Minnesota Timberwolves vs Memphis Grizzlies 4/19/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Memphis Grizzlies Matchup Preview (4/19/22)

The Minnesota Timberwolves (1-0) face the Memphis Grizzlies (0-1) in Game 2 of the First Round on Tuesday night. The Timberwolves put on an offensive clinic and stole Game 1 on the road 130-117. Minnesota was up 5 points entering the 4th quarter, and they outscored Memphis 33-25 the rest of the way. Anthony Edwards flashed his potential in his first ever playoff game by recording 36 points and 6 assists on 52.1 FG% and 36.3 3PT%. Karl-Anthony Towns made his presence known in the paint with 29 points and 13 rebounds on an efficient 61.1 FG%. D’Angelo struggled with his shot (10 points on 2/11 shooting), but he orchestrated the offense and dished out 9 assists. Off the bench, Malik Beasley and Jaden McDaniels combined for 38 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists on 65 FG%.  

Ja Morant shined for the Grizzlies to the tune of 32 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists on 44.4 FG%. Dillon Brooks scored 24 points, and Desmond Bane chipped in 17 points. Jaren Jackson Jr showed his defensive abilities by recording an impressive 7 blocks. He also had 12 points and 4 rebounds, but he didn’t shoot well. Steven Adams didn’t attempt a field goal all game, yet he made winning plays and did the dirty work for the Grizzlies. Off the bench, Tyus Jones had 7 points and 6 assists, while Brandon Clarke turned in a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds). When a team is down 2-0 in a playoff series, the historical numbers look grim. In the 435 instances in NBA history when a team is down 2-0, only 31 teams have come back and won the series. That is only 7.1% of the time. It’s not hopeless if the Grizzlies drop Game 2, but it would look bleak with Game 3 and 4 being at Minnesota.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Memphis Grizzlies Betting Odds

In Game 1, the spread was -6.5 Grizzlies, and the over under was at 237.5 points. In Game 2, the lines have been adjusted to -7 Grizzlies and 241 points. Even though Minnesota won the first game, they are not getting respect from the spread yet. They managed to win by 13 points despite making 8 less free throws and allowing 14 more points off of turnovers than they scored. That is 22 points right there, which is not a small number. I am going with Memphis to win the game, but the Timberwolves to cover the spread. It’s going to be an extremely close game no matter who wins. The Grizzlies are going to bounce back defensively, and I expect Ja to rally his teammates for Game 2. Memphis was 4th in Offensive Rating and 6th in Defensive Rating for the season, so they have great potential. The Timberwolves stunned the Grizzlies in Game 1, but they will be ready for them in Game 2.

The over under of 241 is a very large number, but it’s there for a reason. The Timberwolves were 1st in PPG at 115.9, while the Grizzlies were 2nd at 115.6 PPG. The Timberwolves also played at the fastest pace, and the Grizzlies were 4th fastest. I am going with the under in Game 2. The teams combined for 247 points, but there were 56 made free throws. I don’t expect there to be that many free throws again, and I expect the Timberwolves to shoot slightly worse in Game 2. The game will end in the 230s, but 241 is a bit too high. 

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TV Schedule

Date: 4/19/22
Time: 8:30 PM ET
Arena: FedExForum – Memphis, TN
Channel: NBAtv

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Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup

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

Minnesota Timberwolves Analysis

Minnesota came out with tremendous energy and punched the Grizzlies in the mouth. Karl-Anthony Towns wasn’t settling for contested midrange jump shots; he drove to the basket with intensity and thoroughly outplayed Steven Adams. Towns stretched the floor still – he was 2/5 from three – but he actually looked like a center who could impose his will in the paint. Anthony Edwards flashed enormous two-way potential in Game 1. He was hitting step-back shots and pulling up for contested threes off the dribble. Even when Memphis defended him well, Edwards still drained the tough shot. Defensively, Edwards locked up the Grizzlies backcourt for stretches. He anticipated well and shuffled his feet to stay in front of the ball handler. If Minnesota consistently gets this version of Edwards, they are a legitimate threat in the West. 

Patrick Beverley has been the key for the Timberwolves. His mentality has created a culture in Minnesota that it desperately needed. Towns in particular looks aggressive and ready to fight tooth and nail. Beverley’s defense is ferocious, but his offense is unheralded. He makes the extra pass and always looks for his teammates who can shoot better than him. Beverley in Game 1 reminded me of 2022 Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics. Overall, the Wolves have a dangerous lineup that can ramp up the pace to warp speed.

Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup

PG: Ja Morant
SG: Desmond Bane
SF: Dillon Brooks
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr
C: Steven Adams

Memphis Grizzlies Analysis

Ja Morant was electric in Game 1; he soared for multiple acrobatic dunks and put on a show. Morant used the pick and roll like a seasoned veteran. He was splitting the defenders and slithered to the paint without too much of a problem. D’Angelo Russell is the weakest Timberwolves defender in the starting lineup, so Morant should attempt to target him in the pick and roll. Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks hit their shots, but they combined for 2 assists. Memphis needs more ball movement to keep the Timberwolves guessing and the offense flowing. It stalled at times, which is why having multiple ball handlers and facilitators is crucial. 

Although the Grizzlies are a dynamic fast-paced team, it would behoove them to slow the game down. Minnesota was 1st in pace, and they love to get out in transition and push the ball. If the game turns into a shootout, I actually think the Timberwolves have the edge in that scenario. That’s not to say that Memphis should suddenly play at a sluggish pace. They should push the tempo when they can, but they cannot afford to get out of control.

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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