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Grizzlies at Knicks: Start time, TV Info and Preview

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The New York Knicks receive the visit of a streaking Memphis team that aims for the fifth consecutive win.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Memphis Grizzlies (29-20) at New York Knicks (23-29)

Where: Madison Square Garden, NY

When: 6:30pm (CT), Friday February 5th

How to Watch: Fox Sports Southeast

How to Listen: ESPN 92.9FM Memphis

Injury report:

Memphis Grizzlies:
Jordan Adams (knee) - out
Brandan Wright (knee) - out
Matt Barnes (hamstring) - questionable
New York Knicks:
Cleanthony Early (knee) - out

The Memphis Grizzlies play in the Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks following a fairly good stretch including a 11-4 record in 2016. It will be the second time Matt Barnes comes across the Knicks coach Derek Fisher after the incident between the both in October last year. The forward will be a game time decision due to a right hamstring issue.

The Grizzlies have dominated the Knicks in the last three seasons winning every single game. The previous meeting took place last January where Marc Gasol exploded for 37 points, one short of his career high. Every defender trying to stop him ended up in foul trouble including the likes of Robin Lopez, Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle O'Quinn.

Memphis has won the last four games with strong contributions from role players. That is the case of Jeff Green, leading the team in scoring with 20 plus points in each of those games, and Courtney Lee, averaging 13.5 points during the current winning streak and shooting 53% from the three point line.

The only teams with a winning record that Memphis have to face in February are the Dallas Mavericks and the Toronto Raptors.

The team continues to make the most of the reasonably easy schedule during the first two months of 2016. The Grizzlies have gone 9-2 since the loss against Oklahoma early in January and aim to go on in this vein for the February games before the schedule gets rougher in March and April. The only teams with a winning record that Memphis have to face in February are the Dallas Mavericks and the Toronto Raptors.

During February, it is imperative for Memphis to develop a substantial lead over Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. Falling into the 6-8 spot would mean to play against the seemingly stronger Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. Finishing in the 4-5 spot would presumably trigger a Grizzlies-Clippers match-up which seems to be an even duel and something Memphis fans would look forward to.

Avoid a tight game

In order to steer clear of nail biters against teams with losing records, the Grizzlies should be able to build a comfortable lead during the first three quarters. Having good starts usually discourage weak teams from making runs and stealing the game. Memphis has not done so consistently and opponents such as Orlando or Minnesota have recently taken advantage.

The Knicks are currently 23-29, have lost three in a row and do not hold a playoff spot anymore. Despite acquiring players with playoff experience such as Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez during the off-season, the team is still very inconsistent. The good news for the Knicks is that Carmelo Anthony is back to All Star form and the quick adaptation of the rookie Kristaps Porzingis which is a positive sign for the team's future.

Scoring over 100 points

The Grizzlies are 21-2 when reaching the three digits in scoring. They have done so in all of their last nine games for a 8-1 record. What it is particularly striking is that Memphis has shot the long ball exceptionally well (40.3%) when scoring more than 100 points. However, the team shoots under 28% when scoring less than 100 points. There is indeed a correlation between high scoring games, good three point percentage and wins.

If they're shooting it well from the perimeter, and with the inside game they have, they're a difficult team.

-Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, after the Memphis win over New Orleans last Monday. Memphis went 9 for 16 from the three point line (56.3%)

The Knicks are neither a high scoring team nor a good three point shooting team. They are a slow paced team and rank 23rd in the league in three point percentage, scoring an average of seven a game. If Memphis is able to score consistently, the Knicks may not have the personnel to keep up especially considering that they are playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

Wendigo's takeover

Marc Gasol pulled a terrific performance against the Knicks last month with 37 points and eight boards. Let him turn into Wendigo, dominate their bigs again and go for a 30 plus point game. Only three players in a Grizzly uniform have scored more than 30 points in the Madison Square Garden (since the franchise moved to Memphis). It would be extremely rewarding to see Marc Gasol as part of that list.

Best individual performances by a Grizzly at MSG:

2009-2010: Zach Randolph, 31 points.
2007-2008: Mike Miller, 34 points.
2005-2006: Pau Gasol, 36 points.

Prediction

Memphis should have a strong start. They have fresh legs after a few days of rest and face a team on the second night of a back-to-back. They should pound it down low since the Knicks do not have enough defensive weapons to stop Randolph and Gasol. Another big game from the latter would certainly increase the chances to win.

New York 96, Memphis 109