The Minnesota Timberwolves are not backing down, as they are taking the fight to the Memphis Grizzlies. With the series tied, the pressure is on a high for both teams heading to Game 5. Who gets that pivotal 3-2 series lead?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, April 27, at 7:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Minnesota Timberwolves (2-2/1-1 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Patrick Beverley
- SG: D’Angelo Russell
- SF: Anthony Edwards
- PF: Jarred Vanderbilt
- C: Karl-Anthony Towns
The Timberwolves have no plans of bending over and letting Memphis use them as a launchpad to the second round. At least that’s how it is looking like so far in the series, with the Timberwolves drawing firepower from an unusual source in their 119-118 win in Game 4. Jordan McLaughlin was called upon by Minnesota and answered the call, dropping 16 points with 4 threes in just 16 minutes.
That was enough to complement the production of the traditional scorers for Minnesota, with Karl-Anthony Towns rebounding from a lackluster Game 3 performance by scoring 33 points to go with 14 boards. Anthony Edwards, who is pacing Minnesota in the playoffs with 24.8 points per game, chipped in 24 points in Game 4. Minnesota, however, needs to see D’Angelo Russell break out of his slump.
Russell is just shooting 30.9 FG% in the series, though, it can be taken as a good sign that the Timberwolves are keeping in step with Memphis despite the guard struggling with his offense. The Timberwolves have covered the spread in 6 of their last 9 games after taking a 2-day break.
Home: Memphis Grizzlies (2-2/1-1 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Ja Morant
- SG: Desmond Bane
- SF: Desmond Bane
- PF: Jaren Jackson Jr.
- C: Steven Adams
Speaking of shooting slumps, the Grizzlies are dealing with one, particularly concerning their best player – Ja Morant. The high-flying Morant is having trouble finding consistency in the first round. He’s connecting on just 40% of his shots, which is way lower than his 49.3 FG% back in the regular season.
In Game 4, Morant was an atrocious 4/13 from the field and finished with just 11 points. That said, the Grizzlies, who are 18-5 ATS in their last 23 home games, continue to dominate Minnesota in the paint, scoring 50 points in the shaded area in Game 4 to just 30 by the Timberwolves.
For one, they are still stretching Minnesota’s defense thanks in large part to the hot hands of Desmond Bane, who’s knocking down 4.8 threes per game on 48.7% accuracy. Tyus Jones is also providing quality minutes, making 10.3 points while shooting over 63 3FG% in 17.1 minutes so far in the first round. The last time the series was played in Memphis, the Grizzlies destroyed Minnesota 124-96 back in Game 2.
Spread: Game 5 should be where the Grizzlies show why they are the heavy favorites to win the series. Taking Memphis (-6) to win and cover in this game.
Over/Under: Picking the Over (232.0) to hit.