Memphis Grizzlies vs Minnesota Timberwolves 4/23/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Memphis Grizzlies vs Minnesota Timberwolves Matchup Preview (4/23/22)
The Memphis Grizzlies (2-1) will face the Minnesota Timberwolves (1-2) in Game 4 of the First Round on Saturday night. Memphis is entering Game 4 on a high note after snatching Minnesota’s soul in Game 3. Minnesota was up 83-62 with 1:01 left in the 3rd quarter, but Memphis scored 21 straight points to tie the game and eventually won 104-95. Ja Morant recorded a triple-double (16, 10, 10), yet he shot 27.7 FG% and had 7 turnovers. Desmond Bane scored 26 points on 7/15 from three while also grabbing 6 rebounds. Dillon Brooks struggled with his shot, as he had 11 points on 28.5 FG%. Off the bench, Brandon Clarke efficiently added 20 points and 8 rebounds. The Grizzlies shot 20/31 (64.5%) from the charity stripe, so that is a factor to watch going forward. Memphis is back in control of the series after having stolen home court back from the Timberwolves. Dillon Brooks is questionable with foot soreness. If he cannot play, the Grizzlies would lose key scoring.
The Timberwolves are the definition of an inconsistent, inexperienced team. Their scoring breakdown by quarter was the following: 39, 12, 32, 12. Minnesota had stretches in Game 3 where they looked like a top 5 team in the NBA; however, they also looked like a bottom-dweller at times. Anthony Edwards is not to blame at all; he is 20-years-old and has played well in every game. Karl-Anthony Towns is responsible for the Grizzlies 2-1 lead. He scored 8 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in Game 3 while committing 5 fouls. D’Angelo Russell produced 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists on 9/21 from the field and 4/8 from three. Jarred Vanderbilt had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, but he also was in foul trouble with 5 fouls. Malik Beasley added 11 points off the bench for the Timberwolves. If Minnesota goes down 3-1, they can essentially forget about advancing. Game 5 and 7 are on the road, and Memphis is the better team. The Timberwolves should consider this a must-win game and come out with the intensity they had in Game 1.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Odds
The spread for Game 4 is -3 Grizzlies after being -2.5 Grizzlies in Game 3. I like Memphis to cover because I don’t believe in Minnesota’s resilience or their ability to grind out a win. They utterly collapsed in Game 3, and Towns’ laid-back attitude after the loss gives me little hope about their ability to bounce back with intensity. The Grizzlies also have a superior coach in Taylor Jenkins. He’s made excellent adjustments, such as removing Steven Adams from the starting lineup. Chris Finch blundered in Game 3 by not calling a timeout during the 21-0 Memphis run. It wasn’t just then though, he also refused to call a timeout on earlier double-digit Memphis runs. I trust in Memphis’ talent, mentality, and coach more than Minnesota’s, so I am going with a Grizzlies cover.
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Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Target Center – Minneapolis, MN
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Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup
Memphis Grizzlies Analysis
In Game 1, Steven Adams played 24 minutes and had a -13 plus minus. He played 3 minutes in Game 2 and 0 minutes in Game 3. Adams is a traditional center who struggles to defend the perimeter and transition offense. Because Towns loves to shoot jump shots, Adams was being exploited by the Timberwolves. Taylor Jenkins inserted Kyle Anderson for Adams and moved DPOY-candidate Jaren Jackson Jr to center. The switch has worked for the Grizzlies, and Jackson Jr has helped limit Towns’ production. Adams is still a good role player, but this is just a bad matchup for him. With Anderson on the court, the defense is malleable and can switch when needed. Anderson also provides some facilitation (2.7 APG) and knows how to win from his Spurs days with Popovich, Duncan, and Kawhi.
Dillon Brooks’ status will be key for the Grizzlies. He averaged 18.4 PPG in the regular season, and he has scored 24, 9, and 11 points in the series so far. Brooks struggled with his shot in Game 2 and 3, but Memphis needs his ability to initiate the pick and roll and score off the dribble. It diversifies the offense and takes pressure off of Morant’s shoulders to constantly get his teammate a good look. With Morant, Bane, and Brooks on the court, Memphis has a variety of lethal options to score the ball.
Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup
Minnesota Timberwolves Analysis
The Timberwolves are 8-3 this season (including playoffs) when Anthony Edwards scores 30+ points. It’s clear that Edwards needs to be the main offensive guy, not Towns. In their Game 1 win, he scored 36 points on 12/23 from the field and 4/11 from three. He scored 20 in Game 2 on 16 FGA, and 19 in Game 3 on 13 FGA. The fact that his shot attempts have steadily declined is unacceptable and a losing strategy. Patrick Beverley took the same amount of shots as him in Game 3! Edwards is their best player at making contested shots, and his explosive frame makes him a menace on drives. The Timberwolves need to feed Edwards shots while allowing him the green light to initiate the offense.
In the last two games, Towns has 11 FGA and 10 fouls. He cannot keep committing foolish fouls because it ruins his rhythm and forces him off the court. The Grizzlies also get free throws, which are the most efficient source of points. Towns was assertive and dominant in Game 1; he had 29 points and 13 rebounds on 11/18 shooting. He was able to exploit Adams then, but he is talented enough to produce that game against anyone. His mentality needs to change rapidly for Minnesota to extend this series.