|2013/2014 NBA Season|
|December 21st, 2013|
|Madison Square Garden in New York City|
|11:00 AM CST|
|Fox SportSouth/ 92.9 FM ESPN|
|Mike Conley||PG||Beno Udrih|
|Mike Miller||SF||Carmelo Anthony|
|Zach Randolph||PF||J.R. Smith|
|Kosta Koufos||C||Tyson Chandler|
|2013/14 Advanced Stats|
|92.1 (30th)||Pace||92.3 (29th)|
|100.2 (22nd)||OEff||101.6 (19th)|
|105.7 (26th)||DEff||104.9 (24th)|
Losers of five in a row, our battered and bruised Beale Street Bears bravely embark to the Big Apple in hopes of bringing back a rare, and much needed victory by beating the Knickerbockers. Alliteration aside, if ever there was a time for the Grizzlies to grab a win and right the ship, against the Knicks, a team somehow more disappointing than the Grizzlies, would be the ideal time. My man Gandhi once said, "There ain't nothing like Christmas in New York." Let's hope that proves true for the Grizzlies.
Reports seem to indicate that Memphis will have it's starting point guard back in Mike Conley, as he is allegedly going to play after missing the last two games. Tony Allen, who left Wednesday night's game, is also good to go as well. Tayshaun Prince, who is reportedly dealing with a
phantom knee injury, is doubtful for this game.
Keys to Success
Shoot Better: The Grizzlies have shot a mere 43% over their last five games, all loses. The poor shooting by Memphis has led to them playing from behind, for virtually all of the game. If the Grizzlies want to win this game, they'll need to shoot a higher percentage, and keep from draining all of their energy by playing from behind.
Defend Better: Over the past five losses, the Grizzlies are allowing their opponents to shoot 51% from the floor. In addition to this, they are surrendering 38.8 points in the paint, 24 free throw attempts, and over eight 3-pointers a game. That's just bad, and there is really no other way to say it. (Actually there is, but children read this blog, so "bad" is the word we'll stick with.) If Memphis is going to walk away victorious, they'll need to do a better job of defending without fouling, running guys off the 3-point line, and forcing Carmelo Anthony into contested jumpers.
Play Better: During each of the last five games, Memphis has trailed almost wire to wire, and their understaffed squad has gotten embarrassed for the majority of the time they were on the floor. Having Mike Conley back will help some, but they'll still need to execute their game plan at a much higher level, do a better job of holding on to the basketball, and just looking like competent NBA players.
Stay on the Court Better: It seems like every night, a different Grizzly is getting injured. This definitely needs to stop, if for no other reason than it will eventually have us forfeiting games due to lack of warm bodies.
Memphis does have two things working in it's favor in this one. First and foremost, the father of Grind Prophecies, our old buddy Ryan Hoover, will be in attendance at a Grizzlies game for the first time since the opening round of the playoffs last year. Secondly, my kid brother will be celebrating his twelfth birthday during the game. Let's hope these two things can bring our boys some luck, because at this point, they need any and everything they can get.
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