No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies vs. No. 7 Minnesota Timberwolves Game 1 Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies go head-to-head with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the West on Saturday at 3:30 PM at the FedExForum arena. The Grizzlies are 30-11 at home this season and have won 15 of their last 22 games since the all-star break.
Despite sitting out vs. the Celtics on Sunday due to left knee soreness, Ja Morant is ready to rumble for the 2022 playoffs. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves are 15-8 and 6-4 on the road since the all-star break. Taurean Prince’s playing status is listed as day-to-day due to a right knee injury after missing the play-in game vs. the Clippers.
D’Angelo Russell exploded for 37 points while dishing out nine assists in the previous meeting between the two, as the Timberwolves came out on top with a 119-114 victory on February 24th. Both clubs have a 2-2 record against each other this season.
Memphis Grizzlies Betting Preview: Grizzlies Look to Carry On Their Success with Morant
The Memphis Grizzlies have played fast and tenacious all season long to land them a second-seed in the West with the second best overall record in the league at 56-26. With or without Morant, the young squad has managed to play at an extremely high level with their “next man up” mentality.
After Ja Morant sprained his left knee on Nov. 26 in a home loss vs. the Atlanta Hawks, the Grizzlies found themselves in ninth place in the West and at a season-defining position. Without their top player, Memphis easily could’ve let this injury break them. Instead, they had other plans. As a unit, several players stepped up, like Tyus Jones who filled in at the point guard role for Morant, and Desmond Bane, who has established himself as an offensive threat, nearly doubling his points per game average from 9.2 in 2020-2021 to 18.2 this season.
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Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Preview: Talented Timberwolves Look to Make Playoff Push
The Timberwolves have a talented duo in Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russel along with a testy lockdown defender in Patrick Beverly. As the seventh-seed in the West, the Timberwolves are capable of making a run this postseason.
If they have hopes of doing so, the Wolves are going to need key contributions from Malik Beasley, Naz Reid, and Taurean Prince if he can return to action. They have had a strong second half to the year and Minnesota can win this series if they get hot.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Pick and Prediction
The betting line for this playoff matchup by DraftKings is (-330) Memphis Grizzlies and (+250) Minnesota Timberwolves.
With the Grizzlies home court advantage to go along with their energy, I believe Memphis will edge Minnesota, 92-89, to take a 1-0 lead in the series. I assume Timberwolves coach, Chris Finch, will assign veteran Patrick Beverly with defending Ja Morant, and I believe Beverly will step up to the challenge as he has time and time again throughout his career shutting down explosive scorers in the league. However, I think Steven Adams will maintain Karl-Anthony Towns and the Grizzlies will gut-out a hard fought win.