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Game Preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets

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A three-game winning streak? Who would’ve thought?

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (5-7, 3-4 home) vs. Denver Nuggets (8-3, 4-1 away)

WHEN: 5:00 PM CT

WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee

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

INJURY REPORT:

MEMPHIS: Grayson Allen (Ankle, out)

DENVER: Will Barton (Left Adductor Tightness, questionable)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:

MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Jae Crowder, Jaren Jackson Jr., Jonas Valanciunas

DENVER: Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Will Barton, Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic


The Memphis Grizzlies are entering a November game with a three-game winning streak. That’s a development I didn’t see happening at all.

None of the games have really been trash either. Winning against the Spurs on the road is no easy feat. Once thought to be an easy dub every time, the Charlotte Hornets are actually scrappy. The Utah Jazz entered the season as a legitimate contender, so rattling off a win against them is difficult.

Nonetheless, the Grizzlies have gone through this winning streak with superb outings from Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant — even if they weren’t necessarily at the same time — as well as contributions from different role players and solid execution.

Funny to see how things develop when you overreact after the first 5 games of the season!

The Grizzlies are entering this game with another tough task here, taking on the Denver Nuggets.

Though they enter this game 8-3, the Nuggets don’t feel as powerful as they could be. Nikola Jokic isn’t looking like the one that showed up for last year’s playoffs. Though he’s leading the team in scoring, they could use another leap from Jamal Murray. They also haven’t had another young player emerge as another cornerstone piece next to these guys.

They’ll probably figure it out, but it’ll be interesting to see if they could hang with the Lakers, Clippers, or Rockets.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

What are some keys to the game?

  • Contain Nikola Jokic

Though Jokic is a superstar in this league, he may be the easiest one to contain in this league. He’s selfish, but at times, he’s selfish to a fault. As a result, he doesn’t really look to score, which ultimately hurts the flow of the Nuggets’ offense. For the Grizzlies to remotely have a shot in this game, they can’t let Jokic control the game

  • No random outbursts

The Denver Nuggets have some players that could go for an explosion on any given night. Gary Harris, Malik Beasley, and Will Barton can all go for 20 on any given night, but Jamal Murray is the ticking bomb ready to swing the game.

  • Role player contributions

This winning streak is riding on the role players stepping up. Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke were superb in San Antonio. Solomon Hill and Marko Guduric’s hot shooting helped the Grizzlies gain momentum in Charlotte. Then, Kyle Anderson, Brooks, and Jae Crowder were huge in the Utah game. If the Grizzlies could get above-average nights from a few role players today, it’ll swing the game.

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