WHERE: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
WHEN: 6:30 PM CT
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Marc Gasol (Questionable, ankle), Dillon Brooks (Out, knee), Chandler Parsons (Out, knee)
BROOKLYN: Treveon Graham (Out, hamstring), Caris Levert (Out, foot)
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS-
MEMPHIS: Mike Conley, Garrett Temple, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marc Gasol
BROOKLYN: D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, Joe Harris, Rondae Holis-Jefferson, Jarrett Allen
The Memphis Grizzlies travel to Brooklyn to face off against the Nets on the heels of a 3 game losing streak. Potentially joining them in Brooklyn will be Joakim Noah, who after months of “discussions” is coming to terms on a contract with the Grizzlies. The Nets are on a 4 game losing streak themselves and are still trying to get back on track following Caris Levert’s devastating foot injury a couple of weeks ago.
A losing streak will be broken tonight in Brooklyn, and here’s what the Grizzlies need to do to make sure their streak is the one that breaks.
Avoid the 3rd Quarter Blues
During their 3 game losing streak, the Grizzlies have blown an 8 point second half lead late against the Clippers, a 13 point second half lead against the Knicks, and then a 17 point second half lead against the Raptors. Grizzly Bear Blue’s McCarty Maxwell recently went in depth on the Grizzlies issues blowing leads, and you can check that out here. The 3rd quarter especially has been a big problem for the Grizzlies.
They’ve been outscored by a total of 29 points in the 3rd quarter throughout their losing streak. Brooklyn is a young and feisty team, but if the Grizzlies can build a lead they can force the Nets into submission. However, if they give the young Nets a glimmer of hope, they will run with it on their way to a victory. J.B. Bickerstaff needs to do what he can to keep this team from coming out flat after halftime.
Don’t underestimate the Nets
The Nets have been a laughing stock in the NBA ever since they traded all of their first rounders to acquire Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce years ago. The Nets have continuously been one of the worst teams over the last couple of seasons, with the Boston Celtics reaping the benefits of the Nets sorrows. The Nets finally have their own first round pick this year so they have every incentive to tank.
That’s just simply not the case. Although their 8-14 record doesn’t show it, the Nets are a nice young team with talent that is still learning how to play with each other. They have potential building blocks in D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen and will have cap space to make a splash this summer. Although the cap space won’t help them tonight, players in contract years like D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie will try to prove they are worth taking up some of the Nets cap space next summer (or to show potential suitors their worth). The Nets are simply a young team full of players trying to prove they belong in the NBA. They are beatable, but they won’t go down without a fight.
This Nets team is full of young players who probably belong in the NBA. Fortunately for the Grizzlies, none of those players have proven to be a consistent star for this team, although you could argue Levert was doing so before his injury. The Grizzlies will have the best two players on the court in Mike Conley and (hopefully) Marc Gasol and typically the team with the better players wins.
You can’t count out the Nets though, as Russell, Dinwiddie or Allen have the capabilities to have big offensive games. However, I think the veterans on this Grizzlies team know they need to win this game before they fly to Philadelphia to face off against a tough 76ers team. It’ll be closer than you expect, but the Grizzlies should pull this one out.
Memphis 100, Brooklyn 92