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Grizzlies vs. Magic Game Preview: Conley and Allen Possibly Out, Green Adjusting

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The Grizzlies haven't been fully healthy for some time now, and it's clearly affected their play. With a decent chance the Grizzlies will be without Mike Conley and Tony Allen, Coach Joerger will have to alter lineups and lean on role players to carry his team to victory.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
2014/15 NBA Season
vs
2014/15:
27-11 (12-7 road)
2014/15:
15-27 (5-12 home)
January 16, 2015
Amway Center, Orlando, FL
6:00 PM CDT
Fox SportSouth / 92.9 FM ESPN
Possible Starters
Mike Conley PG Elfrid Payton
Courtney Lee SG Victor Oladipo
Tony Allen SF Devyn Marble
Zach Randolph PF Channing Frye
Marc Gasol C Nikola Vucevic
2014/15 Advanced Stats
94.1 (27th) Pace 95.4 (22nd)
105.3 (10th) OEff 99.2 (26th)
102.0 (11th) DEff 104.4 (21st)
49.8 (16th) RebR 48.4 (26th)

SB Nation Blog: Orlando Pinstriped Post

Injury Report

Memphis: Mike Conley - Questionable (Ankle); Tony Allen - Questionable (Hamstring)

Orlando: Tobias Harris - Out (Ankle); Aaron Gordon - Out (Foot)

Recently for the Magic

Already this week, the Magic have defeated two tough squads in the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets. Oladipo and Vucevic were a heck of a one-two punch in both games. The two combined for 66 points against the Bulls and 57 against the Rockets. Oh, and Oladipo executed a 360 dunk in crunch-time against the Rockets. This team is fun and so young.

Recently for the Grizzlies

Since Zach Randolph has rejoined the starting lineup after missing extended time with a knee injury, the Grizzlies are 2-1 with the one loss coming at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans, a team the Grizzlies never seem to perform exceptionally well against. This week, the Grizzlies have defeated the Phoenix Suns and Brooklyn Nets with ease. The Grizzlies are a completely different team with a healthy Z-Bo, and it's easy to see his impact just by glancing at the box score from the last two games. Z-Bo had 27 points and 17 boards against the Suns and 20 and 14 against the Nets.

Three Things to Watch

1) Shifting of lineups - If Mike Conley and Tony Allen end up sitting due to injury, that creates a great deal of uncertainty around the lineups. Head coach Dave Joerger already has enough to think about when it comes to working in the team's new addition, Jeff Green, and matters would become even more complicated with two starters sitting. If Conley sits, it's anyone's best guess who starts at point guard. Does Joerger simply bump Beno Udrih up to the starting unit and have Nick Calathes fill in on the second unit, or does Joerger replace Conley with Calathes, leaving Udrih to do what he does best - provide a scoring spark for the second unit?

2) Jeff Green's adjustment phase - Green was neither good nor bad in his first game as a Grizzly. He shot 3-11 from the field, and missed some pretty decent looks, but at least his looks came within the flow of the offense. He put the ball on the floor twice to drive in from the perimeter, and it led to a bucket both times. That's a welcome sight after watching Tayshaun Prince's lack of explosion every night. It seems as if the Grizzlies are going to use Green a lot in corner actions to execute dribble hand-offs and side pick & rolls, which is a good start towards defining his role.

Defensively, Green only got lost twice, and he played solid defense on Joe Johnson the majority of the time he was guarding him. It will take some time for Green to get used to the Grizzlies' defensive scheme and rotations, which means one or two lapses are bound to happen in the process. Overall, Green flashed plenty of game that will be useful to the Grizzlies. He just has to work on getting his shooting efficiency up.

3) Battle between Gasol and Vucevic - The Magic have yet to win a contest against the Grizzlies since Vucevic joined the team, losing on all four occasions. Vucevic has never been able to do very much against Gasol, only scoring 2, 4, 6, and 13 points in the four meetings. However, Vucevic did net a double-double in the most recent matchup against the Grizzlies last season, when he had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Perhaps Vucevic has figured out some things that work on Gasol, but it's tough to see the Magic having much of a chance if he performs like he has against the Grizzlies historically.

Gasol, according to the stats, is trending in the wrong direction against Vucevic. In the four games they've met, Gasol has had 22, 19, 12, and 4 points. Gasol is clearly the better center, but it will be a tough battle for him nonetheless - and something to watch.