WHEN: 12 PM CT
WHERE: Madison Square Garden in New York, New York
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Jaren Jackson Jr. (Probable, quad), Mike Conley (Questionable, knee), Garrett Temple (Doubtful, shoulder), Dillon Brooks (Out, toe), Kyle Anderson (Out, shoulder), Omri Casspi (Out, knee), Chandler Parsons (Out, sunbathing)
NEW YORK: Emmanual Mudiay (Out, shoulder), Frank Ntilikina (Out, groin), Dennis Smith Jr./Wesley Matthews/DeAndre Jordan (Questionable, just traded for)
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Shelvin Mack, Jevon Carter, Justin Holiday, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marc Gasol
NEW YORK: Kadeem Allen, Damyean Dotson, Kevin Knox, Noah Vonleh, Luke Kornet
While much of the country is preparing for the Big Game between the New England Patriots and
St. Louis Los Angeles Rams some folks - most likely you, if you are reading this preview - are getting ready to witness something far less...special.
Two of the absolute worst teams in the NBA do battle in an afternoon matinee Sunday in the Big Apple as the Memphis Grizzlies visit the New York Knicks. Both squads are just miserable - Memphis is 2-17 in their last 19 games, while New York is 1-18 over that same time frame. The Knicks just completed a gigantic deal, one that drastically changes the direction of their franchise for years to come. The Grizzlies may be on the verge of doing the very same thing, as rumors about trading organizational cornerstones Marc Gasol and Mike Conley heat up.
Considering how different the markets are, the Knicks and Grizzlies are far more similar than either fan base would probably care to admit.
Instead of how Memphis could win this game, in this preview we are going to focus on reasons to watch. This way, when your family and friends ask why you’re watching a miserable game on your phone instead of the six hour long pregame show, you’ll have a reason why.
We provide an important service here at GBB.
Dennis Smith Jr. might play
One of the newest Knicks, and arguably the most important one for New York moving forward, could very well suit up for his first game with his new club against Memphis. Grizzlies fans are somewhat familiar with Smith Jr., both because he comes to the Knicks from the division rival Dallas Mavericks and for a time it was rumored he may become a Grizzly as part of a Marc or Mike move.
That, of course, did not happen.
Now, New York tries to figure out what the hell they have in Smith Jr. Between him, Frank Ntilikina, and Emmanuel Mudiay, the Knicks have to figure out what their future is at the point guard position...even with free agency rumors looming.
Smith Jr. is an explosive player, and if he does play the game gets much more interesting.
Joakim Noah is back in New York
Once upon a time, Joakim Noah signed a big time contract with the Knicks to help establish a tough, winning culture while defending and facilitating at a high level on the floor.
It never really worked.
Noah was bought out earlier this season by New York, with the Knicks essentially saying they’d rather pay Joakim to not play for them than have him taking up a roster spot.
Noah is one of the most passionate players in the NBA and seems genuinely grateful for the opportunity that has been given to him in Memphis. He posted a double double off the bench in the most recent loss for the Grizzlies against the Hornets. He has motivation and has played well of late.
Look for Joakim to try to go off.
Marc and Mike may be gone soon.
I just wanted a reason to post the picture again.
Every game the next several days could be the last one. Enjoy it...because Utah, or Charlotte, or Portland, or Detroit, or some unknown team may be looming, waiting to drive the final nails in the coffin of Grit and Grind.
Someone has to win. The very stoppable force is meeting the extremely movable object, as Memphis takes on a team on a 12-game losing streak in the Knicks. There are very few teams that I would take the Grizzlies in terms of pulling off a victory...
But considering the Knicks have every reason to not want to win, and the Grizzlies are fighting for their pick converting lives? Memphis should actually pull out a win here, whether the new players for New York dress or not.
Memphis 102, New York 99