Tonight the Grizzlies will get their first second look at a team when the Los Angeles Clippers visit Memphis. Chris Kaman is eating a rack of ribs as I speak. Baron Davis is trying to get the sauce out of his beard.
Get over the jump for my preview, and stop by Clips Nation for their rather comprehensive look.
I don't believe in Coach Hollins, but I also don't believe that you can truly judge a coach until you see how he reacts to playing a team the second time. Hollins has slowed down the Grizzlies in the past few games, which has caused their efficiency on the offensive end to plummet and hasn't addressed the defensive issues either.
With team like last year's Magic and this year's Suns proving that pace and defense aren't inversely correlated, I'd like to hope that Hollins sticks with his intuition and lets the bulls run tonight. Let Rudy do his thing against Al Thornton and Rasual Butler, Zach Randolph doing what he wants whether Hollins likes it or not, and maybe let O.J. Mayo try to be the primary ball handler with Butler matching up against him.
Defending the Clips should be much easier tonight, with them coming off a long loss last night and Eric Gordon, who is every bit as much a franchise player as O.J., out still. Baron Davis will be a gamebreaker. By my estimation a nice night from Boom Dizzle will probably win it, a bad game will lose it.
Look for all the Grizzlies to have another nice night offensively, but for Rudy Gay to bounce-back in particular. Marc Gasol should have a bit of a down night dealing with Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby, both of whom are effective against players like himself, but if Zach Randolph has a heart, he'll play it out tonight.
As much as I hate to knock on what little wood the Grizzlies have left, I'm going to stick my neck out and predict a Grizzlies win in this one. The team has said the right things to the media in the wake of Iverson-gate, and I like their chance to be focused after this long break in the schedule.