This game has me very excited. Why is that you ask? Well Memphis has let a 40-point scorer emerge from the previous 2 teams they have played, and while I have Monta Ellis on my fantasy squad, I fully expect him to becoming the 3rd. I could use a big night from the guy.
That is of course unless Memphis has actually taken the time to sure up some of their defensive issues in the span of 2 days. Nevertheless, enough of my fantasy dreams, and onto the preview of tonight's game.
So here come the Grizzlies into Oakland tonight, poised and hopefully ready to avenge the loss to the Kings the other night. After allowing 48 points to Kevin Martin, 42 to Carmelo Anthony, and the bench getting torn apart like it's their job, it's time to check and see if this team is able to adjust.
The return of Allen Iverson was a quiet one, yet the man is already complaining about his role on the team. I agree with him that he should be a starter. He is far too talented and still has enough left to be a dynamic force, but I also believe that for a team with no clear playoff hopes, he should bide his time and get used to basketball a bit after a long layoff.
- Defense: One of the original run-n-gun teams, the Warriors, score about as much or more points than anybody in the league. Memphis has given up 160 points in the last 2 games. Put these 2 together, and it could be pretty bad. Then again, Memphis has proved it can score with some good teams as well, and if they can find a way to ratchet up the 'D', at least at crucial moments down the stretch, it could pull out a victory.
- Marc Gasol should continue to b a dominant force, especially in this game against a weak Warriors front-line. The Bigs is a position where I actually see a large advantage for this game, and if they can capitalize on it, it should allow Zach Randolph and Gasol to go big. Ronnie Turiaf vs Randolph may be the most entertaining match-up of all time, if it happens.
There have been some great individual performances already from Grizzlies players, but it's hard to discount them when the team ends up losing the game. The big things in basketball are simply, and these players are doing them rather effectively so far: Put the ball in the basket, rebound the ball, make free throws, etc. Once this team is able to grow a bit and learn how to take care of the small stuff, then a few more W's might show up on the scorecard.
Here are my 3 tips to winning tonight's game against Golden State: