Memphis Grizzlies Playoff Schedule: TV Info and Predictions for Second Round

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Memphis Grizzlies Playoff Schedule: TV Info and Predictions for Second Round
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

After winning their first-round series in six games, the Memphis Grizzlies find themselves in a tough second-round matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Grizzlies started the 2013 NBA playoffs off on a sour note, falling down to the Clippers 2-0 before rattling off four straight victories by an average of 11.5 points to win the series. 

Memphis has been led by Zach Randolph during the postseason, as the 6'9" power forward is averaging 20.8 points and eight rebounds per game this postseason, but the Grizzlies will need a strong defensive effort to contain the playoff's leading scorer in Kevin Durant (32.5 PPG).

With Russell Westbrook out for the rest of the postseason, the Thunder certainly present an easier matchup for the Grizzlies, whom they went 2-1 against during the regular season. 

It'll be a rematch of the 2011 Western Conference Semifinals between the Grizzlies and Thunder. Here's your breakdown for the seven-game series.

USA TODAY Sports

 

First Round Schedule (via Grizzlies official website)

Game When Where Watch
1 Sunday, May 5 at 1 p.m. ET Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City ABC
2 Tuesday, May 7 at 9:30 p.m. ET Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City TNT

3

Saturday, May 11 at 5 p.m. ET

FedExForum in Memphis ESPN

4

TBD

FedExForum in Memphis N/A

5*

TBD

Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City N/A

6*

TBD

FedExForum in Memphis N/A

7*

TBD

Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City N/A

*If necessary.


Regular Season Record and Leaders

Record: 56-26

Points Leader: Zach Randolph (15.4 PPG)

Rebounds Leader: Zach Randolph (11.2 RPG)

Assists Leader: Mike Conley (6.1 APG)

 

Grizzlies First Round Series Breakdown

Biggest Strength: Interior Scoring

Even before Blake Griffin's ankle injury, the Memphis Grizzlies were having their way inside against the Clippers, and that trend continued as the series progressed.

Memphis' two big men, Randolph and Marc Gasol, each averaged at least 17.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting at least 46 percent from the field. Randolph and Gasol consistently ate up the Clippers, as the two combined for an average of 42.5 points per game in the Grizzlies' four wins in the series.

Even against a strong interior defender like DeAndre Jordan, Randolph and Gasol got the job done and helped the Grizzlies advance to the next round.

 

Biggest Weakness: Three-Point Shooting

We knew heading into the playoffs that Memphis wasn't a great three-point shooting team, and they have continued to prove it throughout the postseason so far.

The Griz ranked 24th in the league during the regular season in terms of three-point percentage (.345), and they are shooting at an even worse .325 mark during the playoffs.

Memphis has an inside scoring game that can combat their subpar three-point shooting, but against a high-scoring opponent like the Thunder, the Grizzlies will have to knock down some threes in order to win this series.

 

Key Player: Mike Conley, PG

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously Zach Randolph is a key player for the Grizzlies, but with Westbrook out, I think Memphis has to take advantage of OKC's weakness at the position with Conley.

Against arguably the best point guard in the NBA in Chris Paul during his first-round series, Conley averaged 17.3 points and 8.3 assists per game, highlighted by three 20-plus point efforts and two double-doubles.

Westbrook is the type of defender who can frustrate the opposition, but with the star point guard not out there, Conley should have the scoring advantage on offense and have an easier time on defense defending Reggie Jackson.

If the Grizzlies look to exploit Jackson and take advantage of the mismatch at point guard with Conley, Memphis will advance to the Western Conference Finals.

 

Key Matchup: Zach Randolph vs. Kendrick Perkins

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We're going to see some old school basketball with the likes of Zach Randolph and Kendrick Perkins mixing it up in the paint for a seven-game series.

There will be no lack of toughness when Z-Bo and Perk start banging bodies in the paint, as both of these guys have built their games around physicality under the basket.

The real matchup will be when Randolph is on offense and Perkins is defending him in the post. Perkins prides himself on his defense while Randolph has been the leading scorer for Memphis throughout the entire season.

Make no mistake about it—this will be a fun and physical series to watch.

 

Prediction

Believe it or not, I like the Grizzlies in seven games. Memphis went 2-1 against Oklahoma City during the regular season with a healthy Russell Westbrook in the lineup, and I like the Grizzlies to take advantage of the Thunder at the point guard spot.

Without Westbrook, the Thunder aren't a complete team.

I'm taking Randolph and Gasol to overpower Perkins and Serge Ibaka in the paint, and I think Memphis knocks down enough open threes to advance to the Western Conference finals.

 

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