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Grizzlies vs. Heat Preview: Memphis Hopes to Smother the Heat

After a blowout loss to Houston and a tough loss to San Antonio, Memphis looks to grab a win Sunday night against the short-handed Miami Heat, who are feeling the effects of missing LeBron James.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
2014/15 NBA Season
15-4 (8-1 home)
9-10 (5-4 road)
December 7, 2014
FedExForum, Memphis, TN
5:00 PM CDT
Fox SportSouth / 92.9 FM ESPN
Possible Starters
Mike Conley PG Norris Cole
Courtney Lee SG Dwyane Wade
Tony Allen SF Luol Deng
Zach Randolph PF Josh McRoberts
Marc Gasol C Chris Bosh
2014/15 Advanced Stats
94.6 (22nd) Pace 92.2 (29th)
105.8 (8th) OEff 103.9 (18th)
99.2 (5th) DEff 106.3 (25th)
50.0 (15th) RebR 46.8 (30th)

The view from Miami: Hot Hot Hoops

Heat vs Grizzlies coverage

Injury list:

Heat: Norris Cole (Questionable, illness), Luol Deng (Questionable, hand), Chris Andersen (Out, ankle), Josh McRoberts (Questionable, illness)

Grizzlies: None

Recently from Miami:

This will be our first look at Miami since the departure of Lebron James. After the news broke that James was headed to Cleveland, Chris Bosh re-signed with the Heat. Bosh is averaged 21.8 PPG and 8.7 rebounds per game. Dwyane Wade, at age 32, is putting up 21.8 PPG as well. The Heat are heading into Memphis on a three game losing streak after taking a 109-85 loss to the Bucks. With the loss, the Heat fell below .500 for the first time ever this season.

Recently from Memphis:

While the Heat are on a three game losing streak, the Memphis Grizzlies just lost their second consecutive game that ended their 22 game winning streak at home. The Spurs lead wire to wire against Memphis, ending with a 107-101 victory. The Spurs shot an astounding 14-25 from three, and the Grizz were not able to string together enough stops and points to keep the home winning streak alive. Now, the Grizz will try to right the ship and start a new streak of wins at home starting with Sunday night's game against the Heat.

Key Points for Victory:

1. Dominate the boards.

The Miami Heat ranks 30th in rebounds per game, while Memphis is tied for 18th. Without Andersen, I expect Gasol and Randolph to crash the boards. Miami also ranks 29th in offensive rebounds and 30th in defensive rebounds. Too often, we've seen the Grizzlies allow teams to grab their own misses. This can't be a trend if Memphis wants the win.

2. Limit the three's

Miami is 10th in 3 point shooting. The Grizzlies have to do a good job limiting Miami's open threes, because players like Chris Bosh can knock them down. It is pivotal that Memphis doesn't allow Miami to, well, "heat up" from beyond the arc. Otherwise, the Grizzlies might be in for a long night.

3. Stifle Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.

This one may be the most obvious, but it's also extremely important. Without Lebron James, this is team belongs to Bosh and Wade. Last year, Bosh averaged only 16.2 PPG. Now, his role has become much more prominent, and he has increased his scoring by 5.6 points. Let's take a look at the shot distribution:

Clearly, Bosh takes a fair chunk of the shots. In addition, Dwyane Wade takes 14% of them. Limit these two guys, and Memphis has a great chance for victory on Sunday.

Final Call:

Memphis will take advantage of a short-handed Miami team. Bouncing back from a bad performance, Zach Randolph will get into a groove and rule the boards. Despite a few short spurts from Miami, Memphis will win soundly 100-86.