NBA Western Conference finals preview: Spurs vs. Grizzlies

May 17, 2013 |
Parker could have a tough time getting into the paint vs. Memphis.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Parker could have a tough time getting into the paint vs. Memphis.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
The San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies duke it out in the Western Conference championship with a ticket to the NBA Finals on the line.

Here’s a look at how these teams stack up and their odds to win the series heading into Game 1 this Sunday.

No. 2 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 5 Memphis Grizzlies

Season series: Tied 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 1-3 O/U
Series prices: San Antonio -120, Memphis +100

Why bet the Spurs: San Antonio has the ability and experience to switch gears, going from an up-tempo style versus the Warriors to a slowed-down grinder with the Grizzlies. The Spurs aren’t intimidated on the road, with their only loss away from the Alamo coming in OT.

Tim Duncan is the most skilled big man Memphis has met this postseason and he stepped up versus the Grizzlies this season, averaging 19.7 points, 12.7 rebounds and three blocks in three games. San Antonio has better shooters and more depth – ranked No. 5 in bench production to Memphis’ No. 27-ranked reserves.

The Grizzlies have caught some lucky breaks this postseason. The Clippers’ stars were falling apart in the first round and they took advantage of a Thunder squad missing its All-Star point guard. San Antonio is relatively healthy despite the age of its superstars.

Why bet the Grizzlies: Memphis is on pace to become one of the best bets in recent NBA playoff history. Since dropping Game 1 against the Clippers, the Grizzlies have covered in 10 straight games. Memphis holds the mental edge over the Spurs, having eliminated them from the first round of the 2011 playoffs in six games, going 5-0-1 ATS in that series.

Memphis is a tough team to slow offensively, with a different scorer stepping up each night. Four players are averaging double figures in the playoffs, including PG Mike Conley Jr. who is averaging 17.6 points per game. The Grizzlies average the fewest amount of turnovers this postseason.

Defensively, the Grizzlies are a physical squad that wears down opponents over the course of a series. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph plug up the middle and won’t give Tony Parker free range in the paint while Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen get a hand up on the Spurs’ shooters.
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