WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (9-5, 4-3 road) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (4-10, 4-5 home)
WHERE: Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
WHEN: 6:00 PM CT
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
Memphis- Chandler Parsons (out, knee), Brandan Wright (out, ankle), James Ennis (out, calf), Tony Allen (probable, groin)
Memphis- Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Troy Williams (?), JaMychal Green, Marc Gasol
Philadelphia- Sergio Rodriguez, Gerald Henderson, Robert Covington, Ersan Ilyasova, Joel Embiid
These Grizzlies are feeling confident, and for good reason.
They are currently riding a five-game winning streak, having defeated quality teams such as the Clippers and Hornets. They also managed to win four of those five games on the road, showing the ability to go in to an opposing team’s building and pull out a victory. Memphis has won their last three games all by double digits, and despite the injuries to Chandler Parsons and James Ennis the Grizzlies have plenty to feel good about.
Another team having recent success who should be feeling more confident? The Philadelphia 76ers. They have won three of their last four games after starting the season 0-7. Joel “The Process” Embiid is having a terrific start to the season, averaging 18.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game in just 22.2 minutes played per game. They are using almost everyone on their roster- 11 players have played in 10 or more games while averaging at least 15 minutes per game- and young players such as Embiid and Dario Saric are being emphasized and are responding well.
Memphis should win tonight, but if they do not take the Sixers seriously they will let an inferior team continue to gain confidence, which is a dangerous thing.
KEYS TO THE GAME
- A great Conley performance- Mike has been a mixed bag during the winning streak. He has had two dominant performances (the Clippers and Hornets), one good showing (against Utah), and two underachieving games (Dallas and Minnesota). Conley must have an impressive game tonight against Sergio Rodriguez/Jerryd Bayless/T.J. McConnell for Memphis to win big.
- Who gets minutes at SF?- James Ennis and Chandler Parsons are both likely out until the second week of December. Who fills in as the starter on the wing next to Tony Allen will bear watching, but it will matter more how Ennis’ minutes are divided up. Troy Williams is who I hope starts, so Vince Carter can keep tearing it up on the bench, but expect to see more Jarell Martin and perhaps even Troy Daniels. Perhaps opportunity to play is all Daniels needs to step up his game.
- Contain “The Process”- The Sixers are being cautious with Embiid, and for good reason considering his injury history. But he is explosive in his limited minutes and can impact this game in a major way. Marc Gasol and the other Grizzlies bigs cannot allow for him to go off in his 20-25 minutes of action.
Memphis is favored to win by 5 according to Las Vegas, but in order for that to come to be the Grizzlies have to continue to ride the hot hands of Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and the bench stars Zach Randolph and Vince Carter. The 76ers are kind of like the Timberwolves of the East- young and mistake-prone, but feisty. Memphis will take advantage of 76ers mistakes, though, en route to their sixth straight win.
Memphis 99, Philadelphia 92