It is not exactly the “hamstring heard ’round the world,” as might be said about injuries suffered by Pau Gasol and Chris Paul in these NBA playoffs, but when Tony Allen is missing from the Memphis Grizzlies’ lineup, it leaves a hole nonetheless. Allen is known by the basketball cognoscenti as well as Vietbet basketball bettors as a sublime defensive stopper, to the extent that NO ONE really cherishes the opportunity to face him. He can cover guards or forwards and help everywhere. He gave Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors fits in the early part of the Western Conference semi-finals, and he absolutely insists that if he can walk, he will play in Game 6, as the Grizzlies try to stave off elimination, with the tip-off at 9:35 PM ET at the FedEx Forum.
Allen was unavailable for Game 5, and the Warriors seemed to have their way on the outside. It did not help that Memphis shot just below 40% from the floor in the game and got very little help off the bench, which collectively converted just six of 23 field goal attempts. Coach Dave Joerger has said that his team would have to get much more efficient on offense to beat the Warriors, but that hasn’t happened, as Memphis has scored a grand total of 162 points in the last two games, both defeats.
In the NBA betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at Vietbet, Golden State is the favorite as the road team:
Golden State Warriors -5
Memphis Grizzlies +5
Over 193 points -110
Under 193 points -110
The Warriors have figured out a way to make this a double-edged sword for the Grizzlies. While it is true that when their shooters have been guarded directly by Allen they have hit only 31% from the field, his presence also creates the opportunity for Golden State to extract a little edge when playing defense. And that is quite significant when you have led the NBA in field goal percentage defense, as they have (allowing just 42.8%). Of course, this scenario requires that the Warrior defenders give up some size. Harrison Barnes, a small forward, deals with Zach Randolph, while 6-7, 230-pound Draymond Green guards seven-footer Marc Gasol. But the idea is that Allen offers so little in the way of an offensive threat, particularly from the outside, that Andrew Bogut, or whoever Golden State has in the middle at any given time, can help either teammate near the basket.
This worked for Steve Kerr in Game 4, but Allen had to exit with his hamstring bothering him. Vietbet customers know that Memphis is going to have to give up a little on one end of the floor to get results at the other.
Let’s put it this way – without Allen in there, harassing whoever he could, the Warriors had looks at the basket clear enough that they shot 47% overall and about the same from three-point range (14 out of 30). Curry and Thompson were 9-17 between them from downtown. And the defensive strategy took advantage of the overall struggles of people like Jeff Green, who hasn’t been the big producer Memphis hoped he might be. Vince Carter was also one out of six from long range. In the paint, there was no excuse for the Grizzlies hitting just 15 of 42 shots. That is their bread and butter. They can’t win with another 8-22 performance by Gasol. Maybe they can’t win anyway.
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CHARLES JAY, a contributor to BangTheBook.com, is one of the most experienced sports betting writers in America, as he has written more than 10,000 pieces specifically for the industry over the last seven years. At one time employed as an editorial consultant with USA Network, he is also a former syndicated radio talk show host (American Radio Networks) and has also done color commentary on boxing events in the past for Prime Network (now known as Fox SportsNet). He is a veteran of more than a decade and a half working within the professional sports industry, and has been handicapping sporting events for over 25 years. In addition to this, he has compiled specialty odds for a number of online sportsbook operations and media outlets.