|2013/2014 NBA Season|
|April 11th, 2014|
|FedexForum in Memphis, TN|
|7:00 PM CDT|
|Fox SportsSouth/ 92.9 FM ESPN|
|Mike Conley||PG||Michael Carter-Williams|
|Courtney Lee||SG||James Anderson|
|James Johnson||SF||Thaddeus Young|
|Zach Randolph||PF||Hollis Thompson|
|Marc Gasol||C||Henry Sims|
|2013/14 Advanced Stats|
|92.18 (30th)||Pace||101.70 (1st)|
|103.0 (17th)||OEff||96.5 (30th)|
|102.3 (9th)||DEff||107.5 (27th)|
Line: Memphis by 15: O/U: 199
Opponent's Blog: Liberty Ballers
Injury Report: Memphis: Tayshaun Prince - Out (Ankle); Quincy Pondexter - Out (Foot); Philadelphia: Jason Richardson - Out (Knee); Nerlens Noel - Out (Knee)
Control the Pace
The Grizzlies and 76ers are quite literally polar opposites when it comes to pace. A youthful Philadelphia squad lacking identity works at the fastest pace in the NBA, whereas the Grizzlies are of course the slowest team in the league. Given the 76ers talent deficiency, the Grizzlies could likely get away with playing this game at Philly's pace, but it isn't advisable. Playing at a slower pace will help this tired Grizzlies team conserve maximum energy for what are sure to be much tougher, upcoming contests. Memphis should be able to impose their will on the 76ers, and that begins with the pace of play.
Exploit the Post
The 76ers are dreadful in most defensive categories, including against post-ups. They really don't have anybody down low that can hang with either Zach Randolph or Marc Gasol. Joerger will surely recognize this and attempt to create advantageous situations for his big men down low early and often. Don't be surprised if we see a lot of that Hi-Lo that has worked so well for the Grizzlies over the past couple seasons.
Blow 'Em Out Early
This key to the game is not about pride. Yes, the Grizzlies should beat the 76ers, and it will be embarrassing if the result is even remotely close. However, if Memphis takes a massive lead early, that will give guys that are mentally and physically spent time to rest up for the most crucial games of the season that are to follow. If the Grizzlies are able to sneak into the playoffs, they will inevitably be tired from the stress this late-season playoff push has put on them. They'll take all the rest they can get right now. They sure need it.
Philadelphia is horrible on both sides of the ball, giving Memphis a great advantage. If the Grizzlies don't pull away early in this one, it will be a bit of a head-scratcher. It will be interesting to see how Joerger continues to handle the lineup with Tayshaun Prince currently sidelined with injury. Maybe James Johnson has a great game and makes Joerger think more about inserting someone other than Prince into the starting lineup permanently. It's unlikely, but Grizzlies fans need specific things to watch for and focus on in a game against the 76ers if they are to last all 48 minutes.
Final Score: Memphis 104, Philadelphia 88