Western Conference Playoffs, Round 1, Game 2, Portland at Memphis
Series Status: Memphis leads 1-0
Game Info: 5 PM, TV on KGW/TNT, Radio on 620 AM
TNT Announcers: Kevin Calabro, Brent Barry
Vegas Line: Memphis -6
Refs: Tony Brothers, LeRoy Richardson, Bill Spooner, Tony Brown (Alternate)
The Skinny: The Blazers look to bounce back from a bad game 1 as they seek a split in Memphis. The Grizzlies are looking for their first 2-0 series lead in franchise history.
Series in Review (Home team in bold for completed games, *=If necessary):
Game 1-Memphis 100-Portland 86.
Game 2-Wednesday at Memphis-5 PM (TNT/KGW)
Game 3-Saturday at Portland-7:30 PM (ESPN/KGW)
Game 4-Monday at Portland-7:30 PM (TNT/KGW)
Game 5*-April 29 at Memphis
Game 6*-May 1 at Portland
Game 7*-May 3 at Memphis
Projected Grizzlies Lineup:
PF: Zach Randolph (Michigan State-14th season) – 16.1 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.2 APG
SF: Jeff Green (Georgetown-7th season) – 15 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.7 APG
C: Marc Gasol (Spain-7th season) – 17.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.8 APG
SG: Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky-7th season) – 10.1 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2 APG
PG: Mike Conley (Ohio State-8th Season) – 15 PPG, 3 RPG, 5.4 APG
Player to Watch: Marc Gasol (pictured at right) – He might have entered the league as the lesser known Gasol but Marc is a very good player in his own right. An excellent rebounder, defender and scorer, Marc Gasol is the anchor for this Memphis team. That Memphis struggled so mightily when he was out for much of the early part of last season proves this point. Gasol has further improved his post game this year, which makes him even more efficient on offense. If Memphis is really a title contender, Gasol will probably be the biggest reason why.
Did You Know?: The Grizzlies’ 22-game regular season home winning streak was the longest such streak by an NBA team since Denver won 23-straight from Jan. 20-April 17, 2013.
Song of the Day: “Memphis Beat” by Jerry Lee Lewis. One of the signature songs about the city of Memphis. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-SG Wesley Matthews (Achilles), SF Dorrell Wright (Hand), Questionable-SG Arron Afflalo (Shoulder)
Adjustments: Enforcing Your Will
Memphis makes absolutely no secret how they want to play and its not the way the Blazers want to. Memphis wants to slow it down, get you stuck in the mud and win ugly. They are 29th in the league in 3 point makes and were only middling on offense. This series is going to be about which team can enforce their pace on the other. So far this season it has been Memphis but that does’t mean the Blazers can’t speed it up and make Memphis play the way Portland wants. They’ll need to if they want to even the series at 1-1.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They score 100 points. If the Blazers can score 100 points they will most likely win game two as they will have played Blazers basketball and not allow Memphis to dictate the pace of play.
Memphis wins if: They do what they did in game one. Udrih likely won’t do what he did in game one again but even if he does not, if Memphis does as they did in the opening game, they should be able to get their first 2-0 lead in franchise history.