Oklahoma City Thunder (1-1) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (1-1) NBA Betting Preview
Date/Time: May 11, 5:00 pm EST
NBA Gambling Odds from BetDSI
NBA Betting Favorite: Grizzlies -4.5
Oklahoma City snuck out with a win at home in Game One, but Memphis turned the tables and took Game Two on the road. Now, it is the Grizzlies who control home court through the rest of the series. Can Kevin Durant carry the Thunder to the Western Conference finals or will it be the Memphis Grizzlies making their first appearance there? Let’s take a look at Game Three.
Oklahoma City is definitely quickly learning how much Russell Westbrook meant to this team. A lot of fans and people in the media liked to blame him for their problems, but the Thunder really miss Westbrook when he isn’t in the lineup. Westbrook takes a ton of pressure off Durant by using his athleticism to get to the rim and get open looks for teammates. Without Westbrook on the court, Durant is being asked to handle the ball most of the time as a point forward. This isn’t where Durant is most comfortable, but he has been piling up the points anyways.
Durant has scored 35 and 36 points in the first two games. He also is averaging 13 boards per game in this series. Serge Ibaka is a guy that has to get going. Ibaka has been terrible offensively in the first two games of this series. He averaged 13.2 points per game, but he has just 16 points in two games, and he has been shooting the ball quite a bit. Kevin Martin was great in Game One, but he was missing in action in Game Two. Ibaka and Martin are two guys who have to step up and take some of the load off Durant.
Memphis has the best frontcourt in basketball. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph have been unstoppable this year, and they have been at their best in the playoffs. Gasol and Randolph are both very good passers out of the post, and they work extremely well together. Gasol has scored 20 and 24 points in the first two games. Randolph has 18 and 15 in those games. While the Grizzlies interior is amazing, you can’t overlook their guards either. Mike Conley Jr. scored 26 points and carried the team to victory in Game Two. Conley is one of the most underrated players in the NBA today. His quickness and defense makes life very difficult on the opposition.
The Grizzlies play their style of basketball very well, and they do a nice job forcing the opposition to play that kind of game as well. Oklahoma City hasn’t adjusted to this very well yet, and Kendrick Perkins is showing that he isn’t the player he used to be. Look for Memphis to keep going right at Perkins and forcing him to try to slow down Gasol or Randolph. The Grizzlies arguably have the best defense in the NBA, and they appear to be trying to not let anyone other than Durant get going in this series.
Free NBA Pick: Grizzlies -4.5
Memphis has a great home court advantage, and I think they are the team with much more balance. I like the Grizzlies here.
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