The Memphis Grizzlies came a shot away from being up two games to none in their 2013 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They remain the favorite to win the series with Russell Westbrook out of the playoffs due to injury. In order to keep the home court advantage they stole, the Grizzlies must win the next two games at home.
In Game 2, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph combined for 39 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 blocks as they continue to punish the Thunder inside. The Grizzlies also got a huge game from guard Mike Conley who poured in 26 points to offset the streaky outside shooting of the Thunder. The results was a 99-93 win on the road.
The Grizzlies did a good job of limiting the Thunder threes in Game 2 in giving up nine on twenty four attempts. Half of the threes came from Derek Fisher, while everyone else shot under 50 percent. They know Durant will get his points, but they must not give him too much space to penetrate while trying to guard the arc.
Defense will also be key for the Thunder today as they must find a way to force Gasol and Randolph into more misses. Reggie Jackson has had trouble containing Conley, so expect the Thunder to make some adjustments to try and cut down on Conley getting open looks and paths to the basket.
As has happened throughout the playoffs thus far for the Thunder, when they have won, Kevin Martin has enjoyed big games off the bench. In the Game 2 loss, Martin was a poor two of eleven shooting with only 6 points. He’s been up over 20 points per game in the wins. With Westbrook out, Martin’s contributions have become crucial to the Thunder’s success.
Tonight’s NBA 2013 Playoffs Round 2 Game 3 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies gets underway at 5/4c in on ESPN in high definition. Satellite and cable subscribers have the option of watching a free online live streaming version of Game 3 at Memphis here at ESPN3 via an iPad, mobile phone, laptop or other Internet connected device. This is a hard game to pick as it can go either way. I will give the nod to Memphis with the home court advantage by a close score of 95-92.