Can undermanned Grizzlies survive vs. Spurs?
Memphis gives off the distinct look of a team on its last legs, but can a return to Beale Street provide any sort of a lift entering Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals?
San Antonio aims to keep putting the clamps on the short-handed Grizzlies tonight, with a 9:30 p.m. ET tip at FedEx Forum. Oddsmakers at online sports book Bovada.lv like the road squad as a whopping 12-point favorite. The over/under total, meanwhile, comes in at 182 points.
The series’ first two contests have been decided by an average of 29 points. In Tuesday’s 94-68 shellacking, starters Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker sat out the entire fourth quarter. Tim Duncan and Danny Green only appeared briefly. Such is life for the second-seeded Spurs, who are shooting a blistering 48.7 percent from beyond the arc.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Memphis’ decimated roster seems on the verge of waving the white flag. The lack of a secondary scoring option behind Zach Randolph leaves coach Dave Joerger no choice but to throw the likes of Vince Carter, Jordan Farmar and Chris Andersen into a pot and just see what materializes. So far, it’s a thoroughly unappetizing stew.
Perhaps the Grizzlies will draw inspiration from the home crowd in this spot. Nonetheless, the fact remains that they’ve lost six straight and 12 of 13 over the past month. The well-rested Spurs know how to dispose of a wounded animal, and that process demands a strong stomach. San Antonio’s clearly prepared to perform the dirty work here.
FRIDAY NBA FREE PICK: SPURS/GRIZZLIES OVER 182 POINTS