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Wizards, Grizzlies Look To Take Advantage Of Home Court Saturday

Posted by on 5/7/2015 12:44:54 AM

With no NBA playoff games scheduled for Thursday night the four teams that take the floor on Saturday will have had a full three nights off to prepare for their respective Game 3’s in a pair of second round series’ that have been reduced to best-of-5’s. The Atlanta Hawks answered back with a 106-90 win over the shorthanded Washington Wizards to even their series at 1-1 before heading to the nation’s capital while the Memphis Grizzlies manage to steal a 97-90 win at the Golden State Warriors in Mike Conley’s return to the lineup and suddenly nobody is writing them off anymore. Here is a quick look at Saturday’s NBA playoff action and the best bets on the board.

Atlanta Hawks @ Washington Wizards

Game 3 – Best-of-7 Series tied 1-1

Saturday, 5:00 PM ET

Atlanta looked nothing like the team that was beaten at home by the Wizards just a couple of days earlier when they even their series with a win in Game 2 and now they will try and build on that momentum on the road while Washington attempts to rally at home for the next two contests. John Wall’s absence from the Wizards lineup was easily their biggest problem in Game 2 and while he is seeking a second opinion on his injured wrist the extra time off could be enough for him to get back in the lineup for Saturday. Washington needs its star point guard to shine in order to have any chance in this series but even if he does play there is a good chance he doesn’t play to his potential because of the injury. The Wizards had no response for Atlanta’s big men in Game 2 when Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll combined for 40 points and if they can’t slow them down in Game 3 we will more than likely see them take a 2-1 series lead.

Pick: Atlanta

Golden State Warriors @ Memphis Grizzlies

Game 3 – Best-of-7 Series tied 1-1

Saturday, 8:00 PM ET

Memphis made a statement with their 97-90 win over the Warriors in Game 2 with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol combining for 35 points while Conley went off for a game-high 22 points in his return. Conley couldn’t play in Game 1 because of the lingering swelling he was dealing with after suffering facial fractures in the opening round but he was an absolute beast at both ends of the floor in Game 2 and should get a boost in front of the home fans after a couple more days to rest and let the swelling go down. Golden State is the league’s most dominant team thanks in big part to its offense but after Conley, Tony Allen and Courtney Lee helped keep their perimeter shooting in check while Gasol and Randolph dominated down low in Game 2 it is clear that they have a legitimate shot in this series as long as they can continue to fluster Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. That tandem combined to go 13-of-34 from the field including 3-of-17 from beyond the arc in Game 2 and suddenly the momentum of this series has shifted. The Grizzlies still have an uphill climb as they try to grind out three more wins but if they play to their potential the way they did in Game 2 in front of the home crowd and with a strengthened sense of confidence thanks in big part to Conley’s return as well as the win at Golden State they could emerge with a 2-1 series lead with a win on Saturday.

Pick: Memphis

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