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Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs Game 1 NBA Preview & Free Pick

Memphis vs San Antonio Handicapping

Cringe if you must when you watch them play, but it’s about time that NBA fans started to acknowledge what NBA coaches have known all season – namely, that the Memphis Grizzlies have a legitimate shot at getting to The Finals.

Western Conference
Memphis Grizzlies (0-0) at San Antonio Spurs (0-0)
Sunday, May 19
AT&T Center, San Antonio
3:30 p.m. EST
Spread – Spurs -5 at Bovada
O/U – 182.5

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It seems so long ago that the Grizz’s top scorer, Rudy Gay, was sent north of the border in what the team admitted was a salary dump.

Up to that point Memphis was hanging tough in the playoff hunt, and the figuring was that without Gay’s offense, Memphis would struggle to score and eventually fade to a probable one-and-done 7 or 8 seed in the West.

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Not quite. With veteran Tayshaun Price filling in for Gay in the starting lineup, the Grizz re-emphasized its defensive roots, won 56 games and now have knocked off high flyers Los Angeles (Clippers) and Oklahoma City on their way to the conference finals, which start today in San Antonio.

What to expect when the Grizz and Spurs do battle in the first of what many are figuring will be at minimum a 6-game series that could easily go the distance?

For one, don’t expect pretty. Instead of Chris Paul throwing alley-oops to Blake Griffin or Kevin Durant running the court and tossing in pull-up 3-pointers, this series will hinge on whether Memphis is able to do enough to disrupt San Antonio’s Marine-band type of offensive execution for long-enough stretches.

Memphis was a team that neither the Clippers (ousted by the Grizz in 6 games) nor the Thunder (wasted in 5) wanted to play. They bump you off your spot, they run at you at the 3-point line, they box out, they rebound, they get their hands in passing lanes. It makes for painful basketball, but here the Grizz are just 4 wins from their first-ever berth in The Finals. [ad-6571516]

They will have to earn their way in because the Tim Duncan and the Spurs can execute opponents to death.

They have an A-plus point guard in Tony Parker running the show, and Tim Duncan may bore everyone to death, but the Big Fundamental wastes no energy and looks to have plenty of gas left for another title run.

It will be an interesting series, though maybe not an entertaining one.

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One thing is certain – the Spurs will not panic. After losing Game 4 to Golden State in the Western semis, SA players yawned and then took control, eventually putting away the Warriors on the road.

Winning today is hardly crucial for the Spurs, so we’re liking Memphis to come out strong defensively and the Spurs taking their time to figure out how best to attack. Grizzlies +5 in the opener, with a corresponding under play off the 182.5 listed total.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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