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Preview: Rolling Grizzlies look for revenge on the Denver Nuggets

The Grizzlies, winners of 4 straight, face off at home against the struggling Nuggets.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
2014/15 NBA Season
33-12 (19-5 home)
19-27 (7-15 road)
January 29, 2015
FedeExForum, Memphis, TN
7:00 PM CST
TNT / Fox SportSouth / 92.9 FM ESPN
Possible Starters
Mike Conley PG Ty Lawson
Tony Allen SG Arron Afflalo
Jeff Green SF Wilson Chandler
Zach Randolph PF Kenneth Faried
Marc Gasol C Jusuf Nurkic
2014/15 Advanced Stats
94.2 (27th) Pace 98.5 (T-4th)
105.4 (10th) OEff 102.2 (17th)
101.5 (11th) DEff 105.3 (23rd)
50.0 (15th) RebR 51.0 (8th)

Nuggets vs Grizzlies coverage

Opponent's Blog: Denver Stiffs


Nuggets: JaVale McGee (Questionable, leg)

Grizzlies: Tony Allen (Questionable, ankle), Mike Conley (Questionable, wrist)

Previous Matchup

The Nuggets beat a Grizzlies team missing Zach Randolph 114-85 on January 3rd in Denver.   The score resulted from a combination of Denver outrebounding the Grizzlies by 11 behind double-doubles from Faried and Nurkic, and the Nuggets shooting an unusually high 47% from 3 point range.   Jusuf Nurkic's physical play, and the lack of subsequent calls from the officials, frustrated Coach Dave Joerger (ejected for technical fouls) and Marc Gasol (a technical foul). Even Nurkic's own coach, Brian Shaw, called Nurkic ending the game with no fouls a "miracle in itself".   Nurkic's apparent cockiness and physical play seemed to infuriate many a Grizzly fan, and I expect something far less than southern hospitality in Memphis for young Jusuf.

Points of Grizzly Emphasis

Control The Boards

The one thing the Nuggets consistently do well is rebound.  With athletic bigs like Faried, McGee, Chandler, and Arthur - and space-eaters like J.J. Hickson and Nurkic - the Nuggets can throw a slew of rebounders at you.   The Grizzlies struggled to rebound while Zach Randolph was out with injury, but have been a good rebounding team before that and since.   While the Grizzlies have a roughly +4 differential in points per 100 possessions, the Nuggets have roughly a -3.   If both teams play their normal games, the Grizzlies should win - unless they let the Nuggets get extra possessions through rebounding.

Force Bad Shots

The Nuggets shoot a lot of 3s - 12th in league at 23.4 a game - but only make 7.6 per game for a 32.4% clip (26th), which contributes to their 43.7% field goal percentage (24th).  The Nuggets have shown a tendency to take low-percentage shots.  The Nuggets love to run and get to the bucket in transition.  If the Grizzlies can prevent easy buckets, Denver projects to have a tough time scoring efficiently.

Why you should watch this game

It's on TNT!   The networks are slowly realizing the error of their ways, and are giving the Grizzlies more nationally televised games.   The Grizzlies are rolling again.   If you're scattered out across Grizz Nation, tune into TNT.   Otherwise, come down to FEF and boo Jusuf Nurkic with me!