NBA Playoffs: Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Game 2

2013 NBA Playoffs – Western Conference Semifinals Game #2
#5 Memphis Grizzlies at #1 Oklahoma City Thunder
Thunder Lead Best of Seven Series 1-0
Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 9:35 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Opening Line: Oklahoma City -3
Current Line: Oklahoma City -2 1/2
Opening Total: 186
Current Total: 187
Opening Money Line: Thunder -140 / Grizzlies +120
Opening Money Line: Thunder -140 / Grizzlies +120

Kevin Durant and the Thunder take on the Grizzlies in game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals in Oklahoma City. The Thunder are a 2 1/2 point favorites at home.

Kevin Durant and the Thunder take on the Grizzlies in game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals in Oklahoma City. The Thunder are a 2 1/2 point favorites at home.

The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA if not the best. Going into the Western Conference Semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Grizzlies planned to let superstar Kevin Durant score, as no one can really stop him anyway, and then shut down everyone else. It worked for most of the game, as Memphis had a 9 point lead going into the fourth. The Grizzlies could never put them away and the Thunder hung around long enough to get back in the game. With 11.1 seconds left Durant hit a 19 foot jumper to put the Thunder up 91-90. The Grizzlies would turn it over on the ensuing possession. OKC guard Reggie Jackson, starting in place of the injured Russell Westbrook  made two free throws to give the Thunder a 93-90 lead. Then Jackson fouled Memphis forward Quincy Pondexter as Pondexter was attempting a potential game tying 3. Pondexter missed the first free throw, made the second, and intentionally missed the third. The Grizzlies were unable to get off a shot and the Thunder held on for the 93-91 win to take game one. Each team has won two games in the four times they ahve pelayed each other including the regular season.

Durant scored 35 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists a steal and 2 blocks . Guard Kevin Martin added 25 points and 7 rebounds off the bench for the Thunder. Jackson scored 12 points, but no other Thunder player had more than 8 points. Memphis center Marc Gasol had 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Forward Zach Randolph scored 18 points, along with 10 rebounds. Point guard Mike Conley, Jr. and Pondexter both scored 13 points. Memphis shot 42.7% from the field including 7/19 from 3 point range. The Thunder shot 41.3% from the field including 5/15 from 3 point range.

Memphis is coached by Lionel Hollins. Memphis is 52-35-2 ATS and the total is 36-52-1 this season. Memphis is outscoring teams 94-90 this season. They are first in the league in points allowed and are #26 in scoring. The Grizzlies are shooting 44.4% from the field and 34.5% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies are #21 in field goal percentage and #24 in three point shooting. Memphis is #9 in the league in free throw shooting at 77.3% from the line. The Grizzlies average 42.6 rebounds per game and give up 39. Memphis is #1 in rebounds allowed and #12 in rebounding. Grizzlies’ opponents are  shooting 43.7% from the field and 33.9% from 3 point range. Memphis is #3 in both categories. The Grizzlies average 20.9 assists, 8.6 steals, 5.3 blocks and 13.2 turnovers a game.

In the playoffs, forward Zach Randolph averages 20.8 points, 8 rebounds to lead the team, and 1.7 assists per game. Randolph dominated the last 4 games against the Clippers scoring at least 23 points in each game. Point Guard Mike Conley, Jr. averages 17.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 1.2 steals a game. Center Marc Gasol averages 17.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, a steal, and 1.7 blocks per game. Forward Tayshawn Prince was acquired from the Detroit Pistons in the Rudy Gay trade. Prince is questionable with a hip injury. He is averaging 8.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game in the playoffs.  Tony Allen starts at shooting guard and is one of the best defenders in the league. Allen averages 12 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Point guard Jerryd Bayless, forward Quincy Pondexter, forward Darrell Arthur, guard Tony Wroten, and forwards Ed Davis and Austin Daye  make up the rest of the rotation.

Oklahoma City is coached by Scott Brooks. The Thunder are 52-35-2 ATS and the total is 38-49-2 this season. Oklahoma City is outscoring teams 106-97 this season. The Thunder are #3 in scoring and #9 in points allowed. OKC is shooting 48.1% from the field and 37.7% from 3 point range. The Thunder are #3 in both categories. Oklahoma City leads the league in free throw shooting at 82.8%. The Thunder average 43.6 rebounds per game and give up 40.7 per game. They are #6 in both rebounding and rebounds allowed. OKC opponents are shooting 42.5% from the field and 34.6% from 3 point range. The Thunder are #2 in opponents’ field goal percentage, and #6 in three point defense. Oklahoma City averages 21.4 assists, 8.3 steals, 7.6 blocks, and 14.6 turnovers per game.

In the playoffs, forward Kevin Durant averages 32.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1 block per game. Durant lost the scoring title in the regular season to Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony by six tenths of a point. Guard Russell Westbrook averaged 24 points, 6.5 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals per game before the injury. Second year guard Reggie Jackson will start in place of Westbrook for the playoffs. He is averaging 14 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. Guard Kevin Martin averages 13.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. Martin was acquired in the James Harden trade. Forward Serge Ibaka averages 13 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game. Guard Thabo Sefolosha averages 6.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Nick Collison, Ronnie Brewer, Kendrick Perkins, and Hasheem Thabeet make up the rest of the rotation. The Thunder signed veteran point guard Derek Fisher late in the regular season for the playoff run. He is averaging 8.2 points per game.

Memphis is 6-0 ATS against teams with winning records, overall, against Western Division teams and on one day rest,    4-0 in Tuesday games, and against Northwest Division teams, 6-1-1 against teams with winning home records, 5-1 in road games, and 4-1 after a straight up win. The road team is 7-1 ATS in this series recently and the underdog is 5-1. The Grizzlies are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 trips to Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City is 7-3 ATS against teams with winning road records, 45-22-1 after failing to cover, 1-4 on one day rest, 1-5 after a straight up win, and 1-6 at home. The over is 14-6 in the last 20 meetings between the Grizzlies and Thunder, and 19-7 in Oklahoma City recently in the series.

The Grizzlies know they blew a golden opportunity to take home court advantage. However, they can’t afford a hangover from that game or they could find themselves down 2-0 for the second series in a row. The Grizzlies did win 4 straight games against the LA Clippers in the first round after losing the first 2 in the series. Durant is still not getting much help from other scorers, as Westbrook is done for the season. I like the Grizzlies to bounce back with a win, before the series shifts to the Grindhouse in Memphis.

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