Memphis were able to close out Game 5 strong, and push the Timberwolves to the edge of elimination. However Minnesota has home court advantage and will just need to make small adjustments in order to prevent another late-game collapse.
Minnesota Timberwolves def. Memphis Grizzlies
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|Memphis Grizzlies||Head-to-Head||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Taylor Jenkins||Head Coach||Chris Finch|
|56-26 (2nd in West)||Standing||46-36 (7th in West)|
|114.6 (5th of 30)||Off Rtg||114.3 (8th of 30)|
|109.0 (12th of 30)||Def Rtg||111.7 (13th of 30)|
|100.3 (3rd of 30)||Pace||100.9 (1st of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|D. Bane (23.6)||PPG||A. Edwards (24.2)|
|J. Morant (8.8)||RPG||K. Towns (11.0)|
|J. Morant (10.4)||APG||D. Russell (7.2)|
|J. Morant (1.6)||SPG||D. Russell (1.2)|
|J. Jackson Jr. (2.8)||BPG||K. Towns (2.2)|
|X. Tillman Sr. (.769)/D. Bane (7.8)||FG%/FGM||J. McLaughlin (.667)/A. Edwards (8.0)|
|T. Jones (.571)/D. Bane (4.4)||3P%/3PM||J. McLaughlin (.667)/A. Edwards (3.8)|
|Killian Tillie||Memphis Grizzlies||31 Mar 2022||Out (Knee)||Tillie has not played since March 15th and there is no timetable for his return.|
|Ziaire Williams||Memphis Grizzlies||26 Apr 2022||Day to Day (Knee)||Williams left Memphis’ Tuesday (Apr 26) game and did not return.|
|Santi Aldama||Memphis Grizzlies||27 Apr 2022||Day to Day (Knee)||Aldama was OUT for Memphis’ Tuesday (Apr 26) game.|
The Memphis Grizzlies have shown the ability to turn a game in their favor through the pace of their play as well as their ability attacking the rim. Against the Timberwolves defence, the Grizzlies have been able to find fouls and convert from the free throw line.
The Grizzlies have dominated the battle to get to the free throw line, attempting 170 free throws to Minnesota’s 142. Ja Morant has led the way for the Grizzlies, attempting 54 free throws, but beyond him are the trio of Clarke, Brooks, and Bane, who have combined for over 60 free throw attempts.
Memphis’ ability to find points with the clock stopped has been a game changer for them, especially late in the match. As the score lines for their matches are separated by very little, free throws may be the difference for the Grizzlies.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) April 27, 2022
Ja Morant’s legend continues to rise, and his performance in Game 5 only set expectations for him even higher. Not only was he able to convert on the game-winning layup, but the ability to get to the line held off the Timberwolves.
Morant posted 30 points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals in 44 minutes of play. He wasn’t particularly efficient from the field, shooting just 9 of 22 on the night, but he was able to get to the free throw line 17 times while making 11.
The explosive offensive ability that Morant shows off is a game changer for the Grizzlies. If he can improve on his shooting efficiency, while maintaining his production, the Timberwolves will have difficulty holding him off.
When the game was in its most crucial phase, the Timberwolves crumbled. Outside of a dreadful fourth quarter in Game 4, the Timberwolves controlled much of the match. A full 48-minute effort is all it’ll take to force a Game 7.
In Game 4, the Timberwolves simply capitulated in the fourth quarter. They were outscored 24 to 37, and were held to just 33.3% shooting in the final frame. Their defence was poor in the fourth quarter, committing 11 fouls and sending the Grizzlies to the line 17 times.
The Timberwolves have the ability to control the game, but they need to be more intelligent with their defensive game plan. If they can contain the Grizzlies without sending them to the line, they can force a Game 7.
D’Angelo Russell stepback 3 over Ja Morant, impressive space creation from D’Lo pic.twitter.com/9P75VH1mDI
— Timberwolves Clips (@WolvesClips) April 26, 2022
The Minnesota Timberwolves have found great production in their star players Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. But if they hope to push the series to seven games, they need D’Angelo Russell to be more assertive with his offence.
In Game 5, Russell posted 12 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals in 38 minutes of play. He struggled outside of his three-point shot, as he shot just 4 of 10 from the field but 2 of 4 from three.
Russell has a more varied offensive arsenal than he’s shown, but he’s shot just 32.3% from the field through the series. If he can be efficient while increasing his offensive contributions, the Timberwolves can push the series to seven games.
|Memphis Grizzlies vs Minnesota Timberwolves Information|
|Who||Memphis Grizzlies vs Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Where||Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|When||Friday, 9:00 PM EST, April 29th, 2022|
|How to Watch||ESPN|
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