WHO: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
WHEN: 7 pm CT
WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/ 92.9 ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Mike Conley (Out, Back), James Ennis (Out, Calf), Brandan Wright (Out, Ankle), Chandler Parsons (Out, Knee), Deyonta Davis (Out, Foot)
CLEVELAND: Kyrie Irving (Out, rest), LeBron James (Out, rest), Kevin Love (Out, rest)
Memphis - Andrew Harrison, Tony Allen, Troy Williams, JaMychal Green, Marc Gasol
Cleveland - DeAndre Liggins, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, James Jones, Tristan Thompson
This major interest surrounding this game took a major hit on Tuesday night when the Cavaliers announced that LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love would all stay home in Cleveland and not make the trip for this game.
On the bright side for the Grizzlies, Marc Gasol returns and this should now be a very winnable game.
The Cavs dominated the over-matched Grizzlies squad on Tuesday night by a score of 103-86 in Cleveland, ending the team’s six-game winning streak.
But a game like this presents a great opportunity for Memphis to get back on track at home and improve upon their 17-9 record.
Match-up to Watch
All eyes should be on the center match-up in this game.
Marc Gasol, MVP candidate and leader of the Grizzlies, will match up with the glass-eating Tristan Thompson.
The 7-foot-1 Gasol will look to capitalize on a big size advantage over Thompson who stands only 6-foot-9. The Spaniard enters this game averaging 19.9 points, 6.2 boards, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.
Even with Gasol’s return, the Grizzlies are in trouble if he is shut down and could look like the team that played on Tuesday night on the offensive end.
Also, Gasol’s rebounding will be crucial against Thompson, who is one of the league’s best offensive rebounders and could create many extra possessions for the Cavs if Gasol does not keep him off the glass.
As this match up goes, so goes the game. Keep an eye on these two big men.
Let’s be real, this should be a relative walk in the park for Memphis.
The way they have been playing with Gasol in the lineup makes them a scary match-up for any team in the NBA.
But you never know what could happen.
JR Smith could have another explosive night and the Grizzlies could come out cold on the second half of a back-to-back.
Coach Fizdale will have to keep his team focused, which I believe he will do.
Gasol should be able to eat up Thompson inside, bullying him and getting whatever he wants on offense. And the supporting cast should also succeed with LeBron and Irving also gone.
JaMychal Green will improve upon his 1-for-10 shooting night on Tuesday and have a solid game and I expect to see some more Jarrell Martin.
The Grizzlies will roll in this game on both ends of the floor against a very depleted Cavs team, notching their seventh win in eight contests.
Memphis 114, Cleveland 92