West matchups

Which first round series will give us an epic showing in the West? (USATSI)
Which first-spherical sequence will give us an epic showing in the West? (USATSI)

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This is a rundown of the Western Conference Playoff Matchups updating with the outcomes Wednesday.

Locked:

San Antonio Spurs (1) vs. Dallas Mavericks (8)

Evaluation: Just for previous time’s sake, we’re getting a great old school Tim Duncan-Dirk Nowitzki duel in the playoffs. The Spurs are four-2 in playoff series in opposition to the Mavericks within the Dirk-Duncan period with the Spurs winning the latest series in 2010. We’re getting two of one of the best perimeter attack teams within the NBA, who execute with incredible precision.

The biggest key to this collection will find yourself being how the Mavericks’ large males play. Dallas has hassle on the boards and so they’re a fairly dangerous defensive unit in most creations they’ve with their lineups. Can anyone step up to proper the interior ship for Dallas or will Duncan and Tiago Splitter have their means inside and within the series?

Oklahoma City Thunder (2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (7)

Evaluation: After the Grizzlies introduced their presence with authority on the playoff scene in 2011, they had been outlasted by the Thunder in the second round of the playoffs in a pretty epic collection. Last season, we obtained a rematch however this one was sans Russell Westbrook, which allowed the Grizzlies to benefit from focusing on Kevin Durant defensively and making the remainder of the workforce beat them.

This time, the Thunder are wholesome and it is a completely different Durant than we have seen in the past. Who on the Grizzlies is able to conserving him in check? Who will be capable to score at a comparatively related clip to maintain pace with this Thunder group? Which position players will step up and provide some outside taking pictures? Grizzlies have to reply these inquiries to advance past OKC once more.

Los Angeles Clippers (three) vs. Golden State Warriors (6)

Analysis: A couple of days ago, this looked like a much better matchup than what we’re seeing now, thanks to the Andrew Bogut rib injury. This Warriors staff is going to rely closely on Jermaine O’Neal and doubtless David Lee at the five. This implies they’re going to should go heavy defense on the perimeter with a lineup consisting of Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, which could truly assist open things up offensively.

If the Warriors go small, we’ll get an identical attack to what they showed towards the Denver Nuggets final season. Nonetheless, this Clippers team has much more firepower than what the Nuggets may provide. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are enough to deal with with Bogut defending your back on defense. With out that anchor, can they stop enough penetration on the perimeter to neutralize the paint benefit for the Clippers?

Houston Rockets (4) vs. Portland Path Blazers (5)

Evaluation: If you happen to like 3-point shooting, this is the sequence for you. The Rockets and Blazers are one and three, respectively, in three-point makes an attempt per sport and each try to bombard you with exterior attempts. The Rockets capturing the most threes in the NBA however they make 35.6 p.c of them, which is sweet for seventeenth in the NBA. The Blazers’ attempts are rather more efficient, making the league’s ninth greatest proportion at 37.2 p.c.

The important thing for both groups will probably be who can get the stops once they’re needed the most. The Rockets have the fourth finest defense in clutch conditions, but they’ll most likely want a healthy or comparatively wholesome Patrick Beverley to maintain that going while bothering Damian Lillard and his incredible clutch scoring. The Blazers are 19th in clutch protection and will need to discover a strategy to get massive stops.

Jap Conference matchups here.

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Grizzlies big man Gasol hurts ankle, in walking boot

Hopefully the Grizzlies won't be without Gasol for very long. (USATSI)
Hopefully the Grizzlies won’t be without Marc Gasol for very lengthy. (USATSI)

The Memphis Grizzlies’ loss to the Miami Warmth Friday night wasn’t only a blow to them being one step nearer to securing a playoff spot within the West; the Grizzlies could have lost center Marc Gasol for a couple of video games because the common season begins to return to an in depth. Gasol left the game midway by means of the third quarter with a sprained left ankle, and did not return. The Grizzlies had been up two factors when he was subbed out.

After the sport, he was seen leaving the world in Miami wearing a strolling boot, doubtless a precautionary measure by the Grizzlies but certainly something fans will wish to keep watch over. Gasol finished with 14 factors and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes of motion.

Gasol missed 23 video games earlier within the season with an MCL sprain and the Grizzlies went 10-13 when he was out. They maintain only a half game lead over the Phoenix Suns for the eighth and last playoff spot in the Western Convention, sliding back into eighth after the loss Friday evening and a win from the Dallas Mavericks. Losing Gasol is large because of his defensive presence, his facilitating capacity on offense, and the truth that the Grizzlies are 30-15 with him in the lineup this season.

The Grizzlies host the Indiana Pacers Saturday evening and Gasol is unlikely to make that recreation after the ankle sprain. He’ll be reevaluated Saturday to replace his status.

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Mike Miller will sign with the Memphis Grizzlies, according to reports

Mike Miller cannot wait to get back in a teal-accented jersey (Joe Murphy/ Getty).

In three seasons with the Miami Heat, wing Mike Miller provided meaningful postseason contributions to the two-time champions, solidifying his reputation as a valuable veteran. When the Heat used the NBA’s amnesty provision on Miller last week to lessen their luxury tax burden, Miller became one of the most sought-after players on the market for teams with plans to contend for a title.

Early reports suggested that Miller would sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but those plans appear to have fallen apart. As first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com and later confirmed by Sam Amick of USA Today, Miller has told the Memphis Grizzlies that he will join them for the 2013-14 season and possibly beyond. Terms are not yet known, although the Grizzlies still have their full mid-level exception of $5.15 million and are less than $3 million under the luxury tax threshold. Miller also played for Memphis over six seasons from 2003 to 2008.

Miller should add some much-needed versatility to the Grizzlies’ wing rotation. While they have several excellent wing defenders who fit with their identity as a smashmouth, grit-and-grind outfit, the Grizzlies occasionally suffer from a lack of perimeter scoring and adequate spacing — particularly against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, when defenders made a habit of sloughing off Tony Allen and collapsing into the paint — and needed to add shooters this offseason. Miller made a habit of hitting big shots for the Heat in the postseason and could continue that practice with Memphis. In 2012-13, Miller hit 41.7 percent from beyond the arc in 51 regular season games and 44.4 percent in the postseason.

The worry with Miller is if he’ll be able to stay on the court. At 33 years old, he has suffered from many injuries over his 13 seasons and hasn’t played 60 or more games since 2008-09. The Grizzlies wanted Miller for what he can do in the playoffs, but it’s entirely possible that injuries will keep him from participating.

But that’s a risk worth taking. In a crowded field at the top of the West, secondary additions like this one could end up making big differences next spring. Miller is a proven contributor with a sorely needed skill, and his addition brings the added bonus of ensuring that other teams in the West won’t be able to enjoy his services. Miller wasn’t one of the biggest free agents on the market this summer, but he could have an outsized impact on the playoffs.