Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Player Prop: Banking on Brandon Clarke in Game 2

The Memphis Grizzlies are hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves for Game 2 this evening as the Grizzlies look to even the series up 1-1. Gray Gutfreund breaks down the matchup.
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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Player Prop: Banking on Brandon Clarke in Game 2

The Memphis Grizzlies are hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves for Game 2 this evening as the Grizzlies look to even the series up 1-1 before traveling to Minnesota for Game 3. The first installation of this matchup showed how exciting and fast these two squads are when facing each other, and this up-tempo style of play clearly favors some players more than others.

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Brandon Clarke is one of the NBA's most athletic big men, while his teammate Steven Adams is not. The Grizzlies and T-Wolves both ranked top 3 in the NBA in pace this season, and it was obvious in Game 1. The 247 total points these teams put up on Saturday is the highest mark of any postseason game thus far. Expect this pace of play to continue, which should result in an increased role for Clarke this evening.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Player Prop Pick

Brandon Clarke Over 9.5 Points (+100) (Bet $100 to win $100)

*Odds Available at DraftKings at Time of Publishing*

Memphis runs four big men in their rotation, and it's almost a guarantee that no more and no less than two of them will share the court at any point in the game. Here's how their minutes were distributed in Game 1:

  • Brandon Clarke -- 27 minutes
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. -- 24 minutes
  • Steven Adams -- 24 minutes
  • Kyle Anderson -- 21 minutes

Clarke didn't just lead the group in minutes last contest. He finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds, more than each of the other three bigs.

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The Gonzaga product's weekend outburst has been a standard occurrence against the Wolves dating back to last season. He's scored 10+ points in 7 of 8 games against Minnesota since the start of the 2020-21 campaign, averaging 12.8 PPG across these games.

Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins hasn't been shy about giving Clarke a larger workload than Adams against Minnesota in the past. Here's how his numbers stack up against Adams and Anderson against the Wolves this season:

  • Brandon Clarke -- 23.5 MPG, 12.0 PPG, 7.6 RPG
  • Steven Adams -- 22.2 MPG, 3.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG
  • Kyle Anderson -- 21.1 MPG, 5.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG

We now have a five-game sample of Memphis vs. Minnesota matchups this season. And, Clarke has clearly established himself in a larger role than Adams and Anderson, while also out-performing them considerably. Memphis' scoring margin was +2 during Clarke's 27 minutes and -13 in Adams' 24 minutes last game, so expect similar minutes for the 25-year-old tonight.

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Clarke will undoubtedly be locked into at least 20 minutes this evening and his hit rates on this points line when seeing sufficient playing time are outstanding. In 2020-21, Clarke played at least 20 minutes in 46 different games. He reached double figures in 32/46 games, averaging 11.5 PPG. This season, he was even better. He scored at least 10 points in 26/32 games when seeing at least 20 minutes this season, averaging 12.8 PPG across these games.

Memphis' 7th-man averaged 12.8 points per 24 minutes this season. I have him projected to play around half the game, which means we're getting some fantastic value on his scoring line tonight.

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Gray is a massive New York sports fan, and is an NBA & NFL oracle. He’s a passionate writer with a strong background in statistics, and loves putting out player props! You can follow him on Twitter @PropBetGuru.

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