Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies 2022 NBA First Round Playoffs: Game Five Preview

Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies 2022 NBA First Round Playoffs: Game Five Preview

NBA Game Previews

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies 2022 NBA First Round Playoffs: Game Five Preview

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Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies will host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 7:30 PM EST. It’s game five of a best-of-seven first-round series that’s currently tied at two wins apiece for each team. The Timberwolves entered this series as the No. 7 seed underdog, and even with a couple of bad collapses, including a blown 26-point lead at home in game three. Despite this, the series has remained back and forth throughout, and we may have a seven-game series on our hands.

How Minnesota can win

The two lead stars of this Timberwolves team are Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. Edwards has been on fire, but KAT will need to step things up. He’s coming off a great game four performance, but his play has been extremely streaky this postseason. In their two wins this series, Anthony-Towns has posted 31 PPG. In their two losses, he’s only put up an average of 11.5 PPG. KAT is expected to be a star for this team, and when he’s not playing like one, it shows in the results. They’ll need their star big man to stay out of foul trouble and be aggressive as a scorer.

And as for Edwards, he should be treated as the No. 1 for Minnesota’s offense. He’s consistently been awesome throughout this first-round series, and there’s no reason he can’t keep it up. The former first-round pick is a strong, athletic wing that can create his own shot from all three levels, and he absolutely exudes confidence. It’s the perfect blend for playoff success.

However, it can’t all be on Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony-Towns. D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley both have the ability to put up 20+ points on any given night, and if one of them can pitch in a big performance, that would be huge.

How Memphis can win

The Grizzlies are an extremely deep team. Even if stars like Ja Morant and Jaden Jackson Jr. have off nights, guys like Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, and a collection of others can step up and steal a game. And given their ability to get hot from three and push the pace offensively, along with their insane grit for a young team, they’re never out of a game. This was best exemplified in their 26-point comeback on the road in game three.

With that being said, it’ll be tough to pull out a seven-game series if Morant and Jackson fail to give enough offensively over these next three games. Especially this game five, which the Grizzlies certainly won’t want to lose. A loss would put Minnesota on a two-game winning streak, heading into a game six home game with a 3-2 series lead.

It’s also worth noting that the better three-point shooting team has won every game in this series.

The Spread & Moneyline via FanDuel

Spread: MEM +6.5 | MIN -6.5

Moneyline: MEM -260 | MIN +215

Final Prediction: Grizzlies 114, Timberwolves 107

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