Memphis will look to rebound from their loss at Phoenix, emphasis on REBOUND.
While there's nothing the team can do about the Suns loss, they CAN exact some revenge on Denver Friday night.
If you liked watching Z-Bo wrestle with Luis Scola all night, as I did, then you'll love Zach's matchup with Kenneth Faried tonight. The Grizzlies gave up 19 offensive rebounds in their last game, something that I pretty much guarantee will be improved upon in the Mile High City.
That being said, crashing the boards is all Faried is programmed to do. He's like an organic Dennis Rodman (no tats, natural hair). It'll be another war inside on Friday night. Kenneth has the athleticism and the energy, Randolph has the long arms and the saavy tricks.
I give Memphis and their All-Star PF the edge here. I also expect Marc Gasol to chip in with a big game on the boards. I'm still shaking my head at his pair of rebounds vs Phoenix.
As for the perimeter matchups, look for a lot of cross-matching. Andre Iguodala will likely check Rudy Gay, leaving Danilo Gallinari on the smaller Tony Allen. The confusion of cross matches usually lead to run outs and cheap buckets in transition. I see TA guarding Iguodala and then leaking out on the break. He'll feast in transition despite that crisp mountain air.
I do envision a problem for the Grizzlies in the form of back-up PG Andre Miller. Lionel Hollins is hardly confident in Jerryd Bayless these days, paving the way for that impromptu Mike Bibby workout in Phoenix. Hopefully Miller, who also plays alongside Ty Lawson in the backcourt, won't be allowed to abuse smaller Memphis guards down on the block.
If the 'bigs' have to come over and help, that could affect the rebounding effort I mentioned earlier. I like the Grizzlies in this contest. They've lost two games in a row, an unprecendented occurrence this season, and have had their effort questioned in both games. It's time to bring The Grindhouse on the road and exact revenge for that home loss to Denver last month.
For more on the Nuggets: Denver Stiffs
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