Blazers vs. Grizzlies Game 5 Preview & Prediction

The Portland Trail Blazers were written off for dead heading into Monday's Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Damian Lillard wasn't having any of that, willing the series back to Tennessee with a gutsy performance.

Memphis now has a chance to take the series in five at home, but will the Blazers spoil their plans once again? Here's a sneak preview of Wednesday's Game 5.

Projected Starting Lineups

(All stats based on playoff performance only)

(4) Portland Trail Blazers (51-31)

G Damian Lillard – 21.5 ppg, 5.0 apg

G Arron Afflalo – 2.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg

F Nicolas Batum – 16.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 4.8 apg

F LaMarcus Aldridge – 23.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg

C Robin Lopez – 5.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg

(5) Memphis Grizzlies (55-27)

G Nick Calathes – 16.3 ppg, 6.5 apg

G Courtney Lee – 16.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg

F Tony Allen – 5.o ppg, 6.8 rpg

F Zach Randolph – 13.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg

C Marc Gasol  – 19.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 5.5 apg

What to watch for:

The Mike Conley conundrum

It's no coincidence that Damian Lillard's breakout Game 4 performance (32 points, 7 assists) came with Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley sideline with facial fractures suffered in Game 3. In the first three games of the series, Lillard shot just 6-of-19 from the field and 1-of-9 from deep with Conley as his primary defender.

With Conley out once again for Game 5, the burden once again rests on Nick Calathes and a backcourt by committee to slow the Dame down

Prediction: Blazers win 101-99

The Grizzlies aren't a star-driven team, but they'll miss Mike Conley's leadership and lockdown defense more than people think in Game 5. The Blazers will escape by a hair, sending this series back to the Pacific Northwest for Game 6.

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