Game: Minnesota Timberwolves @ Memphis Grizzlies
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Odds: TWolves +7, Grizzlies -7
Despite their upset of Memphis in Game 1 of this playoff series, the Minnesota Timberwolves are seven-point underdogs to the Grizzlies in Game 2. For Memphis, tonight’s game is a must-win. The Grizzlies cannot afford to go down 0-2 in the series with it then switching back to Minnesota.
The TWolves did what they do best on Sunday in their 130-117 win over Memphis. They beat the Grizzlies with offense. Minnesota is the highest-scoring team in the league averaging 116 points per game. They poured it on Memphis and forced the Grizzlies to keep up. Anthony Edwards went off for 36 points in his playoff debut. Teammate Karl-Anthony Towns added 29 and 13 rebounds. Towns gives Memphis problems as they do not have a guy that can adequately defend him.
Minnesota wound up shooting 50 percent from the floor in Game 1. They hit 39 percent of their three-pointers hitting 16 of them compared to just seven for Memphis. With Towns and Edwards, the Timberwolves certainly have the star power to compete with the Grizzlies.
For Memphis, it’s all about Ja Morant. The Grizzlies star had 32 points in the series opener. If Memphis is going to have success in this series, it’s going to have to be Morant’s teammates that pick up some of the slack. Dillon Brooks did score 24 points in Game 1, but C Steven Adams played 24 minutes and didn’t score a single point. In fact, he didn’t even attempt a shot and finished with three rebounds and three assists. That’s not the type of stat line the Grizzlies can afford from one of their starters.
The Grizzlies are the second-highest scoring team in the league right behind Minnesota. There’s a very good reason why Memphis earned the second seed in the Western Conference. That reason needs to be put on display tonight for all to see and for the Grizzlies to take advantage of their home court advantage. Memphis is 30-12 SU at home this season and 27-15 ATS. The Grizzlies were the top cover team in the NBA this season with a 52-30-1 ATS mark. Memphis is now just 1-3-1 ATS in its last five games.
Minnesota was actually a solid team to back this year too. The TWolves went 45-38-1 ATS, but over their last 12 games, Minnesota is 4-8 ATS. In their last 20 games against the Grizzlies, the Timberwolves are 5-15 ATS. The win over Memphis on Sunday was just the third for Minnesota in its last 11 games against the Grizzlies.
Game 1 ended up going Over the total, which was not a big surprise. Minnesota is the top Over team in the NBA with a 51-33 O/U record. Six of the last seven TWolves games have resulted in the Over. For Memphis, five of the last six game totals have gone Over. Six of the last nine TWolves-Grizzlies games have resulted in the Over.