NBA Western Conference Finals Game #3 Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies

2013 NBA Playoffs – Western Conference Finals Game #3
#2 San Antonio Spurs at #5 Memphis Grizzlies
Spurs Lead Best of Seven Series 2-0
Saturday, May 25, 2013, 9:05 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
FedEx Forum – Memphis, Tennessee
Opening Line: Memphis -4 1/2
Current Line: Memphis -5
Opening Total: 180
Current Total: 179
Opening Money Line: Grizzlies -240 / Spurs +200
Current Money Line: Grizzlies -230 / Spurs +190

The Grizzlies look to get back in the series against the Spurs in game 3 of the Western Conference Finals Saturday in Memphis.

The Grizzlies look to get back in the series against the Spurs in game 3 of the Western Conference Finals Saturday in Memphis.

The Memphis Grizzlies return home facing a must win situation Saturday night in game #3 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs won the first two games of the series at home to take a 2-0 lead. No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best of seven series. The Grizzlies and Spurs have played 6 times this season and the home team has won every game.

After the Spurs routed the Grizzlies in game one 105-83, Memphis came out with more intensity for game 2. Still San Antonio looked imposing again as they were up 18 with around 2 minutes to go in the third. However, the Grizzlies would fight back. The Grizzlies would go on a 15-2 run at the end of regulation to force overtime. With 27 seconds left San Antonio was up 85-81 with possession. However, Manu Ginobli made a bad pass that was stolen by Memphis guard Tony Allen. Allen had a break away but Ginobli grabbed his arm and took him down hard. Ginobli was called for the flagrant foul, no doubt helped by Allen holding his head and thrashing about on the ground like he had just been shot. Replays would show that at no point did Allen’s head make contact with Ginobli or even the ground. Allen made both free throws and the Grizzlies got possession on the flagrant. Guard Mike Conley scored on a jumper with 18 seconds left to tie it up at 85. Tim Duncan missed and 18 foot jumper at the buzzer to send it into overtime.

In overtime, Tim Duncan scored 6 of the 8 points the spurs would score in the extra session. The Grizzlies had a chance to tie it after Tony Parker made one of two free throws. Memphis guard Jerryd Bayless took an ill advised 3 with just under 15 seconds left. He had plenty of time on the shot clock and could have tried for a 2 or made another pass or two. Cory Joseph would make one of two free throws and the Spurs would hold on for the 93-89 win.

The Grizzlies shot only 34% from the field but they had 60 rebounds. The second chance points were what enabled them to make the huge comeback and force overtime. All five San Antonio starters scored in double digits. Duncan had 17 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists and 2 steals. Parker had 15 points, 18 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. Center Tiago Splitter had 14 points. Forward Kawhi Leonard had 12 points and 9 rebounds. Guard Danny green has 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks. Conley and Bayless each scored 18 points for the Grizzlies. Forward Zach Randolph had 15 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and 2 blocks. Center Marc Gasol had 12 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks.

San Antonio is coached by Gregg Popovich. The Spurs are 47-45-2 ATS and the total is 42-50-2 this season. San Antonio is outscoring teams 103-96. The Spurs are #4 in scoring and #9 in points allowed. The Spurs are shooting 48.2% from the field and 37.6% from 3 point range. San Antonio is in the top 5 in the league in both categories. The Spurs are #3 in free throw shooting at 79% from the line. San Antonio averages 41.4 rebounds and give up 42.4 per game. Spurs’ opponents are shooting 44.1% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. San Antonio is in the top 10 in both categories. The Spurs average 25.1 assists, 8.5 steals, 5.5 blocks, and 14.1 turnovers.

In the playoffs, Parker is averaging 22.4 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. He is probable with a calf injury. He had an MRI Friday and there is no structural damage. It is just bruised. Duncan is averaging 18.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Leonard is averaging 13.4 points, and 8.2 rebounds. He is probable with a knee injury. Manu Ginobli is averaging 12.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game. Guard Danny Green is averaging 10 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Gary Neal, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, and Cory Joseph make up the rest of the rotation.

Memphis is coached by Lionel Hollins. Memphis is 57-36-2 ATS and the total is 39-54-1 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 19.7 points, 9.3 rebounds to lead the team, and 1.9 assists per game. Point Guard Mike Conley, Jr. averages 17.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 1.6 steals a game. Center Marc Gasol averages 18.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, a steal, and 2.2 blocks per game. Forward Tayshawn Prince was acquired from the Detroit Pistons in the Rudy Gay trade. He is averaging 7.5 points, 4.5 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 11.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.3 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.

San Antonio is 4-1 ATS in road games against teams with winning home records, 6-14 after  a straight up win, 5-13 against teams with winning records, 4-11 after failing to cover, 1-5 in conference final games, and 0-3-1 in Saturday games. The Spurs are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 against the Grizzlies.

Memphis is 6-0 ATS at home, 5-0 after a straight up loss, 9-1 after a cover, 13-3 against teams with winning records, 18-7-1 overall and against teams from the Western Conference, and 36-16 against teams with winning road records.

The Grizzlies are 5-0 at home this season in an arena nicknamed the Grindhouse. Memphis has to win and they will in front of a raucous home crowd celebrating the first home conference final game in franchise history. However, it will be a very close game.

Our pro basketball handicappers are red hot in the playoffs. Don’t miss out on any winners from now until the end of the Finals next month.

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