Memphis Grizzlies vs Miami Heat Preview: Unleash the Monster

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

With the season on the brink, the defending champs come to town to take on the Grizzlies.

2013/2014 NBA Season
vs
45-32 (24-14 home)
Lost 1
53-24 (22-16 road)
Lost 1
April 9th, 2014
FedexForum in Memphis, TN
7:00 PM CDT
ESPN/ 92.9 FM ESPN
Possible Starters
Mike Conley PG Mario Chalmer
Courtney Lee SG Dwyane Wade
Tony Allen SF LeBron James
Zach Randolph PF Chris Bosh
Marc Gasol C Udonis Haslem
2013/14 Advanced Stats
92.2 (30th) Pace 93.4 (26th)
102.8 (T-19th) OEff 109.5 (T-1st)
102.1 (9th) DEff 102.5 (10th)
Injury Report

Memphis: Tayshaun Prince (sprained left ankle) day-to-day

Miami: Greg Oden (back spasms), Dwyane Wade (strained left hamstring)

There really isn't much that can be said about this game. Sure, I could bother you with several hundred words about how the Heat are good at this, and if the Grizzlies want to win they need to do that, but really, we all know what's at stake here tonight. If the Grizzlies lose to the defending champion Miami Heat tonight, they will essentially be eliminated from the playoffs.

This has been one of the more longer, grueling seasons in recent memory for the Grizzlies. Here at GBB, we do a weekly ranker, and this week, you were asked to rank the reasons that Memphis might miss the playoffs. Typically in these, the first five are good answers, and the bottom five are kind of bleh. With this specific ranker, at least eight of the options were more than valid.

The Grizzlies won't miss the playoffs by losing to the Heat, it will be for a myriad of reasons, this loss would just be the final nail in the coffin. While they may be fighting with their last breaths, there is still reason to hope. The Grizzlies have played the Heat as good as anybody in the "Big 3" era, although, admittedly, they haven't beaten them without the help of Rudy Gay. Earlier this season, the Grizzlies outplayed them for about 40 of the 48 minutes of game time, but the eight minutes they came up short were deadly. If Memphis wants to keep it's playoff hopes alive, they'll need to be the better team for all 48 minutes tonight, because it's a very real possibility that there are only 240 minutes left in their season, and the clock is ticking, fast.

The past few days, and perhaps all season really, everyone has been trying to figure out what the difference is between this years' team and last years' team, and while it is definitely tough to quantify, the lack of aggression and pride seems to be evident in everyone's hypothesis.

Last year, there were multiple games where the crowd errupted in chants of "Whoop that Trick/Clip" and "We Don't Bluff." None of those things have happened this season, specifically because we haven't had cause to do them.

Tonight, as the defending champs come into town, themselves battling to get out of a funk, Memphis, the team, the fans,and the city, will need to dig deep, find that aggression, and answer the bell with everything they've got. If they do, perhaps it will lead to another deep playoff run. If they cannot, then we must all prepare ourselves for a long off season and the beginning of questions to which none of us really want to know the answers.

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