WHEN: 7:00 P.M. CT
WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/NBA League Pass/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: John Konchar (Questionable, ankle), Ja Morant (Out, ankle), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Out, ankle), Justise Winslow (Out, hip), Killian Tillie (Out, hamstring), Jontay Porter (Out, knee)
Brooklyn: Kyrie Irving (Out, Personal), Kevin Durant (Out, Health and Safety Protocols), Tyler Johnson (Out, Health and Safety Protocols), Reggie Perry (Groin), Nicholas Claxton (left knee tendinopathy).
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
MEMPHIS: Tyus Jones, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, Brandon Clarke, Jonas Valanciunas
Brooklyn: Caris LaVert, Jeff Green, Taurean Prince, Jarrett Allen, Bruce Brown
Coming off of arguably one of the worst losses in the last few years last night to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Memphis Grizzlies have a quick turnaround tonight as the Brooklyn Nets make their first trip to FedExForum this season.
Brooklyn, coming off of a huge win against the Philadelphia 76ers last night, is also short handed and they’ve been on a roll. There is no question that this Nets team is hungry, and without Kyrie Irving for tonight’s matchup and Kevin Durant who is in Health and Safety Protocol's they will be ready to scrap. The Nets found a way last night to get a huge win, while the Grizzlies had a devastating loss at home.
With two teams that are short-handed, but are coming off of two completely different outcomes, what can we expect from both tonight as both are expected to be short handed once again?
Kyrie Irving is not expected to join the Nets on their flight to Memphis tonight, per a source. ‘He’s not coming’ is what I was told. BKN plays the Grizzlies Friday @TheAthleticNBA— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) January 8, 2021
Bringing Energy and Execution:
In order for the Grizzlies to even be competitive tonight, they will have to not only show up, but have energy and execute on both ends of the floor. Against the Cavaliers last night, it felt like the Grizzlies were playing ISO ball, and not playing with a competitive edge due to looking down on their opponent.
Consistency goes right in between these two keys as the Grizzlies built solid leads last night against Cleveland, but blew them in all four quarters. Consistency is a huge part of this game for the Grizzlies. Running plays, getting stops, and pushing off of those stops. It is who the Grizzlies are trying to be, and they’ve won when playing with those keys. See if the Grizzlies get back to that tonight against a short-handed Brooklyn Nets team.
Bench has been fantastic, but Starters have to start:
The Grizzlies bench has been terrific, but that starting five has to set the tone for the bench unit to come in and build on something. The Grizzlies bench unit is coming into games, and playing harder on both ends of the floor compared to the starters.
Not something anyone enjoys seeing, but the Grizzlies won’t hang around with the Nets tonight if the starting five starts slow again. Kyle Anderson had a career game the last time these two teams matched up, look for Anderson to not only step up, but get back on track tonight - he has to. Without Anderson’s production, where ever that maybe, the Grizzlies are lost. Anderson hit several threes in the third quarter last night against Cleveland, so here is to hoping that Anderson found his range again.
The Grizzlies will obviously head into tonight’s matchup as an underdog and rightfully so. This team looks lost after playing the world champion Los Angeles Lakers back-to-back with great effort, but falling to the Cavaliers with minimum effort.
Memphis will have to come out of the gates with maximum energy to be competitive tonight, but if you’re betting, take the Nets.
Brooklyn Nets 115 - Memphis Grizzlies 104