The Golden State Warriors are biding their time waiting for their second round series to get underway and while it took the Memphis Grizzlies a little longer to get there, the consensus among NBA experts is that they could stand the best chance of taking down the best team in the association. Even so, the Warriors are a massive -800 favorite on the NBA betting lines to win this series.
The Memphis Grizzlies Can Win Because…
Memphis has been a perennial contender in the Western Conference but the team’s inability to find that missing piece to help take this group to that championship level has been a major sore spot. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph comprise the best big man tandem in the NBA and the Memphis Grizzlies will look to get them the ball and force the issue down low to dominate in the paint and slow the game down, but it’s on the perimeter where they really have the potential to be exposed – especially with Mike Conley potentially out after suffering facial fractures in the opening round. Even if the tandem of Conley and Tony Allen was healthy, they would have a difficult time slowing down Curry and company on the outside but with Conley out, it will be on Allen to step up and play at an elite level in order to have a chance. Beno Udrih has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury but with Nick Catathes as the only other option at point guard, he will need to really step up and play at a high level in this series. Jeff Green has shown flashes of what he could potentially do for the Grizzlies but for the most part he’s been a disappointment. The Grizzlies will need him and Courtney Lee to have big series to have a fighting chance.
The Golden State Warriors Can Win Because…
It’s very easy to underestimate just how good this Golden State team truly is but it’s important to remember their league-leading 67 wins were 11 more than the second-highest Western Conference total. And a good percentage of those victories were wrapped up by the start of the fourth quarter. The Golden State Warriors offense registered historically dominant numbers while averaging an NBA-high 110 points per game with MVP candidate Stephen Curry leading the way with an MVP caliber season that saw him average 23.8 points, 7.7 assists and 3.1 three-point shots per game. Those numbers are even more impressive when you consider he sat out a number of fourth quarters during the regular season and has stepped up his play again in the postseason where he has averaged 33.8 points and 4.0 threes. NBA odds makers know that Curry hasn’t had to do it alone either with Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodola and Andrew Bogut rounding out an impressive cast that has played at an elite level at both ends of the floor. This Golden State team ranks as one of the best we have ever seen in the NBA and while some might have expected a letdown in the playoffs, it’s clear this team is even better now that is has gone to that next level.
It seems like a strange thing to rule the Grizzlies out already but considering how dominant this Warriors team is combined with the fact that Memphis is missing Conley and suddenly this series seems a lot more lopsided than it appeared it would potentially be down the final stretch of the regular season. A healthy Bogut and Green give Golden State enough size to deal with the Memphis big men and with the Grizzlies completely outmatched on the perimeter, they will have a tough time keeping up. The Warriors proved in the opening round that they weren’t even playing their best basketball during the regular season and now they have taken their game to that next level in the playoffs. It’s clear they will be very difficult to stop. Golden State is also playing with the type of killer instinct that will help them put this series away in a hurry in order to stay healthy and rested for the following rounds so look for Curry and company to take care of business and make a clear statement of just how special this team truly is. If Conley is out for the series, take the Warriors with your NBA picks.
NBA Picks: Golden State In 5 at WagerWeb