Game 1 - Blazers at Grizzlies, April 19, 5 p.m. Apr 18, 2015 5:00:48 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on Apr 18, 2015 5:00:48 GMT -8
Game 1 - Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies
What: The Blazers visit the land of Graceland in their playoff opener.
When: Sunday, April 19 at 5 p.m. (PT).
Where: FedExForum; Memphis, Tennessee.
Blazers Media: TV - KGW. Radio - Rip City Radio 620 AM.
Grizzlies Media: TV - SportsSouth. Radio - ESPN Radio 92.9 FM.
National Media: TV - TNT.
This Season: Grizzlies won the season series, 4-0.
Note: The Blazers won the Northwest Division, but the Grizzlies finished with a better record. Thus, the Grizzlies will have home court advantage in this round of the playoffs.
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The Blazers finished 51-31 overall and 19-22 on the road. They are coming off a 114-98 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks in their season finale on April 15. They averaged 102.8 points (8th in the NBA) and allowed 98.6 (8th). The Blazers won the Northwest Division title and earned the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Grizzlies finished 55-27 overall and 31-10 at home. They are coming off a 95-83 home win over the Indiana Pacers in their regular season finale on April 15. They averaged 98.3 points (17th in the NBA) and allowed 95.1 (2nd). The Grizzlies finished second in the Southwest Division and earned the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
SEASON SERIES RESULTS
Nov. 28 -- Grizzlies 112, Blazers 99
Jan. 17 -- Grizzlies 102, Blazers 98
Feb. 22 -- Grizzlies 98, Blazers 92
Mar. 21 -- Grizzlies 97, Blazers 87
MUST READ LINKS
Blazers-Grizzlies First Round Playoff Summary
2015 NBA Playoff Schedule and Results
Grizzlies' Tony Allen and Marc Gasol; Blazers' Damian Lillard
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
SF - 88 Nicolas Batum (9.4 pts, 5.9 reb, 4.8 ast)
PF - 12 LaMarcus Aldridge (23.4 pts, 10.3 reb, 1.7 ast)
C - 42 Robin Lopez (9.6 pts, 6.7 reb, 0.9 ast)
SG - 3 CJ McCollum (6.8 pts, 1.5 reb, 1.0 ast)
PG - 0 Damian Lillard (21.0 pts, 4.6 reb, 6.2 ast)
G - 5 Steve Blake; 23 Allen Crabbe; 10 Tim Frazie
F - 33 Alonzo Gee; 11 Meyers Leonard
C - 19 Joel Freeland; 35 Chris Kaman
G - 4 Arron Afflalo (shoulder) - doubtful
G - 3 CJ McCollum (ankle) - probable
G - 2 Wesley Matthews (achilles) - out
F - 88 Nicolas Batum (knee) - probable
F - 33 Alonzo Gee (foot) - questionable
F - 1 Dorell Wright (hand) - out
C - 35 Chris Kaman (back) - probable
REGULAR SEASON STATISTICAL LEADERS
Points - LaMarcus Aldridge 23.4
Rebounds - LaMarcus Aldridge 10.2
Assists - Damian Lillard 6.2
Blocks - Robin Lopez 1.4
Steals - Damian Lillard 1.2
FG - Robin Lopez 53.5%
FT - Damian Lillard 86.4%
3pt - Meyers Leonard 42.0%
SF - 9 Tony Allen (8.6 pts, 4.4 reb, 1.4 ast)
PF - 30 Zach Randolph (16.1 pts, 10.5 reb, 2.2 ast)
C - 33 Marc Gasol (17.4 pts, 7.8 reb, 3.8 ast)
SG - 5 Courtney Lee (10.1 pts, 2.3 reb, 2.0 ast)
PG - 11 Mike Conley (15.8 pts, 3.0 reb, 5.4 ast)
G - 3 Jordan Adams; 12 Nick Calathes; 15 Vince Carter; 2 Russ Smith; 19 Beno Udrih
F - 0 JaMychal Green; 32 Jeff Green; 30 Jon Leuer; 1 Jarnell Stokes
C - 41 Kosta Koufos
G - 9 Tony Allen (hamstring) - probable
G - 11 Mike Conley (foot) - probable
F - 32 Jeff Green (back) - questionable
REGULAR SEASON STATISTICAL LEADERS
Points - Marc Gasol 17.4
Rebounds - Zach Randolph 10.5
Assists - Mike Conley 5.4
Blocks - Marc Gasol 1.6
Steals - Tony Allen 2.0
FG - Kosta Koufos, 50.8%
FT - Courney Lee 86.0%
3pt - Courtney Lee 40.2%
NOTE: We use a different standard than the NBA for the individual regular season statistical leaders. Our leaders apply to players who have played half of their team's games (41), as well as other basic statistical minimums. Leaders who are listed as "out" due to injury are not listed.
Portland is stumbling into these playoffs following a rash of injuries, but still put together its second straight 50-plus win campaign. Aldridge is playing through a myriad of injuries, but that only goes farther to prove his commitment and leadership to the team. Lillard will have to turn it up a notch from how he ended the season. Batum's job will be to fill up the stat sheet as Blazers fans know he can do. Lopez will be tasked with guarding Gasol; more over to slow him down. I expect Afflalo is still at least a game away from returning from injury, so I am projecting Crabbe to start, mainly for his ability to defend. McCollum could be the x-factor off the bench, while Kaman can be a presence inside in the second unit. Leonard has earned a spot in the playoff rotation and his ability to stretch defenses by being able to shoot the three could be invaluable. The Blazers will rely heavily on Blake to both back up Lillard and to play along side of him. Do not be surprised to see Freeland get some minutes for defensive purposes.
Memphis came within a game of winning the Southwest Division, which was no easy task in a division where all five teams made the playoffs. Their 55 wins was good enough to gain home court over the Blazers. Much of the series previews and analysis talk about Aldridge versus Randolph. The latter has been solid throughout his career and seems to relish playing against the Blazers. Gasol is the alpha dog on the Grizzlies' roster and often in the conversation of best centers in the NBA. Every indication is that Conley and Allen will play. Conley could very well be the best defending point guard in the league, while Allen is a solid defender in his own right. Lee can defend and hit the three. Green is the Grizzlies' scorer off the bench. Udrih hit two late shots to beat the Blazers in November and Carter is a veteran who can still do some damage on occasion. Koufos has turned into a quality back-up big man. Calathes and Leuer could see some spot duty.
THE BLAZERS WIN IF THEY
Speed up the tempo, keep Randolph off the boards and make 12 or more threes.
THE GRIZZLIES WIN IF THEY
Win the rebounding battle, defend the three and two players score 20 more more points.
MATCH UP TO WATCH
LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Zach Randolph.
19 James Capers
42 Eric Lewis
49 Tom Washington
70 Brent Barnaky (alternate)
Blazers coach Terry Stotts: “I think we matchup well. No matter who we play, who we were going to be matched up with, it’s going to be a tough matchup. Everybody in the West is a good team, but Memphis plays well. It’s going to be a physical series, they’ve got a lot of good offensive weapons, they’re sound, fundamental defensive team. The 0-4 against them, obviously they won (those games) but I think we were in every game in the fourth quarter. So we’ll see how the series goes.”
Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge: “We’re very confident against any team. We feel like we haven’t played our best lately, I think every guy knows that. We’ve seen film of how we played good during the season. I think every guy is going to bring it.”
Grizzlies coach David Joerger: "We've been playing fairly hard. We've played some tough teams with half of our starting roster. It is what it is. Hopefully, we can get healthy and continue to play hard and really focus in."
Grizzlies' Zach Randolph: "It's not going to be easy. Home court is home court, but it's not home court unless you make it home court. If (Trail Blazers) come in and get a game, it's not home court. We've got to come out and play our game."
With Wesley Matthews gone for the season and Arron Afflalo likely out for game 1, Allen Crabbe may find himself in the starting lineup. The second-year Blazer from Cal-Berkeley is known as a sharpshooter, but he is also good defender. The Blazers were 8-0 during the regular season with Crabbe in the starting lineup.
MATCH UP MEME
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