The Memphis Grizzlies look to close out this eventful first round series when they travel and take on the Minnesota Timberwolves for Game 6 this evening on ESPN. Memphis picked up another improbable comeback victory in Game 5 at home, winning by a slim margin of 111-109. The Grizz come into this one as two-point favorites.
Memphis is 3-3 straight up over their last six games, and they’re also 2-4 ATS during this span. The Grizzlies were the best team in the league against the spread this season, covering 63.1% of the time and posting a 52-30-1 record.
Minnesota is also 3-3 SU over their past six games, and they’re 8-3 against the spread this month, with upset road victories over Denver and Memphis standing out. Overall, Minnesota is 44-38-2 against the spread this season.
Why Memphis can cover
Memphis has a chance to continue the trend of closeout Game 6’s. Ja Morant is more than capable of leading the charge and pulling off a Luka-esque, villain-like victory here. The Grizzlies have been so impressively resilient thus far and there’s no reason to assume this series continues after this evening.
Head coach Taylor Jenkins has been pretty impressive in his first season himself, posting a 56-26 record, and winning the Southwest Division. Memphis finished as the NBA’s best rebounding team and they nearly tied Minnesota for the league-lead in scoring at 115.9 points per game.
Another statement performance from Ja Morant would really be ideal for Memphis here. The Grizzlies quietly enjoyed one of the best seasons in the team history, and there’s no way Ja Morant allows his team to go out soft. The first-time NBA All-Star scored 32 in the opening game, getting the line a massive 20 times.
Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane have supplied consistent production all season, and they’ll need to show up big at home here. Both wings average above 18 points per game, with Bane really coming into his own this season as a two-way stud. Brooks scored an efficient 24 points in Game 1.
Why Minnesota can cover
Minnesota has fought really hard in this series and they surely won’t go out without a fight in what could be their final home game. They’ve had two games ripped away from them by Memphis, and their due this spot at home. We should be in for another battle-tested playoff game.
Head coach Chris Finch has really flipped the script in year one, guiding the Timberwolves to a 46-36 record and unseen playoff appearance in the vaunted Western Conference. Minnesota led the NBA in three pointers and scoring at 116.2 points per game, while shooting 45.7% from the field and allowing 113.4 ppg.
Anthony Edwards leads Minnesota in scoring this postseason, after exploding with a 36-point performance in Game 1. The 6’5 swingman has cooled off a bit since, but a big game here could save the T’Wolves season.
Minnesota needed more from Karl-Anthony Towns after a rough Game 3 and they got it. The three-point shootout champion rebounded with a 33-point double-double in the Game 5 win, and he scored a team-high 28 points last time out.
D’Angelo Russell has been inconsistent during this series, but a hot night from the former Ohio State guard could prove to be an X-factor for the home team. Patrick Beverley’s impact goes beyond the score sheet, and he’s been a real key to the Timberwolves’ turnaround.