Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies do battle in game seven for an opportunity to advance into the Western Conference Finals and play the Dallas Mavericks. The Thunder is 6-point favorites over the Grizzlies with an over/under point total set at 193.
The Memphis Grizzlies fought off elimination on their home court in game six despite trailing by ten points at the break. Zach Randolph had a huge night with 30 points and 13 rebounds and the Grizzlies defense shut down superstar Kevin Durant while holding the Thunder to just 29 second half points. Lionel Hollins’ injection of OJ Mayo into the starting lineup paid dividends as the young shooting guard from USC provided an offensive presence to penalize the Thunder for double-teaming inside. The Grizzlies will look to make history on Sunday afternoon both for their franchise in the past decade as well as the league as eight seeds simply don’t accomplish these types of feats in the NBA.
The Oklahoma City Thunder isn’t distraught that they blew an opportunity to close out the series. Kevin Durant, coming off arguably the worst night of basketball in his life, is prepared to rebound in front of his home fans. Durant scored just 11 points in game six as he settled for contested three point shots hitting just 1-9 on the evening from deep. Russell Westbrook and James Harden carried the offense in the previous encounter, but it’s hard to imagine Durant doesn’t find a way to steal the show in game seven, even with Tony Allen and Shane Battier acting as formidable defenders to frustrate and slow him down.
While defense should be on the forefront of each team’s agenda, playing the total could prove risky if your outlook is that overtime is a possibility here. Since this is the first series to go seven games this year, it’s difficult to anticipate exactly how this game will play out. My projection is that two teams who have matched up well against one another continue to do so, and I have a hard time believing either will run away with the victory. With each possession being tightly contested down the stretch, I like the Thunder to advance winning by six points or less. Ill take the Grizzlies plus the six points here.
Memphis Grizzlies +6 Oklahoma City Thunder