Date/Time: April 30, 10:30 pm EST
NBA Gambling Odds from JustBet
NBA Betting Favorite: Clippers -5
The Clippers and Grizzlies first round series last year went to seven games, and this series looks like it could be headed on the same path. Los Angeles took care of business in the first two games and home and then Memphis took care of business in the next two games on their home floor. This series returns to Los Angeles with the score tied up at two games each. Let’s take a look at this pivotal Game 5 matchup.
The Memphis Grizzlies dominated the two games at home to even this series up at 2. Memphis was dominated by Los Angeles in Game One, but they nearly stole one on the road in Game Two before Chris Paul hit the game winner as the buzzer went off. The Grizzlies are going to have to find a way to win on the road if they are going to win this series. Memphis needs to be able to dominate inside the paint the same way they did at home in Game 3 and Game 4.
Mike Conley continues to improve as the floor general for this Grizzlies team. Conley had 10 assists and 0 turnovers in the team’s Game 3 win. He had 13 assists and only two turnovers in Game 4. Zach Randolph struggled in the first two games, but he and Marc Gasol were amazing in the team’s wins at home. The Grizzlies are at their best when they are getting the ball inside every single time down the floor. Memphis is a very physical team on both offense and defense, and they need to control the style of the game here on the road.
The Clippers haven’t gotten very good play from the supporting cast in this series. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have been carrying the weight too much. No one has been consistently knocking down the open threes for the Clippers despite getting open looks. Guys like Matt Barnes, Jamal Crawford, and Caron Butler will have to step up their game a bit going forward. Paul had slightly subpar games by his standards in Memphis as well, and I expect him to be back in a big way in Game Five.
Los Angeles really feeds off the home crowd. The Clippers were 25-16 ATS at home this year. Defensively, this team was much improved this season. They’ll have to cut down on the paint touches for Gasol and Randolph if they want to win this series. They can’t continue to let those big talented guys get the ball so deep. Offensively, the Clippers would like to push the tempo and try to wear down the Grizzlies with their team depth. We haven’t seen much of Lob City’s patented big dunks in this series, and they need to get the transition game going more often.
Free Pick: Memphis +5
The Grizzlies are a really confident bunch right now. They might not win this game, but I do expect it to be very close to the end. I like getting the points here.
Clippers 93 Grizzlies 92
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