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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Chicago Bulls Preview: Gasol brothers in first cross-conference matchup

Once again, for what seems like the dozenth consecutive time, Derrick Rose will not be making the trip to Memphis to play the Grizzlies.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
2014/15 NBA Season
21-4 (12-1 home)
16-9 (11-4 road)
December 19, 2014
FedexForum, Memphis, TN
7:00 PM CDT
Fox SportSouth / 92.9 FM ESPN
Possible Starters
Mike Conley PG Kirk Hinrich
Courtney Lee SG Jimmy Butler
Tony Allen SF Mike Dunleavy
Zach Randolph PF Pau Gasol
Marc Gasol C Joakim Noah
2014/15 Advanced Stats
94.1 (T-25th) Pace 95.8 (15th)
106.6 (8th) OEff 105.3 (11th)
100.2 (7th) DEff 101.5 (9th)
50.0 (15th) RebR 51.2 (T-8th)

Injury Report

Memphis Grizzlies: Tony Allen (questionable, corneal abrasion)

Chicago BullsDoug McDermott (right knee, out); Joakim Noah
(right ankle, questionable); Taj Gibson (right ankle, questionable); Derrick Rose (illness, out)

Recently for the Bulls

Chicago has been dealing with injury/illness bugs that have lead them to have a few different lineups over the past week, but the Bulls have only lost 3 games in the month of December, all against respectable teams (DAL, GSW, and ATL). They accomplished this largely thanks to superb play from Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol, averaging 20/6 and 18/12 respectively.

Recently for the Grizzlies

Marc Punch

Three Things

  • Marc & Pau. In the past, when these two have faced off, it's usually been the elder brother showing up his younger sibling, although lil bro is slowly starting to gain some ground due to Pau's age and Marc's ascent. I'm not so sure that Pau's ready for Max Wendigo, and I'm giving the edge to our budding MVP tonight.
  • Tony Allen is listed as questionable tonight with a corneal abrasion. I'm not counting on seeing the Grindfather in action tonight as he did not practice today, and that eye was looking pretty bad last time I saw it. The task of guarding Jimmy Butler is likely to fall to Courtney Lee tonight, who will need to step up his defensive intensity while avoiding the foul trouble he's been finding for himself this month.
  • Fatigue factor. Have they recovered from the triple overtime in San Antonio on Wednesday? Will they come out lackadaisically and let the Bulls out-grind them on their home court? The Grizzlies have played an extra 30 minutes of NBA basketball in the past week, and if you count that as an extra game played, Memphis will be playing their 6th game in 8 nights this evening. The Grizzlies training staff has had their work cut out for them.