Grizzlies vs. Thunder NBA Playoffs Predictions & Series Picks

Last Updated: May 15th, 2013 by Jason Richards
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Thunder vs. GrizzliesThe Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies will be playing in what should be a tight series in the Western Conference Semifinals. Join us here at Bankroll Sports, as we look at the Grizzlies vs. Thunder series schedule, as well as many our series predictions for what should be one of the top series to pay attention to in the second round of the playoffs.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Playoff Schedule

Grizzlies Win Series 4-1

Game 1: Memphis Grizzlies 91 – Oklahoma City Thunder 93
Game 2: Memphis Grizzlies 99 – Oklahoma City Thunder 93
Game 3: Oklahoma City Thunder 81 – Memphis Grizzlies 87
Game 4: Oklahoma City Thunder 97 – Memphis Grizzlies 103 (OT)
Game 5: Memphis Grizzlies 88 – Oklahoma City Thunder 84

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Odds at
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Memphis Grizzlies -765
Oklahoma City Thunder +515
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Grizzlies vs. Thunder Series Updates
Game 1: The Grizzlies had every chance in the world to get the first game of this series, but it was F Kevin Durant that managed to take over and win the game in the fourth quarter. Memphis blew a 10-point lead in the second half, and that isn’t going to cut it in this series. Durant scored 35 points with 15 boards and six assists, and though the rest of the team only had seven assists in total, getting 25 points from G Kevin Martin really helped. Both F Zach Randolph and C Marc Gasol had double-doubles for the Grizz, but it wasn’t enough in the end. G Quincy Pondexter missed the first of three free throws that would have sent the game to overtime, and he was forced to miss the third foul shot to try to tie the game, but Memphis wasn’t able to get another shot off. Thunder 93 – Grizzlies 91 (Thunder Lead Series 1-0)

Game 2: For the second straight game, the Thunder and the Grizzlies came right down to the wire, and the end result was a very close game that could have gone either way. This time around though, it was G Mike Conley Jr. who came through in a huge way, scoring 26 points with 10 boards and nine assists to lead the way for the Grizz. Memphis continues to have its way on the glass, winning that battle 43-35 on the day, including going +8 on the offensive boards. Oklahoma City turned the ball over 21 times in the game as well, and that really erased the fact that F Kevin Durant scored 36 points with 11 rebounds and nine dimes. Grizzlies 99 – Thunder 93 (Series Tied 1-1)

Game 3: Though the Thunder ultimately lost by six points and didn’t cover the NBA odds in this one, they really were unlucky to not win this game. Oklahoma City didn’t score a single point in the final two and a half minutes of the game, and F Kevin Durant went the final three and a half minutes with a score. Durant once again got his points with 25, and he led the team in rebounds (11) and assists (5). However, the rest of the team had a total of just five assists, and as we have said all postseason long since G Russell Westbrook got hurt, that isn’t going to cut it. There weren’t any truly flashy stats for the Grizz in this one, as their leader was C Marc Gasol with 20 points and nine rebounds. However, in the end, the shots were falling for Memphis, and they weren’t for Oklahoma City. It was a great defensive game that could have easily gone either way. Grizzlies 87 – Thunder 81 (Grizzlies Lead Series 2-1)

Game 4: This is most certainly the one that the Thunder let get away. They were up 17 points in the second quarter of Game 4 on the road, and those are the types of games that you just can’t let slip in a best-of-seven series when you have already let home court advantage get out of your hands. The Thunder just couldn’t buy a shot in the second half and in overtime, and they scored jsut a total of 41 points in the final 29 minutes of the game. F Kevin Durant had 27 points, seven assists, and seven boards, and the difference in this one is that the team actually helped him out a bit. Four others scored in double figures, and G Reggie Jackson even had eight assists to go with his 15 points. Still, it was the power of the “big three” for the Grizzlies that got the job done. C Marc Gasol and F Zach Randolph both scored 23 points and had double-doubles, while G Mike Conley Jr. scored 24 to lead the way for Memphis. Now, the Grizzlies are a win away from the Western Conference Finals. Grizzlies 103 – Thunder 97 (OT) (Grizzlies Lead Series 3-1)

Game 5: For the first time in the playoffs, F Kevin Durant had a bad game, and the end result was his team’s elimination from the playoffs. Sure, Durant scored 21 points, but he only shot 5-of-21 from the field, and he didn’t make a three-point basket all game long. Oklahoma City shot just 36.9 percent from the field, and it ended up committing 25 fouls over the course of the game as well. Meanwhile, it was more of the same for the Grizz. F Zach Randolph had 28 points and 14 boards, while G Mike Conley Jr., in spite of his bad shooting night, still had 13 points, 11 assists, and seven boards. Memphis is off to its first conference finals in team history, and for the second time in these playoffs, it has a four-game winning streak. Grizzlies 88 – Thunder 84 (Grizzlies Win Series 4-1)

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2013 Grizzlies vs. Thunder Series Preview

Had you told an NBA expert handicapper two weeks ago that the Thunder would be underdogs in the Western Conference Semifinals, they would have told you that you were insane. After all, Oklahoma City was up 3-0 against the Houston Rockets and looked poised to move onto this round with ease. However, what we found out over the course of these last few games is that the team isn’t ready to win a title without G Russell Westbrook in the fold.

Westbrook is now out for the rest of the playoffs after going through some knee surgery just before Game 3 against the Rockets. Perhaps Houston was a better team than we all gave it credit for, but the truth of the matter is that F Kevin Durant isn’t a point guard. He is trying to do the job, as he led the team in assists in the first round, averaging 7.0 per game. Of course, he was also second on the team in rebounding at 7.8 boards per game and easily the leading scorer at 32.5 points per game as well. The question is going to be whether G Reggie Jackson can make up for what Westbrook is no longer bringing to the table. We do give credit to Jackson for averaging 14.0 points per game in the opening round and shooting 46.2 percent from the field, but he hasn’t been a key ball distributor, and that’s what the team really needs at the moment.

Memphis is actually the slight favorite for the time being, and many think that it might not just win this series, but win it with ease. The club actually won the final four games of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the favored Los Angeles Clippers, though we do have to recognize the fact that three of those four games were at home at the FedEx Forum. The Grizz play suffocating defense, and they held the Clips down to just 91.0 points per game in the last five games of the series. It was the offense that shined that was a bit shocking. Memphis only scored triple digits in one of its 13 games prior to Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs. In the last three games though, the team scored 104, 103, and 118 points. F Zach Randolph, G Mike Conley, and C Marc Gasol all averaged at least 17.3 points per game for the team this year, and if that’s the way that these three are going to play for the whole postseason, the Grizzlies might be legitimate contenders to win the whole enchilada.

Recent history is on the side of the Grizzlies. They have won three of the last four meetings, though they only went 2-2 ATS in those games. The one failure came in March when they won 90-89 in overtime as a 1 ½-point favorite. Remember that all of those games came with both Durant and Westbrook in the fold. We might be overreacting to what we saw in that series against Houston, but the argument could have been made that the Thunder should have been beaten 4-1 in that first round series. We think that will be approximately the final score of this series as well. We want the Grizzlies on our side, even as the short favorites against a team that won 60 games in the regular season.

Grizzlies vs. Thunder Series Prediction: Memphis Grizzlies in 5

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Posted in NBA Basketball - Last Updated on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 @ 4:01 am (EST)
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