8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Line: Memphis by 4.5
Opponent Blog: Poasting and Toasting
The Grizzlies are attempting to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat tonight in welcoming the Knicks to town for their 10th game of the season.
After starting the season with a two-point victory over the Boston Celtics, the Knicks slipped into a slump in which they lost four of five – lately, however, the Knicks have managed to turn it around and gain some momentum in winning the last four games – especially in their win against Philadelphia.
The Grizzlies have suffered bad beats in losses to both the Lakers and the Thunder and are looking at the Knicks to turn their season around. Though a loss a loss, the Grizzlies walked away from both losses with encouraging defensive numbers that could prove to be useful against the Knicks tonight.
Keys to the game:
(1) Memphis must hold Carmelo Anthony to a lower offensive production. In his last five games at the Forum, he’s averaged 31.8 points. And, of course, one can’t forget his March 9 game-winning jumper in the last second of the game in the Knicks win over Memphis. Carmelo put up 27 in his last affair against Philadelphia.
(2) Marc Gasol must keep pace with Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemre down low. The two big men in New York still haven’t quite figured out their roles in the offense: Gasol needs to exploit that weakness.
The Knicks defense has been what has making them win games. A win will come for the Grizzlies if they can create and execute the open looks efficiently – they’re not going to win by playing the knit-and-grit down low, especially without Zach Randolph. Lastly, look for Rudy Gay to have a big night tonight – in the past, he’s fared well against the Knicks (22.0 points). Hopefully, it’ll be a night for him to turn his season around. He needs it.
Final Prediction: New York 88, Memphis 92
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