In what has been the best postseason series thus far this season, the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors first two games have been electric. Each team has had a player get ejected from a game and the series is only going to get even chippier as it goes on. This has the feel of a classic seven game series between two really strong teams. The Warriors are the more experienced team, but the Grizzlies don’t look like they will be backing down anytime soon. They may be young, but Taylor Jenkins has his guys ready to go into battle. The second and third seeded teams in the Western Conference are showing why they finished the season in those spots, and it has made for some really fun basketball. Both teams can score the ball almost at will and both play strong defense as well. It’s essentially strength against strength and it showcases some real star power. Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have all put their stamps on this series through the first two games. As the series now shifts from Memphis over to San Francisco, the edge leans towards the Warriors one would think. However, Memphis is more than capable of winning on the road as they were one of the best at it during the regular season. Who comes out with a massive game three victory?
How Memphis can win: Ja Morant is a problem and is putting the league on notice. He dropped 47 points in the Grizzlies game two victory and looks like he can’t be stopped. The Warriors have no answer for him, and he keeps getting into the painted area with ease. He then can either shoot the ball or kick it out to an open teammate. The Grizzlies will need him to continue his strong play if they want to take down Golden State, especially on the road. Memphis should continue to force the Warriors to take tough, contested shots from the perimeter and get on the fast break when they get the rebound. They also need to continue to force Golden State to turn the ball over as the Warriors turn it over at one of the highest rates in the league.
How Golden State can win: The Warriors aren’t going to shoot as poorly as they did from three again, are they? Was it them just missing shots or the Grizzlies playing strong defense? I lean the former because in game two, Golden State missed a ton of shots that they normally knock down. This team lives and dies by the three-point shot and, on that night, they died from it. If they can make their shots then they should be okay because going back home to the loud crowd awaiting them at the Chase Center, the Warriors normally rally. Jordan Poole has been fun in this series, giving the Warriors a nice boost that has helped unlock some of their offense. Every time the Grizzlies punch them, the Warriors seem to punch back. For them, they need to find a way to stop Ja Morant from getting into the painted area as he can killed them through two games. If they can trap him, maybe he wouldn’t be able to do as much damage. Morant is one of the better players in the NBA so it’ll be a challenge for the Warriors but if they can even limit him, they have to like their chances.
The Spread Via FanDuel:
Moneyline: MEM: (+235) | GSW: (-290)
Spread: MEM: +6.5 (-110) | GSW: -6.5 (-110)
Final Prediction: Golden State Warriors 115 Memphis Grizzlies 110
-I like the Warriors to take a two games to one series lead. Going back home, the Warriors use their crowd to their advantage and get a huge victory in game three. Steph Curry finally breaks through and has one of his classic high scoring playoff games to lead Golden State to a win.