Memphis Has To Answer The Bell This Weekend
After losing the first two games in the series, the Memphis Grizzlies must win four of the next five games to capture the Western Conference championship of the NBA.
The journey starts with a must-win game this Saturday night.
Saturday, May 25
Western Conference Finals, Game 3: San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies
Sport betting line: Memphis -5
Why San Antonio Might Win ?
There’s one particularly good reason to go with the Spurs: They will be rested. San Antonio has some high-energy players blessed with youthful vigor, such as Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
However, the core of the roster is still the Big Three, the trio of Hall of Fame players who lifted the organization to three world championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. These players are all nearing the end of their respective careers. They need time to rejuvenate amidst a punishing playoff schedule.
San Antonio finished a grueling West semifinal series against Golden State late Thursday night last week and then had to start this West final on Sunday afternoon. Coming right back and playing on Tuesday represented a grind for the Spurs, so having three full days off before Game 3 should provide a real boost for the old guys on the San Antonio roster, especially Parker, who had an MRI taken in the in-between time before this game.
Rest is exactly what the Spurs need in order to regroup and keep pace with the younger Grizzlies in this contest.
Why Memphis Might Win ?
At the end of the day, one needs to realize that even though San Antonio is the team leading this series by two games, the odds strongly back Memphis in this specific game. The odds suggest that Memphis will play with supreme focus, intensity and desperation in this spot.
The Grizzlies also have the knowledge that they fell behind the Los Angeles Clippers, 2-0, in the first round of this year’s playoffs. Memphis returned home for Game 3 and spanked the Clippers, engineering a turnaround that led to four straight wins.
Yes, it’s true that San Antonio’s older roster – especially its aging trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili – gets three full days of rest before Game 3. However, that seems like the kind of thing that will help San Antonio in the long run, not necessarily the short run.
Memphis has too much on the line, and will have too much emotion in this, its first Western Conference Finals home game as a franchise, to stumble. The Grizzlies are going to jump out of their shoes with energy, and that tidal wave of effort will wash over the Spurs, drowning San Antonio in what figures to be a decisive Game 3 victory for Memphis.
There should be some tough games ahead in this series, but Game 3 doesn’t figure to be one of them. A close game would have been much more likely if this series had shifted to Tennessee knotted at one game apiece.
Who Will Win?
The sense here is that Memphis, as was the case in its first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, will flourish.
Similarly, San Antonio – as was the case in 2012 in the Western Conference Finals against Oklahoma City – will go on the road and get blown out in a Game 3 situation when leading 2-0.
NBA Betting Pick: Memphis -5