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Grizzlies at Jazz Game Preview

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Memphis looks for their first road win of the season in Utah

NBA: Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Memphis Grizzlies (4-5, 0-3 road) at Milwaukee Bucks (7-4, 2-1 home)

When: 8:00 PM CT

Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City

How to watch/listen: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis

Injury report:

Memphis Grizzlies: Tony Allen (out, groin), Brandan Wright (out, ankle), Mike Conley (questionable, hamstring), Chandler Parsons (questionable, knee)

Utah Jazz: Derrick Favors (questionable, knee), George Hill (questionable, thumb), Boris Diaw (questionable, leg), Alec Burks (out, ankle)

Probable starters:

Memphis Grizzlies: Mike Conley, James Ennis, Chandler Parsons, JaMychal Green, Marc Gasol

Utah Jazz: Dante Exum, Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Trey Lyles, Rudy Gobert


In the midst of their first road trip of the season, the Memphis Grizzlies will play against the Utah Jazz tonight. They look to bounce back after a loss in Milwaukee last Saturday.

Defense, three point percentage, and turnovers are so far thwarting Memphis' hopes for success. The productivity of the backup point guards has also been questionable, sparking the debate of whether there is a need to sign a veteran for that position.

Memphis' accomplishments have traditionally started with defense. Concerns about the defensive effort have arisen with the team allowing 102.6 points a game, the most in the Grit and Grind era. David Fizdale said it himself-

“Well, the bottom line is our defense was just not there. We just didn’t move our feet, we didn’t take the challenge one-on-one, we didn’t sprint back and really load up. We’ll keep working at it and get better at it.”

Another reason for concern is the struggle from downtown, something familiar to Memphis in the last few years. Even if the front office signed some specialists in that facet during the offseason, the team is one of the worst in the business averaging only 31.6 per cent a game.

The number of turnovers has been also extremely high for a team like Memphis that always took good care of the ball. Last Saturday Memphis turned the ball over 13 times which resulted in 24 Milwaukee points.

The Grizzlies bench has been reasonably productive though, led by Zach Randolph and a rejuvenated Vince Carter. It is top 10 in the league in points scored but doubts still surround the performance of the youngsters Andrew Harrison and Wade Baldwin.

Memphis badly needs the first win on the road. The number of losses away from home amounts to three with defeats in New York, Minnesota and Milwaukee. It is also important to go back to .500 in order to be still close to teams currently in the playoffs.

They will face the Utah Jazz, a team that has given them problems in the last couple of seasons with their size in the paint and their stifling defense. They rank second in points allowed at 93.1 a game.

Utah is having a good season so far after signing George Hill, Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw in the summer. Gordon Hayword is in great shape after missing the first six games of the season. He has scored over 20 points in the last five games for an average of 24.4.

However, Memphis may take advantage of a shorthanded Utah team that has listed Favors, Hill, and Diaw as questionable for the game. If they miss the contest, the possibilities for the Grizzlies to grab a win on the road are definitely higher.