|2013/2014 NBA Season|
|December 23rd, 2013|
|FedexForum in Memphis, TN|
|Fox SportSouth/ 92.9 FM ESPN|
|Mike Conley||PG||Trey Burke|
|James Johnson||SF||Richard Jefferson|
|Zach Randolph||PF||Marvin Williams|
|Ed Davis||C||Derrick Favors|
|2013/14 Advanced Stats|
|92.1 (30th)||Pace||93.8 (27th)|
|100.1 (22nd)||OEff||97.4 (27th)|
|105.4 (25th)||DEff||108.2 (30th)|
Memphis: Marc Gasol (out), Quincy Pondexter (out), Tayshaun Prince - left knee soreness (day-to-day)
The Grizzlies have the holiday gift of returning home from New York to face the Utah Jazz, and there couldn't be a more "gimme" of a game for the Grizzlies to snap a 3-game-home losing streak. You have to look all the way back to December 9th for the Griz' last home win, and before this month you have to look back all the way to November 9th for a Grindhouse victory.
Memphis is going up against a Utah team that actually scores fewer points than the Grizzlies while allowing more points per possession than any other team in the league. The Jazz have recently shown the ability to lock down on weak offensive teams, but they are finishing up a 5-game-road trip two days before Christmas in Memphis tonight, i.e., they're likely to be tired, spent and ready to get home.
Trey Burke is starting to become comfortable in the NBA, but his supporting cast puts a lot on his shoulders and the Grizzlies defense should be able to throw off his game if Mike Conley and Tony Allen come ready to play tonight.
Gordon Heyward is averaging a career high in PPG but doing so on career low in shooting percentage (40%) including a paltry 27% from three. If Tony Allen and James Johnson (who is shooting 46% from the floor and 57% from three) can keep him out of a shooting rhythm then the Grizzlies may find the rest of the game falls into place for them.
NBA Trade Season
NBA Trade Season
I'm just not sure the Jazz will be able to hang with the size that Memphis puts on the floor tonight. Between Zach Randolph, Kosta Koufos and James Johnson (6'9 248lbs), the Grizzlies will look to physically intimidate the Jazz and get to the line throughout the game.
While Dave Joerger and the Grizzlies aren't quite an apex predator at the moment, they're at least near "feral cat" level compared to the "scavenging lizard" status of the Utah Jazz. If this were the season that Grizzlies' fans expected then we would be labeling this a definitive trap game. As the cards lay, the Griz should be supremely motivated to stomp the living daylights out of the Jazz and have a positive note on which to celebrate their next two days off with family and friends.
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