- Tip Off: 7:30 p.m. (PT)
- Television: CSN-BA
Memphis Grizzlies Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 101.1 (16th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 96.2 (2nd in NBA)
- Points: Rudy Gay, 17.8 PPG
- Rebounds: Zach Randolph, 12.0 RPG
- Assists: Mike Conley, 6.4 APG
- Steals: Mike Conley, 2.4 APG
- Blocks: Marc Gasol, 1.9 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Zach Randolph, 50% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Wayne Ellington, 43.6% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: 3 Shades of Blue.
Preview: Earlier in the season, the Memphis Grizzlies dispatched the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena by double digits thanks in large part to their defensive intensity, which allowed them to hold the Dubs to 94 points on 45 percent field goal shooting.
The Grizz have since been carried throughout the regular season by that very same defense, which is ranked as the second best in the league statistically.
For a brief stretch this season, the Grizzlies were viewed as the Western Conference’s dominant team by virtue of some strong performances against top shelf NBA teams such as the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks.
The Grizzlies players set the tone early in contests by playing physical defense and swarming to the ball, thus making things quite uncomfortable for the opposition.
Memphis packs the paint and attacks ball handlers as well as post players to force the ball out of their hands and create situations that lead to turnovers.
One way of taking advantage of this is with simple passes, ball fakes and great perimeter shooting. Indeed, because the Grizzlies like to flock to the ball especially when it approaches the paint, it means that perimeter players are often left momentarily unguarded at the 3-point line.
This explains how Golden State converted 10-for-20 shots from 3-point land on November 2nd against the Grizzlies; but it’s still worth noting that the Warriors coughed the ball up 18 times in that very same game.
Stephen Curry and David Lee are two of the team’s three best playmakers, and they combined for eight miscues in their first battle against Memphis.
It stands to reason that the turnovers and 3-point shooting will go a long way towards determining the winner of this contest, but I would also add that Carl Landry’s offensive performance will play a huge part for the Dubs as well.
Indeed, Landry does a good job of not only posting up, but also setting up opponents with his jump shot and attacking slower players off the dribble. But again, this will have to be executed fairly quickly tonight, otherwise he will be met by a sea of defenders trying to snatch the ball away from him.
One should keep in mind that this isn’t just your typical regular season game given that these teams are separated by one game in the standings.
The playoffs are still a couple of months away, but could this be a potential opening round preview?
Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at JM.Poulard@Warriorsworld.net.