The final spot in the 2021 NBA Playoffs will be decided when the Memphis Grizzlies take on the Golden State Warriors. The winner will receive the eighth seed in the Western Conference and set up a matchup with the top-seeded Utah Jazz. And while the Warriors will look to replicate their performance against the Grizzlies from earlier in the week, the Grizzlies will look to turn the tables on Steph Curry and company.
The Memphis Grizzlies won their way into the final play-in game by defeating the San Antonio Spurs on Friday. They did so by shining on the defensive end, holding the Spurs to 35% shooting en route to a sub-100 point performance. That, combined with a 23 point and 23 rebound performance from Jonas Valanciunas, was enough to propel Memphis into a second game this week against the Warriors.
Memphis will hope to add another win to their impressive road record this season to get into the first round of the playoffs. Memphis is 20-16 on the road this season, which is a game behind several teams for the best road record in the NBA this season. A 21st road victory would shock the basketball world and give the Grizzlies a chance to go toe-to-toe with the Utah Jazz in the first round.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors appeared poised to claim the seventh seed in the play-in tournament when they took a double-digit halftime lead against the Los Angeles Lakers. But the Warriors allowed the Lakers to make a dramatic comeback that ended in a 103-100 defeat for Golden State. Now, with one chance left to make the playoffs, the Warriors will look to earn a second home victory over Memphis in the week.
During their game against the Grizzlies on Sunday, the Warriors fell behind in the first quarter by a 17-9 margin. But they quickly erased that deficit and got the victory thanks to a 46-point performance by Steph Curry. If Curry can put up similar numbers against Memphis again, it is highly likely that Golden State makes the playoffs by winning this elimination game.
Also important in Sunday’s win was the Warriors’ ability to force the Grizzlies to shoot a miserable 6-25 from three-point range. Memphis’ biggest weakness is its three-point shooting. Golden State will look to exploit that by shepherding them into taking those shots rather than feeding Valanciunas at the rim where they have an advantage.
Free Betting Pick
When these teams played on Sunday, they combined for 214 points, even with Curry going off for 46 points. If the Grizzlies can just hold Curry in check to some extent, this game should go under the total somewhat easily. And with the Grizzlies likely to continue to try and attack primarily with the two-point shot, there isn’t a lot of worry about them torching the total by getting hot from the perimeter either. Take the under in this final win or go home matchup before the playoffs.
The Pick: Under 221.5 Points