WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT
HOW TO WATCH: Fox Sports Southeast/ 92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS- Mike Conley (Out, Left Heel), Deyonta Davis (Out, Left Ankle), Tyreke Evans (Out, Right Rib), Chandler Parsons (Out, Illness), Wayne Selden Jr. (Out, Right Knee Soreness)
PHOENIX- Isaiah Canaan (Out, Ankle), Tyson Chandler (Out, Neck), Brandon Knight (Out, Knee), Alan Williams (Out, Knee)
MEMPHIS- Andrew Harrison, Dillon Brooks, Jarell Martin, JaMychal Green, Marc Gasol
PHOENIX- Elfrid Payton, Devin Booker, T.J. Warren, Dragan Bender, Alex Len
There really isn’t much sugar coating this one. The Grizzlies are back home to face the flailing Suns Wednesday night at the Forum. All you have to know about these two teams is, currently on SeatGeek, you can get into the arena for only two dollars. That is absolutely absurd.
However, it’s nothing surprising. Both teams come into this game on 10-game losing streaks with seemingly all their eggs in the tanking basket. Someone has got to win this game, and there is really no telling who will take it.
The Grizzlies return home after losing in Boston Monday night, and the Suns are getting in off an away loss in New Orleans with Anthony Davis dropping 53 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
It is going to be an ugly one that will test your Grizzlies’ fanhood. Phoenix has actually won two of the three previous matchups this season with both of those being at home. Memphis took the last contest at home just about a month ago.
There is no getting around talking about the tank in this matchup, so it will be a battle of who wants to lose the game more.
These are the two things to note going into Tuesday night:
Like I said, there is no denying that both teams are in it to lose for a better draft pick. Yes, both rosters are “banged up” and weak, but it is just the facts that the organizations want to lose this game.
Currently, the Suns own the worst record in the league and the best odds to get the #1 overall draft pick. Memphis is in the 4th spot with 3 fewer losses than Phoenix. So, how will all this translate in this matchup? We could see a lot of Marquese Chriss for the Suns and Ben McLemore for the Grizz.
Peter Edmiston of the Commercial Appeal tweeted out something this week that really told you all you needed to know. In the month of February, the Grizzlies have a net rating of -29.4 when Ben McLemore is on the court. That is ridiculously poor. Even though you have to be cautious relying on +/-‘s, there is no repudiating McLemore has just been God awful this month.
Now, even if you are still appalled by that number, Marquese Chriss has something to say about that. Chriss one-upped McLemore. The Suns have a net rating of – 31.4 in the month of February while he is on the court. With both of those ratings, these two become perfect “tank commanders.”
Look to see these two getting a lot of minutes in order to tip the losing in either team’s favor.
The Somewhat Positives To Watch For
Enough of the bad, yes both teams are playing horrendous basketball this year, but there are some silver linings in these two rosters.
The Suns are an interesting team. They completely scrap defense with the worst defensive rating in the league, but sometimes have offensive showings to pay attention to. And, yes, this is the same team who got beat by 40 points this season four times.
The team is super young and athletic who love to play an up-tempo style of basketball. The Suns have the 4th quickest pace in the league. Plus, they have Devin Booker who is one of the best scorers in the league. When he is on the court anything can happen, and he should be a major reason to watch this game. Just last game Booker put 40-points in their loss to the Pelicans.
Even with the fast pace, the Suns still rate 3rd worst in offensive rating in the league. They just can’t score the ball outside of Booker and T.J. Warren.
For the Grizzlies on offense, Marc and JaMyke should be able to feast. Dragan Bender has been abysmal on the defensive end and only is out there to stretch the floor offensively. Green has been putting up great games as of late with a powerful double-double against the Celtics. Look for that to continue Wednesday.
My prediction for the game is a Grizzlies win. This game only matters for the worst record in the league, and Phoenix has positioned themselves to hold on to it. It will not be a pretty game to watch.
I think I am just excited about the G-League rosters that will be thrown out there at the end of quarters. There will probably be around 7 out of the 10 guys on the court that the majority of NBA fans have never even heard of.
Strap in and be ready for a dreadful game of basketball. Just remember, the ping-pong balls are at stake.
Spread: Grizzlies N/A. STAY AWAY. This is an absolute stay away. If you wager on this game, then more power to you and your degenerate self.
Memphis- 109, Phoenix 103