Who: Memphis Grizzlies (32-48, 12 - 28 Away) vs. Detroit Pistons (39-41, 25-15 Home)
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
When: 6:00 PM CT
How to watch/listen: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Joakim Noah (Out, knee), Mike Conley (Out, ankle), Kyle Anderson(Out, shoulder), Avery Bradley (Out, shin), Dillon Brooks (Out, toe), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Out, thigh), C.J. Miles (Out, foot), Jonas Valanciunas (Out, ankle)
Detroit: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Day-to-Day, broken finger)
MEMPHIS: Delon Wright, Tyler Dorsey, Justin Holiday, Bruno Caboclo, Ivan Rabb
Detroit: Reggie Jackson, Wayne Ellington, Bruce Brown Jr., Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond
After dropping Sunday’s contest against the Dallas Mavericks, this game is a must-win for the convey-thirsty Memphis Grizzlies. Despite the brilliant performances from Delon Wright and Justin Holiday, it just wasn’t enough, as Salah Mejri looked like Prime Shaq out there.
In this game, the Grizzlies luckily won’t have to deal with a beast like Mejri, but they do have to face up against All-Star big men Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Not to mention, the Detroit Pistons have something meaningful to play for: a playoff spot. Right now, they are a game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets and the Miami Heat for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. A win here, plus some losses for Hornets and the Heat, would solidify their playoff chances.
Major Key Alert
The Memphis Grizzlies must control the glass, if they want to steal a win in the Little Caesars Arena (side-note: I love typing that. Why would someone name their arena after LITTLE CAESARS). Andre Drummond is the best rebounding big man in basketball, as he’s averaging 15.5 rebounds per game. Ivan Rabb has proven to be a decent rebounder in the league, but it’s going to take a collective effort here, as the second-year big man will get outmuscled down low.
It wouldn’t be completely surprising to see big rebounding numbers from the non-center Grizzlies players, as Bruno Caboclo and Delon Wright gathered a career-high 17 and 13 rebounds, respectively, last game.
Match-up to Watch
Wow, so many to choose from. Ivan Rabb and Andre Drummond. Bruno Caboclo and Blake Griffin. I’m going to roll with Delon Wright and Reggie Jackson in this one.
Wright has really hit his stride lately, averaging 14.4 points, 7.5 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.3 steals in his past 10 games. After back-to-back triple doubles, he’s been a bright spot in what’s been a dim past few weeks in Memphis. With this strong play recently, he’s making a strong case for Memphis to bring him back and for other possible suitors to pay up this summer.
Against Reggie Jackson, we may get a preview into next season’s training camp whenever the Grizzlies foolishly trade Mike Conley for Jackson, Jon Leuer, and a pick in the teen’s.
Only slightly kidding... Hopefully.
Stats found on basketball-reference.
Follow @sbngrizzlies for updates on tonight’s game.