San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies – Game 3 FedExForum at 02:30
I seriously thought Game 2 might have been more competitive after the Memphis Grizzlies were blown out in Game 1, but this is a team that has been reduced to rubble thanks to the injuries to key players. For the second time in a row, the San Antonio Spurs blew out the Grizzlies as they limited them to 74 points or fewer again and now they visit The Grindhouse hoping to take a complete grip of this First Round series.
How is it possible for a team to replace the likes of Michael Conley and Marc Gasol when the system is geared to players like that? Others can try and step up but that is gutting the Grizzlies who only have Zach Randolph from the five starters that began the season and who is a player that Gregg Popovich has been looking to take away in the whole series.
Of course you are going to get the rallying cry now that Memphis are coming home, but they need more scoring having failed to surpass 74 points in both games in this Play Off series. That number would struggle to see off the likes of the 76ers and the Lakers, let alone a team as strong as the San Antonio Spurs.
It is important for the Spurs to get some rest ahead of the Conference Semi Finals as they have a couple of little niggles on the roster so I expect them to come out focused again. Despite the strong showings in Games 1 and 2, it says a lot about the character of the San Antonio Spurs that they are not satisfied and looking to improve with the last game having too many turnovers for their liking. That is why San Antonio are considered a team good enough to win the NBA Finals because they are always looking to get better even in a series where they are facing an overmatched opponent.
Playing on the road is always a challenge in the Play Offs and this isn’t an easy place to play, but the Spurs have won their last two visits here by an average of 17 points per game and I am finding it hard to see how much this series will change.
Yes I do think Memphis will be inspired by their home crowd, but San Antonio are loaded with experience and I can’t see that bothering them. They will continue to play stifling Defense on Zach Randolph and force one of the ‘unknown’ players to step up, but the Spurs are also rolling Offensively and I have no idea how the Grizzlies keep up with them.
The Spurs have been a solid road favourite to back when trying to cover big numbers and they should be well rested. As much as I think backing a double digit road favourite can lead to trouble, I do also believe San Antonio are capable of winning the NBA Finals and Memphis would do well to finish with a better record than Philadelphia if they played with this roster all season.
I will back San Antonio to move into a commanding 3-0 lead behind another big win and likely close out the series before returning home for rest and recuperation.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: San Antonio Spurs -11.5 Points at 1.93
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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