After handling the Orlando D-Leaguers on Sunday, the Memphis Grizzlies will be back in action against All-Star LeMarcus Aldridge and the Portland Trailblazers. Portland, too, is coming off a comfortable win against Charlotte and will look to continue their hot streak as they are 3.5 games out of the 8-seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. Tune in to to SportSouth tonight at 7pm CST to catch the action.
In recent matchups, the Blazers have been a tough win for the Grizzlies. Losing seven of the last 9 meetings with Portland, in mostly low scoring affairs, where the likes of Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews have torched defenders for career-like games. We should see different results tonight, especially if Zach Randolph is a functional human being. The Grizzlies create matchup problems across the board with strong post defending and league-leading efforts on the glass. Without Zach, we could be in a world of trouble, seeing Marc Gasol playing upwards of 40 minutes…again. The biggest question for the Grizzlies is the same every game: what will the offensive production be like, especially if Randolph is out?
I love this little tidbit of analysis by Dave from Blazer’s Edge:
Most of Memphis’ players produce at a low level punctuated by wild fits of scoring. Randolph, Conley, Gasol, and reserve guard Jerryd Bayless all fall into this category and they’re listed in order of their chances to explode. It’s like Whac-a-Mole. You don’t know who’s going to stick their head up next but you better hammer them down quickly because you can only afford so many 10–2 runs before that defense will make the recovery distance too great.
Great imagery. Big props. Here are a couple of other things to look forward to in tonight’s game, then Grind Prophecies below.
- With Darrell Arthur out and Z-Bo listed as day-to-day, we should see a WHOLESOME amount of minutes from Ed Davis tonight. Can he play well enough to cement himself into the rotation?
- Damian Lillard. Period.
- Tony Allen will respond to getting torched by Wesley Matthews in the first matchup of the season. Felton had 21 points, going 5–8 from 3-point range.
- Over their last few wins, the Blazer bench has been dramatically improved with the help of new addition, Eric Maynor, and emerging rookie center, Meyers Leonard. In preparation for the playoffs, I love to see how our bench will produce against formidable competition.
- Any Memphis Tiger fans may have a few minutes of excitement, albeit brief, as Will Barton returns to the Forum. He’s averaging what amounts to trash minutes, but I expect to see him play a few more for the fans in the crowd.
The Grind Prophecies: Griz/Blazers Edition
The GBB staff has decided to disregard the previous Orlando Magic posting for its tardiness and lack of participation. I doubt any of you were eagerly awaiting by your computer constantly refreshing the page every five seconds, so we are just going to toss that one out for the sake of fairness. As for the results of the Heat game, ChrisFaulkner was our winner with 4 total points followed by a host of members tallying 3 points. More information to come Friday (hopefully) about more exciting news in Grind Prophecies and where you can go to see the results as they are posted.
For now, we will carry on, wayward sons, and get to prophesying. Here are your Grind Prophecies:
- Game Score and Winner
- The Grindmaster
- Total # of players from both teams in double-digit scoring figures (bonus point for correctly naming the players)
- User’s Pick