In case you missed it!
Thunder vs. Grizzlies
|2014/15 NBA Season
6-0 (4-0 road)
2-4 (1-1 home)
|November 8, 2014
|BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
|7:30 PM CDT|
|Fox SportSouth / 92.9 FM ESPN|
|Mike Conley||PG||Brandon Knight|
|Courtney Lee||SG||Jared Dudley|
|Zach Randolph||PF||Ersan Ilyasova|
|Marc Gasol||C||Larry Sanders|
The Memphis Grizzlies take the best start in franchise history into Milwaukee Saturday night with the goal of continuing their winning ways. The opponent on this night is the Milwaukee Bucks, a team hovering around .500 early (and somewhat surprisingly) behind a better-than-expected defense and roster early in the 2014-2015 campaign.
How do the Grizzlies end the road trip on a high note and come back to Memphis with a chance to continue their historic run? Three keys to the game-
Match Their Bench
The Bucks have some familiar faces on their bench who have already made an impact for Milwaukee this season. Former Grizzlies Jerryd Bayless and O.J. Mayo get considerable run for the Bucks alongside "The Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zaza Pachulia, John Henson and Khris Middleton. This crew makes up one of the better benches in the Association, and if the Grizzlies bench unit performs poorly as they have more often than not this season so far it will be a long night for the starters.
Let Jabari Do Jabari
The 2nd overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft undoubtedly feels a bit of pressure to lead Milwaukee in scoring and extend himself. Let him do it; the rookie is shooting roughly 36% so far this season, forcing the issue more often than not so far. Parker is going to be a good-to-great pro sooner rather than later, but this early in the season he is going through growing pains. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Get Larry Sanders in Trouble
If ever there was a sleeping giant in the NBA, it is Larry Sanders. The young troubled Buck is capable of demolishing the paint, swatting shot after shot and cleaning the glass using his freaking length and athleticism. Unfortunately for Larry, the former VCU Ram is often his worst enemy. Foul trouble and frustration prevent him from getting into any rhythm, and this can be used to the Grizzlies' advantage. Attack him early and often, see if he folds.
This, in theory, should be an easy win for the Grizzlies. Second games of back-to-backs are always tricky though, and the longer Milwaukee is allowed to hang around the more confidence they will gain that they can steal one from Memphis at home. Look for a slow start for the Grizzlies due to Milwaukee's early season defensive success (top 5 in defensive efficiency) and potentially even a lead to be built by the Bucks as Bayless and Mayo try to show up their old mates.
However, once the starters reappear refreshed after halftime, Memphis will pull away and Milwaukee will not be able to keep up offensively.