by Greg Dempson
The Memphis Grizzlies host the San Antonio Spurs in game 3 of this best of 7 series with the ball tipping at 9:30 ET at The FedEx Forum in Memphis. The Grizzlies have been thoroughly outplayed in the first two games losing, (111-82,) and (96-82.) In game one Memphis led 30-25 after 12 minutes. Since then, the Grizzlies have been outscored 182 to 134. After losing game two, coach David Fizdale blasted the officials and received a $30,000.00 fine for his comments. His complaint was the disparity in free throws as the Spurs went to the line 32 times making 31 free throws while the Grizzlies had but 15 free throws and made 13. Fizdale also stated that Memphis had 19 shots in the paint resulting in only 6 free throws while the Spurs had 11 shots in the paint which resulted in 22 free throws. Will his rant help jell the team into a game three victory? Action speaks louder than words David!
The teams met twice in Memphis this season and the Grizzlies won both those contests, (89-74,) as a 1 point favorite on February 6, (with the score tied 40-40 at the end of the first half.) In their second meeting at The FedEx Forum Memphis was a 3.5 point home dog on March 18 and they won straight up, (104-96,) with the first half score at (44-43) in favor of Memphis. In San Antonio’s last four visits to Memphis the first half scores have been tighter than bark on a tree, (44-43 Spurs,) (40-40,) (44-43,) Grizzlies and (47-45 Spurs.)
Coach “Pop” will have his guys prepared as he is, without a doubt, the best coach in the NBA.
For Memphis to have any hope of winning they will have to figure out a way to limit the success of forward Kawhi Leonard, who is averaging 34.5 points making 20 out of 28 from the field while knocking down all 28 free-throw attempts including 19 in game two.
The Numbers Game
· Memphis is 12-02 ATS in home games off a road loss by 10 or more points.
· San Antonio is 05-13 ATS in their last 18 games when off a straight up win.
· The home team is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
· For the Grizzlies to have a chance in this game they need to keep the crowd in the game by getting off to a fast start, winning the first 12 minutes as well as the first half. Based on the success San Antonio’s had in their first two games a line of -3.5 seems like a gift for Spurs backers, but it is never as easy as it might appear. I will make a very small wager on the home team in the first half backed up an incredible system.
A 95% ATS First Half System
· Play against favorites in the first half, (Applies to playing against the Spurs,) that average 102 or more points per game when playing against a poor defensive team that allows an average of 98 to 102 PPG, after allowing 90 points or less in two straight games. This system is 33-09 = 79% ATS the past five years and an even more impressive 19-01 = 95% ATS the past three seasons.
· After back-to-back losses vs. a division rival by 10 or more points, play on said team in the first half, (applies to playing on Memphis.) This system is 82-42 = 66% ATS since 1996 and a perfect 6-0 ATS the past three seasons.
Everyedge.com in Review
· Last night’s pick pushed as the Trailblazers lost by exactly 9 points in the first half. My record in the NBA and College at Every Edge is 15-16-1 ATS.