Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 5, 111-109. They can finish the business this Saturday on the road, but that’s going to be easier said than done against these pesky Timberwolves.
Catch this game live on Saturday, April 30, at 9 AM, Manila time
Away: Memphis Grizzlies (3-2/1-1 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Ja Morant
- SG: Desmond Bane
- SF: Dillon Brooks
- PF: Jaren Jackson Jr.
- C: Xavier Tillman
Ja Morant had his way in Game 6, scoring the final 13 points of the Grizzlies to carry them to win that puts them a victory away from advancing to the next round. Morant put on a show in that contest, putting together 30 points with 13 rebounds and 9 assists. Coming off a game like that and with a tasty opportunity to close out, Morant must be feeling high about his chances of dominating anew.
But it’s also worth noting that Morant was hardly the only one who’s keeping Memphis afloat. Take for example Brandon Clarke, who’s become somewhat of an unsung hero for the Grizzlies. The former Gonzaga Bulldogs star was all over the place in Game 5, scoring 21 points off the bench while also coming away with 15 rebounds – including 9 offensive. Memphis’ dominance on the glass. The Grizzlies are second among all playoff teams with 88.2 FGA/G in large part because of their offensive rebounding – second as well in the postseason with 35.8 per contest.
The Grizzlies are 17-6 ATS in their last 23 games against Minnesota.
Home: Minnesota Timberwolves (2-3/1-1 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Patrick Beverley
- SG: D’Angelo Russell
- SF: Anthony Edwards
- PF: Jarred Vanderbilt
- C: Karl-Anthony Towns
Although their backs are against the wall, the Timberwolves are making Memphis work for its victories. With Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards spearheading the attack and Patrick Beverley bringing toughness to the table, these Timberwolves have turned this first-round series into a bloodbath. Towns had 28 points in Game 6 and he could have done more damage if it weren’t for him dealing with foul trouble. Towns need to keep his fouls in check.
Perhaps even more important for the Timberwolves is the play of D’Angelo Russell, who’s been struggling so far. He is only seventh on the team in the series with a 97 offensive rating – the only Minnesota starter with an oRTG lower than 100. One thing about the Timberwolves is that they have been lethal from deep in the first round, making 38.8% of their threes through five games. That’s what’s keeping them in step with Memphis despite the Grizzlies’ utter dominance in inside scoring. In Game 5, the Timberwolves shot 14/33 from behind the arc just after going 18/36 in Game 4.
The Timberwolves are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games after two days of rest.
Spread: The Timberwolves cover (+1.5) in Game 6.
Over/Under: Locking my pick for the Over (228.5) here.