The Grizzlies were powerless against the Warriors on Wednesday night in the Western Conference semifinals. Can they quickly turn things around in Game 6 and cash on the NBA odds?
The Golden State Warriors Can Win Because…
They are the better team, which is why NBA odds opened them as a 5-point road favorite. And if Tony Allen isn’t in the Memphis lineup, the gulf between these two teams is vast. Golden State won by 20 in Game 5, with Steph Curry hitting six three-pointers on his own while generating ball movement which enabled the Warriors to hit 14 three-pointers. The Warriors got a lot of open shots and played the game the way they wanted to play it. Memphis, meanwhile, was just 4 of 15 on threes and attempted only 10 free throws. The Grizzlies couldn’t find various ways to score, and that’s a huge problem with or without Allen in the lineup. The Warriors are now 53-5 during the season, including the playoffs, when they hit at least 10 threes. Curry is shooting the ball well enough – and so is Andre Iguodala – to get the Warriors to the magic 10 once again.
The Memphis Grizzlies Can Win Because…
They might have Tony Allen back and ready to play, even though it’s just too early to say so. We saw on Wednesday in Game 5 how valuable Allen is to the Grizzlies, especially in this series. With Allen out of the mix, Memphis could not match both Allen and Mike Conley, two great defensive players, against Golden State’s dynamite backcourt combination of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. Thompson was still contained in Game 5, but Curry busted loose and was able to get all the open three-point looks he wanted. Memphis just doesn’t have enough defensive pieces with Allen out, and when Memphis can’t stop Golden State’s offense, the Grizzlies have to be able to outscore Golden State in a shootout. Anyone who has followed the NBA for any reasonable length of time knows that Memphis struggles to score and is not one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league. Memphis can win a defensive game in which it holds Golden State under 95 points. The Grizzlies are much less able to win when the Warriors are scoring at or above 100 points. Allen is the player who can enable Memphis to shut down Golden State and make the tempo of this game manageable. If he’s able to play at least 25 minutes and can be effective on defense, Memphis can win this game. Marc Gasol is likely to shoot better than the 8 for 22 he put up in Game 5. Vince Carter’s probably not going to go 1 of 6 from three-point range again.
The Grizzlies might have Allen, but they might not. A best guess right now is that Allen will play, but one has to wonder if he’ll be able to move freely enough to be a factor on defense. He’s been a key in this series but at the end of the day, it feels like the Grizzlies struggling offense will be the problem. Take the Warriors with your NBA picks here.
NBA Pick: Golden State at GT Bets