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Grizzlies vs Jazz: Start time, TV Info and Preview

Memphis receives Utah in a key game in the midst of the Western Conference playoff race.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Memphis Grizzlies (36-24) vs Utah Jazz (28-32)

Where: FedEx Forum, TN

When: 7:00pm (CT), Friday March 4th

How to Watch: Fox Sports Southeast

How to Listen: ESPN 92.9FM Memphis

Injury report:

Memphis Grizzlies:
Tony Allen (knee) - questionable
Brandan Wright (knee) - out
Marc Gasol (foot) - out
Jordan Adams (knee) - out
Utah Jazz:
Rodney Hood (head) - questionable
Dante Exum (knee) - out
Alec Burks
(ankle) - out

After the home win against Sacramento, Memphis plays against Utah one the remaining 22 games in the season. That makes pretty much one quarter of the season left for the Grizzlies who will go through it without their franchise player Marc Gasol due to a season ending surgery.

It also coincides with the roughest part of the schedule having several contests against the elite teams. Memphis sits comfortably in the fifth position of the Western Conference with an eight game difference to the ninth seed who happens to be tonight's opponent the Utah Jazz.

With a recently revamped roster due to trades and injuries, the Grizzlies look like an easy first round knockout in the playoffs. They lack rebounding, three point shooting ability and, most of all, capacity to outperform top teams.

This being said, Memphis embraces the underdog role. In the Grit and Grind era, the Grizzlies always show their best in the playoffs and seemingly better teams have seriously struggled against them with the exception of San Antonio in 2013.

With Oklahoma City and the Clippers fighting for the third seed, it would be particularly convenient for the Grizzlies to end up in the fifth/sixth position in order to avoid the dominant Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.

It will not be an easy task. The Grizzlies will face extremely tough match-ups until the end of the regular season. Twelve of the games will be on the road and 10 at home and they will play eight times against teams with a better record including Cleveland, Toronto, Clippers twice, San Antonio twice and Golden State twice.

A difficult opponent as of late

Memphis has traditionally encountered difficulties when facing the Jazz in the last few years and lost both times they have met this season. Utah's length and athleticism, with the likes of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors, are likely to cause problems to the Grizzlies who have been badly out-rebounded in the last three games by a combined 139-99.

The absence of Marc Gasol and Brandan Wright obviously had an immediate impact on the boards. Memphis is now playing smaller lineups and that is something the Jazz can benefit from.

Utah visits the Grizzlies after losing four games in a row, five straight on the road and is 9-20 away from home. Despite the recent skid, they still have a pretty good chance to make the playoffs for the first time in the last four years.

The Jazz's style reminds a bit of the Memphis's one: stifling defense, low scoring games and use of two bigs down low. They are the fourth best in the league in total points allowed and the third best in points allowed in the paint. It will be a battle of two of the best defensive teams in the league.

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