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For the first time in NBA playoff betting action, we have a Game 7 on our hands. The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies have fought tooth and nail over the course of these first six games, and when the dust settles on Sunday afternoon, one will be in the Western Conference Finals for the first time in team history. Check out our NBA picks for the biggest clash of the year!
NBA Playoffs Preview: Memphis Grizzlies @ Oklahoma City Thunder Game 7
Date: Sunday, May 15th, 3:30 ET
Location: Ford Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Game Line: Oklahoma City -6.5
Grizzlies Notes: This is also the first time that we have seen the Grizz play in a Game 7 in franchise history. Of course, the hope for them in this one is that no one on the Thunder, save for Kendrick Perkins, there is no Game 7 history either. The best news for Memphis is that it is on a roll from the second half in Game 6. The Grizzlies outscored Oklahoma city 51-29 in the second half. The bad news though, is that Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol haven’t been on the same page a lot in these last two games. This is the first duo since the 1970s over the course of the same seven game series to score 20+ points and have 20+ rebounds in a game. Randolph put up 30 points and had 13 boards on 12-of-22 shooting on Friday night. Gasol though, only had eight points and nine rebounds in what might have been his worst game of the postseason for him. The good news was that OJ Mayo really stepped up, scoring 16 points, including knocking down a pair of big time three point shots. Mike Conley Jr. really hasn’t had a great shooting touch in this series, and that showed again when he went just 3-of-12 from the floor in Game 6. He was the man that was doing a ton of setting up for the other stars though, particularly Z-Bo. Conley had a double-double with 11 points and 12 assists. The Grizz shot just 43.4 percent from the field and 31.2 percent from beyond the arc, but 18-of-22 from the foul line made up big time for an awful shooting night from the charity stripe in Game 5.
Thunder Notes: Kendrick Perkins warned the rest of his teammates that the Thunder hadn’t accomplished anything when they won Game 5. Now, just a few short days later, the team is on the brink of the disaster of blowing a 3-2 series lead to a team that had never won a series before this year in team history. Kevin Durant has had some absolutely terrible games in this series, and these last two games have been awfully bad. Durant had just 11 points and picked up just seven rebounds in Game 6, and he shot just 3-of-14 from the field and 1-of-9 from three point range. He’s down to averaging 28.0 points per game, which was a number over 30.0 points per game before these last two outings with just 30 points combined. Durant also had three double-doubles in the first four games in this series. He hasn’t even come close since that point. Russell Westbrook did have a nice game in terms of shooting a 11-of-22 for 27 points, but you definitely want your point guard coming up with more than four assists, especially when there are five turnovers that were offsetting it. In fact, that turnover problem was a big one in Game 6. Oklahoma City coughed up the rock 16 times against just 15 assists. The team shot just 16.0 percent from three point range and 41.9 percent from the field. Only six offensive rebounds won’t cut it either, and it was the worst production on the glass that the team has had in this series.
The Final Word: This is going to be a heck of a fight right down to the wire. Could the Grizzlies win this game? Absolutely! Memphis is every bit as good as Oklahoma City is right now, and knowing that we are getting 6.5 points on our side is just too good to pass on. We tend to believe that when push comes to shove, the Thunder are going to move on, but this could easily go either way.
Free NBA Playoffs Picks: Memphis +6.5
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies Prediction: Oklahoma City 102 – Memphis 98