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NBA Betting: Grizzlies vs. Spurs Preview

Posted by Stan Jenkins on 4/3/2014 11:00:53 AM

The Memphis Grizzlies are currently out of the playoffs, but they’re 13 games over the break-even point. They’ve played good basketball over the past two and a half months. Now, they just need to find a way to finish their season well enough to get into a playoff spot. They’re not facing a big deficit, but they do have to outfight two other teams in order to get where they need to go. An important moment awaits the Grizzlies this Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs.

Memphis Grizzlies @ San Antonio Spurs

Sunday, April 6

The Memphis Grizzlies had been playing very well during the month of March, continuing what had been a steady uphill progression in the latter part of winter. Memphis had gained a 43-28 record and had been able to say that if the season had ended right then and there, the Grizzlies would have been able to move into the Western Conference playoffs. Yet, a 43-28 record is good through 71 games. The full season lasts 82 games, and there’s some unfinished business for this team as it tries to secure one of the final few playoff spots in its conference.

The Grizzlies have more of a challenge in front of them because they’ve lost each of their last two games to drop to 43-30. This puts Memphis just a half game behind Phoenix and Dallas, which are both 44-30 and in line for the seventh and eighth seeds in the West. Yet, it is a deficit instead of the lead the Grizzlies had just a few days before. Memphis has admittedly lost games to really good teams. The Grizzlies fell to Golden State on Friday night and then bowed to Portland on Sunday night, both on the road. There’s no shame in losing these games, but that idea won’t really comfort the Grizzlies just now. They need to find ways to win tough road games this late in the season. They will also be playing this game on Sunday shortly before hosting the Miami Heat. This is, as you can see, a very tough part of the schedule for Memphis, so the Grizzlies really don’t have much of an option in this game. They need to go all-out; there’s not really a chance for this team to conserve energy for the future. That’s something an NBA team will do in February, but not in early April.

The San Antonio Spurs have definitely conserved energy. Head coach Gregg Popovich has managed to pace his starters, just as he’s done the past few seasons. The Spurs are always calling upon their reserves in various forms of lineups, and they’re getting results no matter which players they put on the court. San Antonio is the owner of a 17-game winning streak as this week begins. That winning streak might not survive the week, but it’s still something that has caught the attention of a lot of basketball experts. The Spurs dealt with a lot of injuries during the course of the season, especially in January and February, but now they’ve hit their stride and own a three-game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder for the top seed in the Western Conference (and home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs).

San Antonio is getting the job done with an improved defense and the simple fact that Kawhi Leonard, who was out of the lineup earlier in the season, has fresh legs and is able to defend with a great deal of energy.

Prediction

The Grizzlies need this game, but their offense does not seem to be ready to outscore the Spurs’ offense on the road. San Antonio should be able to find a way to win.

Pick: San Antonio

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