NBA Play-In Tournament: Memphis Grizzlies vs Portland Trail Blazers Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The Portland Trail Blazers closed the gap in the bubble schedule and grabbed eighth place in the Western Conference.
- Despite resuming the season in eighth place, the Grizzlies fell to ninth after a 1-7 record.
- Damian Lillard is the NBA bubbles leading scorer, averaging 37.6 points per game.
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Portland Trail Blazers vs Memphis Grizzlies Odds
|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Portland Trail Blazers||-7 –110||O 232.5 -110||-294|
|Memphis Grizzlies||+7 -110||U 232.5 -110||+230|
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Portland Trail Blazers vs Memphis Grizzlies Predictions and Picks
It took overtime to decide things between these two teams earlier in the bubble schedule, but that’s where the Trail Blazers shine. Memphis has performed admirably, but the star power of Portland in the clutch will push them over the edge.
Portland Trail Blazers def. Memphis Grizzlies -294
Portland Trail Blazers -7 –110
How to Watch Portland Trail Blazers vs Memphis Grizzlies
|Portland Trail Blazers vs Memphis Grizzlies Information|
|What||Portland Trail Blazers vs Memphis Grizzlies|
|Where||ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL|
|When||Saturday, August 15, 2020; 2:30 PM EST|
|How to Watch/Listen||Watch on ESPN+ here!|
What is the Play-In Tournament?
The NBA Play-In Tournament is a matchup between the eighth and ninth-ranked teams in the NBA‘s Western Conference. The competitors in the 2020 NBA Play-In Tournament are the Portland Trail Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
How to Qualify
Teams qualified for the NBA Play-In tournament by ranking eighth and ninth in the NBA’s respective conferences, so long as the ninth-place team was within four games of eighth. The Eastern Conference will not have a Play-In because the Washington Wizards finished outside of four games from the eighth seed Orlando Magic.
The two teams involved in the Play-In tournament will compete in up to two matches (if necessary).
The eighth-ranked team needs just one victory to advance to the NBA Playoffs. The ninth-ranked team must win the initial game, and then a subsequent game in order to overtake their opponent’s position.
When are the matches?
Game 1: Saturday, August 15th, 2020 at 2:30 PM EST
Game 2 (if necessary): Sunday, August 16th, 2020 at 4:30 PM EST
Head-to-Head: Portland Trail Blazers vs Memphis Grizzlies
|Portland Trail Blazers||Head-to-Head||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Terry Stotts||Head Coach||Taylor Jenkins|
|34-39 (8th in West, 16th Overall)||Standing||31-38 (10th in West, 19th Overall)|
|113.5 (4th of 30)||Off Rtg||109.3 (20th of 30)|
|114.6 (27th of 30)||Def Rtg||110.5 (15th of 30)|
|100.7 (13th of 30)||Pace||102.7 (7th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|D. Lillard (29.8)||PPG||J. Morant (17.9)|
|H. Whiteside (13.6)||RPG||J. Valanciunas (11.1)|
|D. Lillard (8.0)||APG||J. Morant (7.2)|
|T. Ariza (1.6)||SPG||D. Melton (1.3)|
|H. Whiteside (2.9)||BPG||J. Jackson (1.6)|
|H. Whiteside (.619)/D. Lillard (9.4)||FG%/FGM||B. Clarke (.621)/J. Morant (6.7)|
|H. Whiteside (.571)/D. Lillard (4.0)||3P%/3PM||G. Allen (.403)/J. Jackson (2.5)|
The Trail Blazers and the Grizzlies are two of the toughest teams in the West, which is mainly due to the dual contributions of each teams’ complementary stars. While Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum dominate teams from the perimeter for the Blazers, Ja Morant and Jonas Valanciunas take a more traditional approach to punish team defenses.
Both duos combined for impressive nights in their last matchup:
Portland Trail Blazers vs Brooklyn Nets (13 Aug 2020)
- (G) D. Lillard: 42 Points, 12 Assists, 2 Steals, 13-22 Field Goals, 8-14 Three-point Field Goals
- (G) C. McCollum: 25 Points, 7 Assists, 4 Rebounds, 3 Steals, 9-21 Field Goals
Memphis Grizzlies vs Milwaukee Bucks (13 Aug 2020)
- (G) J. Morant: 12 Points, 10 Assists, 13 Rebounds, 5-17 Field Goals
- (C) J. Valanciunas: 26 Points, 12 Assists, 19 Rebounds, 1 Block, 11-17 Field Goals
It’s no secret that these two teams need the best out of their stars in this matchup. Ja Morant must be more efficient from the field, while Jonas Valanciunas will have his hands full with the length of Portland’s frontcourt. On the Blazers’ side, Lillard has mostly carried the load while McCollum has contributed to poor efficiency. Neither of the Blazer guards put up much of a fight defensively.
The Portland Trail Blazers have one key advantage and that is their production in the paint. While Lillard and McCollum get all the applause, the blue-collar work of Jusuf Nurkic and Hassan Whiteside has been just as valuable. In their win against the Nets, the two combined for 38 points, 19 rebounds, and two blocks.
The Grizzlies usually play with just one big man in the paint, leading to opportunities for their shooters from deep. On the occasions that they like to run, key center Jonas Valanciunas sees a cut in minutes. He’ll have to combine with one of Anthony Tolliver, Brandon Clarke, or Gorgui Dieng to help defend their boards.
The Blazers will want to smash the Grizzlies in deep in order to open up opportunities for their scoring guards. While Memphis will usually want to counter by playing up-tempo, it is a losing battle to get in a shootout with McCollum and Lillard this season. The battle inside is in Portland’s favor, but Memphis certainly has a team that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Trail Blazers Key Player: (F) Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony today
? Your apology needs to be as loud as your disrespect was pic.twitter.com/OmtnNNEIoY
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 31, 2020
While the focus for the Blazers is on their stars of today, never doubt what could come from an eventual NBA Hall of Famer in Carmelo Anthony. Anthony may be on the tail end of his career, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by his production.
Over his time in the NBA bubble, Anthony is averaging 17.6 points and 6.9 rebounds on 47.3% from the field and 50% from deep. He’s not the focal point of the offence, but he’s been a more than reliable scorer in a pinch.
Anthony shot just 4-12 in his last game against the Nets, contributing just nine points and collecting five fouls in the game. The young Grizzlies will be attacking Portland from all directions, it will be up to Anthony to find his star power once again and relieve Portland’s main pieces.
Grizzlies Key Player: (F) Dillon Brooks
DB is on one to start the game.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) August 13, 2020
Dillon Brooks can be a game-changer for the Memphis Grizzlies. In just his third season in the league, Brooks has developed well beyond what any thought he could become as a second-round pick. Put simply, Brooks’ scoring leads to success for the Grizzlies.
In the NBA bubble Brooks is averaging 18.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists on 40.8% from the field and a paltry 23.9% from deep. Contrary to many shooters in the bubble, Brooks hasn’t been able to find his range.
The Canadian will have what may be his last opportunity to zero in on the rim from deep against the Blazers. In victories, Brooks averaged 19.3 points per game on 41.5% shooting from three. In losses he averages 13.2 points per game on 29.4% from three – the stats speak for themselves. Against one of the league’s strongest scoring teams, Memphis needs every contributor they can get. Brooks will be the most crucial.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]