Season Series: 4-0 Memphis
Just like the #4 and #5 match up in the east, we expect this to be a great series. Even though the two best players on the court both belong to Portland (LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lilliard), the Grizzlies play some of, if not THE, best defense in all of basketball. What hurt Portland last season was their bench just wasn’t deep enough, so at the trade deadline this season they made a big move by acquiring Aaron Afflalo from the Nuggets. Their strategy was quickly torn apart when they lost guard Wesley Matthews for the season, forcing Afflalo into the starting lineup instead of being a threat off the bench.
The Grizzlies have one of the best big man duos down low with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, but I think the difference in this series is going to be which team has a better playmaker in the clutch, and the Grizzlies just don’t have it. I know the old saying is “Offense wins games and defense wins championships” but in this series the Grizzlies are going to need more offense and I just don’t think they can provide it. This series will be back and forth, but I believe in the end, Portland, will have the last laugh.
Goofiest Center Combination: Chris Kaman and Robin Lopez
If there was an NBA all goofy team these two guys would definitely be on it. Somehow they’re on the same team and they play the same position.
Series Prediction: Trail Blazers in 7 games