2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference: #2 Memphis Grizzlies vs #7 Minnesota Timberwolves
Tale of the Tape:
|115.6 (2nd)||Points Per Game||115.9 (1st)|
|109.9 (12th)||Points Allowed Per Game||113.3 (24th)|
|30-11 at home||Home/Away Record||20-21 on the road|
|3rd||Pace of Play||1st|
|8th||Off Efficiency Rating||9th|
|4th||Def Efficiency Rating||13th|
Can’t Miss Offer From Caesars
- Ja Morant, PG: 27.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 49.3% FG
- Desmond Bane, SG: 18.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 43.6% 3PT
- Jaren Jackson Jr., PF: 16.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, 2.3 BPG
- Karl-Anthony Towns, C: 24.6 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.1 BPG, 52.9% FG
- Anthony Edwards, SF: 21.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.5 SPG, 3.0 3PM/GM
- D’Angelo Russell, PG: 18.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 7.1 APG, 1.0 SPG
- Ja Morant, Memphis: Knee (Probable)
- Steven Adams, Memphis: Ankle (Questionable)
- Tyus Jones, Memphis: Hand (Questionable)
- Taurean Prince, Minnesota: Knee (Questionable)
Memphis wins the series 4-2
- The season series between these two teams was tied 2-2 with only one of the four games being decided by more than eight points. The home team also won every game during the regular season, which is important with Memphis as the higher seed here.
- The series should also be pretty fast-paced and offensively focused given the metrics for both teams. Scoring in transition will then be instrumental to a team’s chance at a victory, which is a problem for Minnesota, which ranked 28th in transition points allowed per game. They will need to be better if they want to stop Memphis over the long haul.
- We would say that the health of Ja Morant will play a big part in this decision, but he looked pretty healthy in his one game back from a knee injury and Memphis was also playing really good basketball without him, going 20-5 without their star in the lineup this year. Obviously, both us and the Grizzlies want Ja to be at 100%, but it’s nice to know that the team won’t be at a serious disadvantage if he is still ramping back up.
- Even though the offense usually runs through Ja, Memphis averaged 57.6 points in the paint, which was 4.3 more than any other team this season. That allowed them to have such an efficient and high-scoring offense, as the numbers above show, despite being 17th in three-point field goal percentage and 28th in the percentage of overall shots that came from beyond the arc. Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks are capable of stretching a team’s defense, but this is a team that wants to score in transition and inside.
- That could play into Minnesota’s hands since they ranked 7th-best in the percentage of their opponents’ shots that came in the paint. Part of that is obviously that teams avoid attacking Karl Anthony Towns inside; however, Minnesota will need to be better on the glass since they ranked 28th in defensive rebounding rate this year. They can’t give Memphis extra chances on offense and expect to win.
- For Minnesota, the key may be Patrick Beverley. This is a young team that doesn’t have much playoff experience, and we saw in the win over the Clippers how Pat Bev was able to help them scratch and claw to a victory. He’s played in almost 60 playoff games in his career and will do whatever it takes on the court to win each game, including mixing it up and getting in his opponents’ heads.
- Overall, I just think Memphis is too talented and well-coached. They have stars but also solid rotational basketball players who know how to fill their roles. With their stingy defense and also home-court advantage, I just think this is too big a mountain to climb for a good but not great Minnesota team.