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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Detroit Pistons Game Preview

The Grizzlies will play in front of the home crowd one last time as the season winds down.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Detroit Pistons Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (21-58, 15-25 Home) vs. Detroit Pistons (38-41, 13-26 Away)

WHEN: 2:30 PM CT

WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: FOX Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis

Injury Report:

Memphis- Mike Conley (Out, heel), Marc Gasol (Out, rest), JaMychal Green (Out, knee soreness), Andrew Harrison (Out, wrist/shoulder), Jarell Martin (Out, ankle), Chandler Parsons (Out, knee soreness), Wayne Selden (Out, knee soreness), Tyreke Evans (Out, personal)

Detroit- Blake Griffin (Out, ankle), Jon Leuer (Out, ankle), Reggie Bullock (Out, knee)

Projected Starting Lineups:

Memphis- Kobi Simmons, Ben McLemore, Dillon Brooks, Ivan Rabb, Marc Gasol

Detroit- Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Stanley Johnson, Anthony Tolliver, Andre Drummond

While the Grizzlies’ fans are hoping for losses, the Pistons are trying to end their season strong after a collapse that prevented them to get back in to the eighth spot of the Eastern Conference. Currently they’re 4.5 games back, so their efforts are futile at this point. On the other side, the Grizzlies actually need to lose to get a better pick in the NBA Draft. Fortunately, the loss to the Kings on Friday night ensured that Memphis would not get worse than the fifth pick in the draft.

But the tankathon is still in effect with just three games left for the Grizzlies to lose, and this is their final game at home today.

It’s hard for me, as a die-hard Grizz fan, to root for Memphis to lose. But for future success, that’s exactly what they need to do. However, with all the young guys who are going to be playing for the Grizzlies this afternoon and with a lack of vets on the floor, losing shouldn’t be too hard to do. They nearly pulled out a win Friday night against the Sacramento Kings, but let it go down the stretch and lost by one point.

On the opposing side, the Pistons managed to outlast a tanking Dallas Mavericks team in OT on Friday night, which shouldn’t have been such a competitive contest.

Now, the Grizzlies look to put on one last showing in front of the home crowd. Let’s highlight some things to look out for during this afternoon’s match:

The Brooks Bros

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

While they may not be brothers by blood, Dillon Brooks and Marshon Brooks seem to be so on the court with how they’re performing. On the year, the rookie Brooks is averaging 10.4 points and 1.5 assists and seems to be one of the few bright spots this season. Newcomer Marshon Brooks has averaged 23.3 PPG and 3.5 assists in four games for the Grizzlies.

Watching both these guys play on a really bad team has at least been entertaining, and I expect nothing less this afternoon when they play the Pistons. Especially being surrounded by players like Kobi Simmons, both Brooks players will have to carry big loads this afternoon for the Grizz to be competitive in this one.

Andre Drummond Domination

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Even with Marc Gasol likely to play, he will likely see limited minutes and then the Grizzlies will really have their hands full with Pistons’ center Andre Drummond. On the year, he’s averaging 15.1 PPG and on Friday, he had 19 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks.

He’ll be facing off against young guys like Deyonta Davis, who probably won’t be able to handle Drummond defensively. To add to the trouble, Jarell Martin is now done for the season as well, so Memphis’ front court will be even more depleted. Smaller power forwards will have to fill in center minutes, and Drummond will probably get to feast on offense. It’s important for Memphis to at least try to keep Drummond contained this afternoon, or he might carry Detroit to the win.

The Prediction

Neither of these two teams have anything to play for, so expect some ugly basketball this afternoon. On the “bright” side, it’s better for the Grizzlies to lose this one, or if they do win, they’ll win one last one in front of their home crowd. Expect both Brooks players to have big numbers, but it probably won’t be enough to overpower the post dominance of Andre Drummond if Gasol sits this one out for Memphis. The young guys for the Grizzlies will play it tough, but the Pistons’ stars in Andre Drummond and point guard Reggie Jackson, who is averaging 20.3 PPG for the month of April, will carry Detroit to victory.

Detroit 103, Memphis 95