2016 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Quarterfinals
#7 Memphis Grizzlies vs #2 San Antonio Spurs
Best of Seven Series Format: 2-2-1-1-1
Odds to win Series Courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbooks: Spurs -15000 / Grizzlies +6000
Game #1 – Sunday, April 17, 2016, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
Opening Line: San Antonio -15
Current Line: San Antonio -16
Opening Total: 190 1/2
Current Total: 189 1/2
Opening Money Line: Spurs -2650 / Grizzlies +1050
Current Money Line: Spurs -2750 / Grizzlies +1450
Despite going 67-15 and winning the Southwest Division by 25 games, the San Antonio Spurs are flying under the radar as far as NBA title contenders go. This is mainly because the Golden State Warriors won 73 games the most in NBA regular season history. The Spurs are the #2 seed in the Western Conference and will take on the #7 seed Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. Memphis went 42-40 this season and tied for second in the Southwest with the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas won the tie-breaker for the #6 seed. The winner between the Spurs and Grizzlies will face either the #3 Oklahoma City Thunder or the Mavericks in the conference semifinals.
Memphis is coached by Dave Joerger. The Grizzlies were the #5 seed for most of the season, but are ravaged by injuries. In fact of the twelve players who played in the season opener only four will be available for the series against the Spurs. Memphis has gone 1-10 down the stretch, including four straight losses, but held on for a playoff spot. Memphis lost at Golden State 125-104 Wednesday night in the game that gave Golden State the record. Memphis is 42-39-1 ATS and the total is 45-35-2 this season. The Grizzlies are in the playoffs for the sixth straight season.
San Antonio is coached by Gregg Popovich. The Spurs won the last two games of the season including 96-91 at Dallas Wednesday night. San Antonio is 44-38 ATS and the total is 35-45-2 this season. The Spurs have made the playoffs every year since 1998.
San Antonio swept the season series against Memphis. The Spurs won at home 92-82 November 21 and 110-104 March 25. San Antonio won in Memphis 103-83 December 3 and 101-87 March 28. This is the fourth playoff meeting between the teams. The Spurs swept the Grizzlies in the 2013 Western Conference Finals.
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Memphis is being outscored 101-99 this season. The Grizzlies are #24 in scoring. Memphis is shooting 44% from the field and 33.1% from three point range. The Grizzlies are #23 or worse in both categories. Memphis makes 78.3% of their free throws and are #9 in that category. Opponents are shooting 45.6% from the field and 36.5% from three point range. The Grizzlies average 41.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.2 per game. The Grizzlies are #28 in rebounding. Memphis averages 20.7 assists, 12.7 turnovers, 8.8 steals and 4.3 blocks per game.
Center Marc Gasol, guards Mike Conley and Jordan Adams, plus forward Brandan Wright are all out for the season. Guard Tony Allen is questionable with a hamstring injury. Gasol averaged 16.6 points, 7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Conley averaged 15.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Zach Randolph averages 15.3 points, 78 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. Lance Stephenson averages 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Jordan Farmar, Matt Barnes and Vince Carter will also get time in the rotation.
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San Antonio is outscoring teams 104-93. The Spurs are #10 in scoring and #1 in points allowed. San Antonio is shooting 48.4% from the field and 37.5% from three point range. The Spurs make 80.3% of their free throws. San Antonio is #2 in all three shooting categories. Opponents are shooting 43.6% from the field and 33.1% from three point range. The Spurs are #4 in field goal defense and #1 in three point defense. San Antonio averages 43.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 40.5 per game. The Spurs are #3 in rebounds allowed. San Antonio averages 24.5 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 8.3 steals and 5.9 blocks per game.
Kawhi Leonard averages 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game. LaMarcus Aldridge averages 18 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. He is probable with a finger injury. Tony Parker averages 11.9 points, 5.3 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game. Manu Ginobili averages 9.6 points, 3.1 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. Tim Duncan averages 8.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, Danny Green and David West will also get time in the rotation.
Memphis is 10-3 ATS after failing to cover, 3-1-1 in first round games, 8-3 on three days rest, 18-7 after scoring more than 100 points, 2-5-1 in Sunday games, 3-8 against Southwest teams, 1-4 after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, 1-5 against Western Conference teams, 0-4 in road games and against teams with winning home records. The over is 11-5 ATS in this series recently including 6-2 in San Antonio.
San Antonio is 8-3 ATS against Southwest teams, 2-5 in Sunday games, 3-8 on three days rest, 3-13 after a straight up win, 1-6 against Western Conference teams, 1-7 overall, 0-5 at home and against teams with losing road records, 0-6 after a cover, and 0-4 against teams with winning records. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in this series recently. The Spurs have covered four of the last five against the Grizzlies.
San Antonio went 40-1 at home this season and the only loss came last Sunday against the Warriors. Memphis is still a gritty team, but they simply have too many injuries to make this a series. The Grizzlies might steal a game but it would be a major upset if this series goes past five games. Both Golden State and Oklahoma City opened the playoffs with routs at home against inferior opponents and I think the Spurs continue that trend in game one.