With the NBA Playoffs rolling along, two series are entering into the game five stage. In the first matchup on Tuesday, the Timberwolves travel to Memphis in a clash against the Grizzlies to see who can get the edge in a 2-2 set. Later that day, the Suns host the Pelicans at home in another deadlocked 2-2 series showdown. Both of these games will be pivotal matchups in deciding who will get the edge in each series and advance to the next round.
As always, SBS has you covered with our NBA breakdown below. Check out what to expect from each team and also who will win in each game five contest.
What to look for from: The Minnesota Timberwolves
Coming off a narrow win at home, 119-118, Minnesota is angling for its second straight victory over Memphis. After losing their last two games to the Grizzlies by a combined score of 37 (nine points in game three and 28 in game two), the Timberwolves were able to eke out the win on their home court on Saturday. Minnesota center Karl Anthony-Towns played with a ton of “rage” in the Timberwolves game four victory and led his team with 33 points and 14 rebounds. A back-and-forth battle, Minnesota also got a solid night from small forward Anthony Edwards who had 24 points and was a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line.
What to look for from: The Memphis Grizzlies
Smarting from their last second loss, the Grizzlies are hoping to get things back on track at home. Earlier this series, in games one and two at home, Memphis went 1-1 but rolled in a resounding game two victory, 124-96. In that contest, the Grizzlies routed the Timberwolves by forcing 20 turnovers and getting a stellar game from superstar point guard Ja Morant (23 points). They will be looking to replicate this blueprint in game five as the action returns to the FedEx Forum. Keep in mind too, Memphis went 30-11 at home during the regular season and were the No. 2 team in the Western Conference this season for a reason.
Prediction: In what should be another slugfest, keep your eyes on the Grizzlies pulling away here due to their strong home court advantage.
What to look for from: The New Orleans Pelicans
In a surprise turn of events, the upstart Pelicans have been able to hold off the No. 1 seed Phoenix Suns and are coming off a 15-point win at home. Thanks to small forward Brandon Ingram’s 30 points, New Orleans outclassed the Suns and was also bolstered by a solid rebounding advantage (+11). Though neither team shot particularly well from three-point land, it did not matter as the Pelicans were able to pull away in the second half by outscoring Phoenix, 69-52. Also in game four, center Jonas Valanciunas had a great night by leading all players with 15 rebounds.
What to look for from: The Phoenix Suns
Without the services of All-NBA shooting guard, Devin Booker, the Suns have had their hands full with the plucky Pelicans. However, with the series returning back to their home court, the Suns should be able to get their mojo back. During this set with the Pelicans, Phoenix has been able to hold off New Orleans for periods of time (like their game three victory on the road), but Booker’s absence has been resounding given each team’s track record during the regular season. Nonetheless, the No. 1 seed Suns did have the NBA’s best record at home this season at 32-9.
Prediction: With this series returning to Phoenix for game five, the Suns should be able to rebound from dropping game four and get the victory at home thanks to their robust depth.
One of the most exciting playoff tournaments, the NBA postseason is an amazing showcase of some of the best athletes in the world. With that in mind, make sure to check out SBS’ NBA betting guide to stay on top of all the action. SBS also has you covered when it comes to finding the best wagering plan for you, like our breakdown on VIP betting. Finally, if you are uncertain on which kind of payment methods are available to you, we have your back with our robust payment options page.