, but it’s got to be a higher-scoring one. Take the Over 221.0