Courtesy of Coach Rick
On the final day of the NBA regular season, we have a game that could be a preview of a play-in game. Sunday NBA action includes the Memphis Grizzlies visiting the Golden State Warriors.
With the play-in tournament a new feature this season, it’s very possible the eight and nine seeds will play each other for the rights to the final playoff spot.
As it stands, that would be Memphis and Golden State. Let’s see how these two teams compare and make our pick for each team’s final regular season game.
After losing out on the final playoff seed a year ago, Memphis is poised for a second-chance in their second play-in tournament.
Memphis has had a steady season thanks to their balance on both ends of their floor. Their calling card has been their fast pace of play, first in the NBA in fast-break points, and their scoring touch inside. The Grizzlies rank number one in the league in points in the paint.
It’s been Ja Morant and Jonas Valanciunas leading the way most of the season. Former first round pick Jaren Jackson has recently returned to the lineup – adding a spark to this Grizzlies team.
Morant’s averaging 19.2 points per game and 7.3 assists per game. Valanciunas scores 16.8 per game and hauls in 12.4 rebounds.
The Grizzlies defense is an average unit, squarely in the middle of the NBA ranks. They’re not overly strong at stopping either points in the paint or threes, but they aren’t vulnerable to any particular attack either.
Our last article was a 76ers at Bucks betting preview, go see how it aged.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have had an up and down season, and them being in the mix at the end of the year is a testament to how strong Steph Curry has played.
Curry is averaging 31.9 points per game on 49/43/93% shooting splits. He’s also chipping in over five boards and five assists per game – doing a bit of everything for Golden State.
Beyond Curry, Andrew Wiggins has stepped up as a second scoring option. Wiggins is averaging 18.3 points per game, shooting a respectable 38% from deep.
As basketball bettors may expect, the Warriors make their money from deep-fifth in the NBA in threes made per game. 22nd in points in the paint, the deep ball is how Golden State tends to win their games.
The Warriors have been respectable on the defensive end, a top-ten defense when it comes to efficiency and the opponent’s field goal percentage.
Coach Rick pick
This will be the rubber match between these two teams. Golden State won the first game, 116-103, while Memphis took home the second 111-103.
The Warriors defensive strength, stopping points in the paint, mitigates the Grizzlies best chance of keeping up. And while Memphis has a respectable defense, they aren’t designed to slow down the bevy of threes they’re about to face.
As such, the expectation here is a win for the Warriors. Beyond a spread pick, consider betting the over between these two teams. Both rank inside the top-ten of pace of play, suggesting plenty of scoring opportunities for both sides.