Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, May 27, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Memphis was just a play away from stealing Game Two in San Antonio. Then, they got off to such a huge start early in Game Three that you at least figured the Western Conference Finals would be “on serve” heading into Monday’s fourth game.
But, we’re not on serve…this match feels like it’s already over!
San Antonio rallied from 18-points down to beat Memphis in the second overtime game of the series. Even though two games were virtual coin flips in the final moments, the Spurs now hold a commanding 3-0 advantage in the best-of-seven battle. And, they’re playing so well that it’s hard to see them losing four straight!
*The Spurs have picked apart this top notch Memphis defense by finding the weak link on the floor at any given moment and attacking it. Coach Gregg Popovich is a master chess player. He exploited that advantage over Lionel Hollins on multiple crunch time possessions. Popovich isn’t about to get dumber, and Hollins isn’t about to get smarter.
*Memphis doesn’t have an outside scoring threat they can count on. Inside, they’re dangerous. But, they’re not penalizing the Spurs for packing the paint by nailing the long ball. The Spurs have established that they can at least force a stalemate near the basket (Memphis shot only 40% on two-pointers in Game Three, which was at least better than the 35% they shot inside the arc in Game Two). San Antonio respects Memphis, but they’re obviously not scared.
*On the floor, the Spurs are much more experienced in championship level basketball. You can see Memphis questioning themselves when it’s time to win. You can see Memphis having 5-10 minute lapses that just wouldn’t happen to a veteran team that appreciates the moment. The Spurs did have a lapse of their own to start Game Three…but that’s after they were already up 2-0! Memphis had lapses when they should have been at peak intensity with their backs to the wall. A few players on the Griz have to learn what peak intensity actually means.
SAN ANTONIO at MEMPHIS
Vegas Line: Memphis by 2.5, total of 180.5
San Antonio Leads 3-0
Average result: San Antonio by 7.3 in regulation
Average total: 176.7 in regulation
Big drop there from Memphis -5 in the last game. The betting market no longer sees these teams as equals. San Antonio’s the better team…and early betting action at the opener of +3 suggests that some sharps believe San Antonio will wrap things up here. They know the advantage of getting extra rest (particularly with the Eastern Finals shaping up as a war). Has Memphis thrown in the towel? Keep in mind that a fast Memphis start might not see an immediate Spurs reply because San Antonio knows they still have two home games left if needed.
Tough series for Under bettors, as the last two games were well Under in regulation but went Over because of the extra time. If you think this series is due for a game that DOESN’T go five extra minutes, the Under might make some sense. We’ve seen very slow tempo’s that have been hidden by the additional possession volume from the overtimes.
Now that the personnel has established what’s going to happen on the hardwood, the key the rest of the way is INFORMATION! If Memphis has thrown in the towel, then San Antonio is a lock. If Memphis is embarrassed and breathing fire, then the Grizzlies might put this game away in the first half and cover by double digits. If both teams show up with intensity, the Under is a strong play barring overtime based on the regulation average. If one team stops playing defense…then we’re looking at an Over.
Again, INFORMATION IS EVERYTHING!
JIM HURLEY has been working very closely with his sources that are close to both teams. He believes he’s got a very strong play for you in Monday Night’s matchup. You can purchase the final word right here at the website with your credit card. Be sure to check out the FANTASTIC Memorial Day baseball schedule too, jam packed with great Interleague rivalries all through the day. THIS IS GOING TO BE A MAGNIFICENT MONDAY!
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Back with you Tuesday to preview Game Four of the Miami Heat/Indiana Pacers series as are basketball barrage from the playoffs continues. Watch the games on TBS and ESPN…and make sure you GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!