Grizzlies vs Thunder Game 4 Pick

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Game 4

Saturday 9:35 pm EST

April 26, 2014

Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -3.5

Memphis’ performance in Game 1 was an aberration. Their performances in Games 2 and 3 were not.

Ousted by the Grizzlies in the conference semifinals in five games last year, the Thunder are in a precarious situation to a familiar foe. The Thunder were five minutes away in Game 3 from putting their stamp on this series. Basically, all but ending it. The other two games would’ve been just a formality.

However, it was the grit and feistiness of these Grizzlies that showed not only their physical prowess, but also their mental toughness to win their second straight overtime game. This time, the Grizzlies had to regroup after blowing a 17-point lead during the final 7:43 of regulation.

It was the next five minutes of overtime in Game 3 that are going to be this series defining moment. If the Thunder fail to mount a comeback, those five minutes will forever be the moment in which Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook simply couldn’t get the job done. The NBA scoring champion (Durant) and Westbrook each scored 30 points, but it was their play in overtime that was the difference. Durant missed all eight 3-point attempts and was 10 of 27. Westbrook was 9 of 26, though he grabbed 13 rebounds. The Thunder hit only 3 of 12 overall in overtime.

Heading into Game 4, it’ll be interesting to see if the Thunder will be able to erase their overtime performance, knowing how close they were from changing the momentum of the series. Now in the city that’s the birthplace of Rock N’ Roll, the “Grindhouse” will certainly be rocking on Saturday night.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, in all-time best-of-seven series tied 1-1, the Game 3 winner has won 76.8 percent of the series (152-46). Since the 2002-03 season, when the first round became best-of-seven again, in series tied 1-1 the Game 3 winner has won 79.7 percent of the series (55-14).

Being able to rebound with a bounce-back performance in overtime, the way the Grizzlies responded, that’s all I needed to watch to determine the outcome of the series. The Grizzlies still have to defend against Durant and Westbrook for the remainder of the series, but this series may not last much longer.

Before the series began, I predicted the Grizzlies would win in seven. Memphis will certainly advance to the second round. I’m just not sure their going to need all seven games to get the job done.

In Game 4, the Grizzlies move one step closer from pulling off the major upset. They need two more victories to close out the series. They get one of them Saturday night.

My Pick: Memphis moneyline

April 26, 2014 by : Posted in Picks and Predictions No Comments
Adam Rosen

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Adam Rosen is a seasoned sports writer with special interests in Pro Football and Basketball. He has been picking sports games against the spread for years, and has posted a 56% win rate over his last 75 predictions.

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