Memphis Grizzlies vs Minnesota Timberwolves 4/29/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Matchup Preview (4/29/22)

The Memphis Grizzlies (3-2) face the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 6 of the First Round. Memphis won Game 5 111-109 on a Ja Morant acrobatic layup. Down 11 points entering the 4th quarter, the Grizzlies kept their composure and charged back to claim a vital game. Morant finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists on 9/22 from the field. Desmond Bane scored 25 points on 3/8 from three, and he also added 2 steals and 3 blocks. Brandon Clarke was thrust into a more prominent role because Jaren Jackson Jr fouled out in 17 minutes. Clarke had 21 points and 15 rebounds on 9/14 shooting. Dillon Brooks struggled in Game 5, as he produced 8 points on 3/18 from the field and 1/10 from three. If Memphis can win this game, they will advance to face the Golden State Warriors. However, the Timberwolves are a complete wildcard who could look like an elite team on any given night, so Memphis cannot look to the future yet. Steven Adams is out for the Grizzlies, but they were not using him much anyways. Xavier Tillman will get the start at center again. 

Another collapse for Minnesota – it’s not surprising considering the amount of foolish mistakes this team makes. Anthony Edwards hit a clutch three-point shot to tie the game, but he goes for a steal when there are a few seconds left in a tie game? He finished with 22 points on 8/20 shooting. Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks on 5/7 from three. D’Angelo Russell added 12 points and 8 assists, while Beverley had 9 points and 6 assists. Minnesota got 32 points from the bench also. The Timberwolves shot the ball far better than the Grizzlies, but Memphis had 12 more offensive rebounds and 6 less turnovers. If Minnesota can limit their mental mistakes and play disciplined basketball, they can force a Game 7 where anything can happen.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Odds

The current spread is +1 Timberwolves, which is fair considering this game is a toss-up. I like the Grizzlies to win this game because they don’t make the same mistakes that the Timberwolves do. Memphis has already made multiple double digit comebacks this series, so they will have the psychological edge if they are down. Ja Morant is a special talent who is going to outplay Edwards and Russell. I don’t expect Jackson Jr to foul out so quickly again, and his defense will make a huge difference. Minnesota has the talent to win this game, but I don’t think they can get out of their own way. 

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TV Schedule

Date: 4/29/22
Time: 9:00 PM ET
Arena: Target Center – Minneapolis, MN
Channel: ESPN

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Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup

PG: Ja Morant
SG: Desmond Bane
SF: Dillon Brooks
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr.
C: Xavier Tillman

Memphis Grizzlies Analysis

Morant is affecting the series in multiple areas; he’s at 22.4 PPG, 10.4 APG, 8.8 RPG, and 1.6 SPG. Morant’s scoring is down because he is shooting 40.2 FG% and 26.7 3PT%. However, his ball handling is penetrating the paint and breaking down the defense, which is forcing the defense to collapse. Desmond Bane is taking advantage of this defensive movement, as he is scoring 23.6 PPG on a 46.8 3PT%. Bane’s spacing is key for the Grizzlies, but he can also create for himself off the dribble. The Memphis offense is clicking because Morant and Bane are drawing the vast majority of the defensive attention and still producing. Dillon Brooks, however, has struggled to punish the Minnesota defense. He is scoring 15.2 PPG on a bad 35/27/66 shooting split. If Brooks can increase his efficiency, the Timberwolves will be hard-pressed to stop this athletic offense. 

The defense has to slow down the fast-paced Timberwolves, and that starts with Jaren Jackson Jr. He fouled out in 17 minutes, which is unacceptable. Memphis needs his defensive versatility and shot blocking badly. His elite help defense can disrupt the Timberwolves and force them into tough contested shots. Brandon Clarke stepped up in Game 5, but Memphis would gain more from Clarke’s production coming on the bench unit, not the starting lineup. 

Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup

PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Patrick Beverley
SF: Anthony Edwards
PF: Jarred Vanderbilt
C: Karl Anthony-Towns

Minnesota Timberwolves Analysis

The most notable statistic of the series? D’Angelo Russell has 65 FGA, and Towns has 61 FGA. Russell is a playmaker who can hit threes, but he should never be a high volume guy on offense. His range has shown (39.3 3PT%) so far; however, he is at an awful 32.3 FG%. Russell needs to station himself on the three-point line and space the floor for his teammates. When he drives and takes a contested midrange shot worthy of Kevin Durant, it results in extremely inefficient offense. Towns, meanwhile, has a fantastic 54/52/90 shooting split. In the two games that Minnesota won, Towns was aggressive and didn’t settle for perimeter jump shots. He’s an All-NBA talent, but his mindset is holding him back. The foolish fouls have to stop too, since Minnesota cannot afford to have him in foul trouble. 

The second most notable statistic of the series? They are last in the playoffs at 19 turnovers per game. Minnesota is giving easy points to Memphis and not making them earn it through hitting contested shots. The central theme of the Timberwolves is a lack of discipline. They need to take care of the ball and play with a high basketball IQ. Minnesota cannot keep hurting themselves with their mistakes. 

Braxton has been writing for Lineups since December 2021 with the majority of his articles focused on the NBA. He is currently a senior at the University of Pennsylvania where he has spent the last few years working with various UPenn athletics teams and contributing to the UPenn Sports Analytics Group.

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