Spurs vs Grizzlies NBA Play-In

Spurs vs Grizzlies NBA Play-In Tournament | 2021 NBA Betting Odds

Written by on May 19, 2021

The first Western Conference NBA play-in tournament game Wednesday is the 10th-seeded San Antonio Spurs at the No. 9 Memphis Grizzlies. The loser’s season is over, while the winner probably will visit No. 8 Golden State on Friday for the final spot in the playoffs.

How to Bet Spurs at Grizzlies NBA Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: FedExForum
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com

Season Series

Memphis leads the season series 2-1 but the teams haven’t played since way back on Feb. 1, a Grizzlies 133-102 win in San Antonio. All 10 Grizzlies who played had at least one assist and Memphis had nine players score in double figures. The Spurs pulled their starters and key reserves midway through the fourth quarter with the Grizzlies up 111-90.

While the Play-In games are separate from the postseason, the Grizzlies and Spurs have met five different times in the NBA Playoffs, most recently in the 2017 Western Conference First Round. Memphis memorably upset San Antonio in the first round in 2011, becoming the second eight-seed in NBA history to defeat a one-seed in a seven-game series.

Why Bet on San Antonio? | 2021 NBA Betting Odds

Due to injuries, COVID and the release of former star LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs have started 13 players and used 14 starting lineups in the shortened season. They lost 10 of 12 since Derrick White went down with an ankle injury but still managed to make the play-in game. Their biggest concern is 3-point shooting. San Antonio is 29th in made 3s per game and 23rd in 3-point percentage.

The Spurs closed the regular season with a fourth straight loss Sunday, 123-121 at home to Phoenix. Jakob Poeltl double-doubled with 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in 30 minutes vs. the Suns. DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points to go along with four assists and three rebounds across 25 minutes. DeRozan played just under six minutes in the second half, as he was limited heading into the play-in tournament. He averaged 6.9 assists per game in the regular season, a new career high.

The Spurs had Dejounte Murray (lower back), Rudy Gay (sore right heel) and Lonnie Walker IV (sore left quad) in action, but they still couldn’t beat the depleted Suns. Patty Mills didn’t play for San Antonio but will here.

San Antonio was one of two teams (Indiana was the other) with a winning record (19-17) on the road and a losing record (14-22) at home. The Spurs had the second biggest differential between their record against the 15 teams that finished at or below .500 (22-11, 0.667) and their record against the 15 teams that finished above .500 (11-28, 0.282).

They were the league’s best second quarter team (+10.8 points per 100 possessions). The Spurs are averaging 11.4 turnovers, the fourth-lowest team average for a single season in NBA history. They had 13 different leading scorers this season which is tied for the second most leaders in franchise history. The franchise recorded for leading scorers is 15 different players set during the 2017-18 season.

Why Bet on Memphis? | 2021 NBA Betting Odds

The Grizzlies’ biggest star is second-year point guard Ja Morant, but an argument can be made that center Jonas Valanciunas was the Grizzlies’ MVP during the regular season. He averaged 17.1 points per game while ranking third in the league in rebounding (12.5) and double-doubles (49). Valanciunas set career highs for rebounds (franchise-record 12.5), offensive rebounds (4.1), defensive rebounds (8.4), double-doubles (49, 3rd) and field goal percentage (.592) in his ninth NBA season.

Memphis has dominated near the basket this season, leading the NBA in paint points per game and second-chance points per game. They are the fourth team over the past 25 seasons to lead the league in both during the same season.

The Grizzlies ranked third in turnover differential, committing 1.5 fewer per game than their opponents. (The Spurs ranked second at -1.8 per game.) Memphis tied for the second most losses (they were 37-12) after leading by double-digits. They were also 0-22 after trailing by 15 points or more. Sacramento (0-23) was the only other team without a win in a game it trailed by at least 15 points.

The Grizzlies set franchise records this season for points per game (113.3) and offensive rating (111.7).  The Grizzlies ranked tied for third in the league in assists per game (franchise-record tying 26.9). Memphis recorded 30+ assists 25 times this season after setting a franchise record with 20 games of 30+ assists in 2019-20. The Grizzlies went 22-3 this season when reaching 30+ assists.

Memphis had a five-game winning streak snapped in the season finale, a 113-101 loss at Golden State. Valanciunas had 29 points and 16 rebounds for the Grizzlies. Morant added 16 points and nine assists. Memphis finished 20-16 on the road, the third-highest road winning percentage in franchise history (.585 in 2012-13 and 2014-15).

Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins spent six seasons (2007-13) with the Spurs organization, joining the basketball operations department in 2007.

Expert Prediction

  • Grizzlies 113, Spurs 110

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