Western Conference Playoffs, Round 1, Game 3, Memphis at Portland
Series Status: Memphis leads 2-0
Game Info: 7:30 PM, TV on KGW/ESPN, Radio on 620 AM
ESPN Announcers: Ryan Ruocco, P.J. Carlesimo and Chris Broussard
Vegas Line: Portland -3
The Skinny: The Blazers look to return the favor and win game 3 in order to keep their realistic hopes of a series win over the Grizzlies alive. Portland has come back form 0-2 down once to win a series, the 1977 finals.
Series in Review (Home team in bold for completed games, *=If necessary):
Game 1-Memphis 100-Portland 86.
Game 2-Memphis 97-Portland 82
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: Tony Allen (Oklahoma State-11th season) – 8.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.4 APG
PG: Mike Conley (Ohio State-8th Season) – 15 PPG, 3 RPG, 5.4 APG
Player to Watch: Michael Conley (pictured at right) – A few years into his career Conley was hardly impressing anyone, turning the ball over too much, having trouble defending players and often exhibiting really poor shot selection. How times have changed. Conley is an improving floor general with great hands and quickness, along with a good outside shot (that he is finally using at a good rate). Conley is also excellent at forcing steals and although he is otherwise not an elite defender, those steals often lead to easy Memphis points, important for a team that can stagnate at times on offense. He will be a challenge for Portland on Saturday..
Did You Know?: This is Memphis’s first 2-0 lead in franchise history.
Song of the Day: “Rose Garden” by Lynn Anderson. I beg your pardon Memphis, we didn’t promise you a rose garden. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-SG Wesley Matthews (Achilles), SF Dorrell Wright (Hand)
Adjustments: The Disruptive Power of Injuries
Look, injuries are bad regardless. Losing Wesley is awful and all that but what’s disrupted Portland more lately than anything else is the disruptive power injuries have. They haven’t known game by game which players will be ready to go. Its hard to get in a rhythm if you don’t know whom will be at your side game in and game out. Hopefully, with Afflalo’s return, injuries will not be quite as disruptive, although losing Wesley still really sucks.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They score 100 points. If the Blazers can score 100 points they will most likely win game three 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 games one and two. Why change a formula that got you two comfortable wins?