Grizzlies vs Thunder Game 5 Pick

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Game 5

Tuesday 9:05 pm EST

April 29, 2014

Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -6.5

The first Mr. October donned the Yankee pinstripes. After a memorable performance in Game 4 to tie this series at two games a piece, the City of Oklahoma might have found their own Mr. April.

Searching for the third piece to the puzzle since James Harden bolted for the Houston Rockets, needing someone to complement Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder were as close to a panic situation as the they’ve been all season long. For the first time this season, Durant and Westbrook were outright awful. Combining to shoot 11-of-45 from the floor for 30 points, Durant and Westbrook looked scared and intimidated.

Great teams find ways to win even when they’re not at their best. That’s what transpired down the stretch thanks to an All-time playoff performance from Reggie Jackson, who was 11-of-16 from the field for 32 points. The series has now become a best-of-three.

However, if Durant and Westbrook continue to struggle, don’t expect the Thunder to be fortunate again. Durant, who came in averaging 33 points per game in this series, scored his lowest output since December 21. Meanwhile, Westbrook, who’s been averaging 27.3 points in this series, had seven turnovers and only 15 points. This is one of the most explosive offenses in the league. An offense that has been dominant all season long, not even the great defense of the Grizzlies can contain the NBA scoring champ and the dominating point guard for a second consecutive game.

Don’t tell the Grizzlies that, and if the situation repeats itself, don’t expect Jackson to outscore the Grizzlies in the final minute of regulation and overtime again. The Grizzles will be prepared for him.

You may find it hard to believe that Durant and Westbrook will combine for another poor shooting night. Or to think Jackson will be the hero again would simply be foolish. While all the focus in Game 4 was on the offensive struggles of the Thunder’s two stars, the Grizzlies were still able to force the Thunder into an overtime game despite an abysmal shooting night from Mike Miller, Courtney Lee, Mike Conley and especially Zach Randolph, who shot under 40% from the floor and finished with 11 points.

The Grizzlies were this close to winning Game 4. Leading in the final two minutes of regulation, the Thunder were on the ropes, but this is a heavyweight fight. Just as the Thunder were able to respond with their backs against the wall, expect the same type of resolve from the Grizzlies. The Thunder are in a much better place heading back to Oklahoma City tied at 2, than down 3-1, but that doesn’t mean Memphis is going to fold either.

Through the first four games of the series, the Thunder and the Grizzlies have brought out the best in one another. Look for that to continue in Game 5. The Grizzlies proved in Game 2 they are more than capable of winning in OKC. They will prove it again Tuesday night.

My Pick: Grizzlies +6.5

April 29, 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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