ESPN, Sports Illustrated predict Warriors to beat Grizzlies. Here’s what we think

The Memphis Grizzlies won three of four games against the Golden State Warriors during the regular season. But that didn’t sway experts making predictions for the Western Conference semifinals.

Ahead of Game 1 Sunday (2:30 pm, ABC), both ESPN and Sports Illustrated went heavy picking the No. 3 seed Warriors over the No. 2 Grizzlies. At ESPN, all 20 experts picked the Warriors to win and 12 of 13 experts at Sports Illustrated picked the Warriors.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant drives against the Golden State Warriors at FedExForum on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.

Three of ESPN’s experts predicted the Warriors to win in five games. nly one person – digital and social content commentator Omar Raja – picked the series to go seven games. The rest picked the Warriors to win in six.

At SI, writer Kyle Wood was the lone person who took the Grizzlies winning in seven games. Two of the 12 who picked the Warriors predicted a five-game series while the rest had them winning in six games.

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Two of our experts picked the Grizzlies to lose the Warriors before the postseason. Has that changed after the first round? Here’s what we think

Damichael Cole, Grizzlies beat writer

Warriors in 7: The Grizzlies will push Golden State to the limit and earn their national respect, but the Warriors have too much offensive firepower with Klay Thompson being back to form and the rise of Jordan Poole. Ja Morant will have a better series, but Golden State pulls it out.

Evan Barnes, sports reporter

Grizzlies in 7: The Warriors have experience, more perimeter shooting, and a healthy Draymond Green. The Grizzlies have size, offensive rebounding and confidence beating this team four times since last May. It won’t be easy but the Grizzlies can win if Ja Morant return to form and Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks have an impact without over-fouling.

Mark Giannotto, columnist

Warriors in 6: The Grizzlies are going to give Golden State fits just like Minnesota gave Memphis fits in the first round. But the Warriors’ depth of shotmakers and championship experience will ultimately be a little too much for the Grizzlies this year.

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You can reach Evan Barnes on Twitter (@Evan_B) or by email at evan.barnes@commercialappeal.com

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: ESPN, Sports Illustrated pick Warriors to beat Grizzlies in NBA playoffs

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