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Game Thread: Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers

Well, the Thanksgiving holiday is over, which means that we're officially one holiday away from the NBA season beginning to really count.

Memphis already played Portland once, getting embarrassed 93-79 while at home. But that wasn't the same Memphis Grizzlies that the Trail Blazers will see tonight. The Grizzlies have won four of their last six, albeit mostly at home against weak opponents, and played the Bucks down to the wire.

That's not to say that I like the Grizzlies chances in this one, the Blazers outplay the Grizzlies at almost every position and have far more depth, but they're a new team with the Allen Iverson ordeal officially closed. The Trail Blazers should face some stiffer competition as the Grizzlies are rounding into Christmas-time form.

Hop over the jump for assorted thoughts or to chastise me for missing the Phoenix recap, and be sure to stop by Blazersedge for their perspective. Those guys have the best Blazers blog on the net and a huge, vibrant community that is definitely worth checking out.

Storylines of the Game

Oden-monster: Somebody dropped Greg Oden in my fantasy league a couple weeks ago, you can bet my #1 waiver wire spot got used up quickly on that. Oden has been an absolute beast in limited minutes, swatting shots and scoring at an efficiency that makes Dwight Howard look like a Knicks guard.

Little Michael: Will probably get abused by by Andre Miller off the bounce, and should manage to leave Steve Blake open off every screen they run.

Shootah!: Brandon Roy could cover O.J. Mayo this game, which should give Rudy a much better chance to get into the flow and play like a top-notch scorer. Unfortunately the Blazers have wicked smart defense and will probably know to shade off of lesser options like Conley or the subs.

At Least Fake or Something: The Grizzlies at least need to pretend that they plan on running Portland's shooters off the deep end, because Roy, Blake, Outlaw, and Rudy Fernandez can and will hurt you from deep.

Rudy Squared: Do I even need to elaborate?

Look for a game similar to the match-up against the Suns a night ago. Portland has too many weapons and too many stoppers for the Grizzlies to be even close to favored in this one. Maybe they have a shot at home, but not in Portland. I'm guessing tonight is a game that's fairly even in three of the four quarters, but the Grizzlies will get run on tonight. It's going to happen, and sadly, they'll probably lose because of it -- nothing to be ashamed of though, these Portland Trail Blazers are playing every game like it's Christmas.