The Memphis Grizzlies have played well against a mixed bag of teams over their last stretch of eleven. They've also looked terrible against an even more mixed bag of teams.
This upcoming section of the schedule, however, definitely has a common theme: stars and talent. The Grizzlies got started by upsetting Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and the rest of the Mavericks, but they'll have an even tougher time upsetting the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight on NBATV, which is as close as the Grizzlies get to nationally televised.
So is this a big game? In some ways it could be. If this young Grizzlies team can keep it close and keep LeBron from clowning around like a damn fool on the sidelines, it will be a minor victory. If they can grab a win, well, then that's even better.
Sadly I don't see it happening, though. The positional breakdown might look alright for the Grizzlies, but since becoming contenders the Cavs have traditionally feasted on younger, less disciplined teams. They turn them over, bait all the right players into all the wrong shots, and exploit their less than perfect defensive rotations with the LeBron James driven pick-and-roll.
I've got a dollar riding on this game that I'd love to win, but the exposure of being on NBATV actually hurts because my League Pass Broadband will be blacked out tonight. I'm going to do my best to pirate something, but my contribution tonight might be crossing my fingers that I don't see another round of "LeBron James Dancing" posts around the blogosphere tomorrow morning.
Visit Fear The Sword for their look at tonight, and get over the jump to comment and read your Storylines of the Night.
Storylines of the Night
Halftime Entertainment: Who wouldn't pay to see Shaquille O'Neal footrace Zach Randolph?
Fashionistas: If it's a blowout, expect to see Rudy Gay and LeBron modelling a little bit on the bench. I suspect Coby Karl will be particularly impressed that anyone else knows fashion like his King James.
Jersey Boy: O.J. Mayo is probably going to complain when the Memphis crowd starts shouting M-V-P during the game, assuming the home-town crowd is cheering for LeBron; they'll actually be excited that Zach Randolph has finally won the race. This should go down sometimes halfway through the third quarter.
Make Life Easier: In exchange for a promise they'll stay out of the passing lanes, Coach Lionel Hollins agreed to give the Cavaliers an extra 23 possessions. Experts believe it might have halved the number of expected turnovers.