WHO: Memphis Grizzlies vs. New York Knicks
WHERE: FedExForum — Memphis, TN
WHEN: 5:00 pm
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast, 92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
Memphis: Dillon Brooks (left knee sprain), Chandler Parsons (right knee soreness)
New York: Courtney Lee (neck), Kristaps Porzingis (knee), Lance Thomas (knee)
Memphis: Mike Conley, Garrett Temple, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marc Gasol
New York: Emmanuel Mudiay, Tim Hardaway Jr., Mario Hezonja, Noah Vonleh, Enes Kanter
It was Monday November 27, 2017 and the Memphis Grizzlies decided to make an in season move to fire their head coach David Fizdale. The Grizzlies came roaring out of the gate to start the season, only to lose Mike Conley 12 games in. At 7-12, Chris Wallace decided it was time to move on from Fizdale and JB Bickerstaff began his reign.
Here we are today, Sunday November 25, 2018 and the Bickerstaff-led Grizzlies are set to take on the New York Knicks coached by none other than David Fizdale. The Grizzlies (12-6) are sitting atop the Western Conference standings (tied with the hated Los Angeles Clippers) while the Knicks (6-14) are 12th in the East, albeit without Kristaps Porzingis.
The Knicks are a sad 3-8 on the road while the Grizzlies are a stellar 7-1 inside the Forum. New York is on a roll right now however, defeated both the Pelicans and Celtics in their last two games. The Grizzlies dropped a tough one on the road to the Clippers and will be looking to bounce back at home. Expect the Knickerbockers to have a little more motivation today as they look to give Fizdale a revenge victory on Beale Street.
Matchup to Watch
Enes Kanter is flat out awful on defense and Marc Gasol, well he is pretty dang good at the offense thing. Kanter’s defensive rating is 112, the worst of his career while Gasol’s offensive rating is 113. These two have faced off 18 times in their career and Marc has dominated. 15 times Marc has outscored Kanter in the game with an average score of 17.7 points to Kanter’s 10.8. Marc has also had more blocks in 15 of the games to a tune of 2.3 blocks to .3.
Gasol has bested Kanter on both ends of the floor almost every time they have shared the court. This is the matchup the Grizzlies will need to look to feed early and often as Big Spain is playing some of the best basketball of his career. I expect Gasol to play a little harder today as well...I wonder why?
Keys to the Game
- Feed Jaren Jackson Jr. early. The Grizzlies are notorious for slow starts on offense and taking their time finding their offensive rhythm. The last few games the Grizzlies have found JJJ early on and he has provided a spark to the starting lineup on the offensive end in first quarters. The Grizz will need more of the same.
- Stay out of foul trouble. This goes for the entire team. The last two games the Grizzlies have not been able to defend without fouling, A LOT. Conley’s foul out was questionable at best, but he and JJJ in particular can not be in foul trouble and expect to win this game. The Knicks are young and active, so the Grizz will need to defend with discipline.
- Put them away early. This is not a game or team that the Grizzlies want to let hang around. Memphis needs to put their foot on the gas early and destroy any hope New York may have of being in this game. Let’s get Mike and Marc some fourth quarter rest today.
NBA 2K19 Prediction
New York- 95
Conley- 23 pts 8 ast
Temple- 22 pts
Gasol- 17 pts 10 reb 5 ast
The Memphis Grizzlies are currently an 8 point favorite and I definitely like the Grizzlies to cover. While the Knicks will look to snag a revenge win for Fizdale, Memphis is just a far superior team to New York.
Memphis Grizzlies 98 New York Knicks 85