Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers
The NBA post-season is finally here, following the long layoff and the eight-game "seedings" season played down in the Bubble in Florida. The real action begins Saturday afternoon as the Trailblazers and Grizzlies meet in a Western Conference mini-series to decide who takes on the Lakers in the upcoming first round in the Western Conference. Who do we like here for our free NBA pick?
Blazers -6/233 vs. Grizzlies, 2:30 pm ET, ABC
Portland (35-39 SU, 32-39 ATS) only needs to win Saturday to advance to the playoffs against the Lakers. Memphis (34-39 SU, 36-36 ATS), on the other hand, needs to win Saturday, then again Sunday to advance. The Blazers are 6-2 SU, 5-2-1 ATS since the NBA's re-start, after beating Brooklyn Thursday 134-133. Portland trailed the Nets 124-119 with four minutes to go but used a 15-6 run to take a four-point lead, then survived a Brooklyn 3-pointer at the buzzer. On the night, the Blazers shot 48 percent from the floor but allowed the Nets to shoot 55 percent. During the re-start, Portland scored at least 124 points six times in eight games. Memphis, meanwhile, is just 2-6 both SU and ATS since the re-start. The Grizzlies just beat the best team in the league last time out, topping Milwaukee 119-106 Thursday, but the Bucks, already locked into their playoff seeding, didn't exactly give an all-out effort. Memphis led Milwaukee by ten at the half, then pushed its advantage to 23 in the third quarter and cruised home from there for the victory and the cover as a four-point favorite. For the day, the Grizzlies shot 50 percent from the floor while holding the Bucks to just 39 percent shooting. Prior to that, Memphis had lost back-to-back games against Toronto and Boston. These two teams have split two meetings so far this season. Back in February, the Grizzlies won in Memphis 111-104, while two weeks ago, the Blazers won 140-135 in overtime down in the Bubble. Portland shot 51 percent from the field in those two games combined, while the Grizzlies shot just 41 percent. On the injury front Portland's CJ McCollum, who scored 33 points two weeks ago against Memphis, is bothered by a sore back, and it's affected his play over the last week or so. Over on the other bench, the Grizzlies are playing without G Jaren Jackson (knee).
- Get more details: Memphis vs. Portland NBA Match-up Stats