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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Miami Heat Game Preview

The Grizzlies are back for the 3rd preseason game of the year, this time against the Miami Heat

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Orlando Magic v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

WHEN: 7:00 PM CT

WHERE: FedEx Forum — Memphis, TN

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Bally Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis, NBA TV

INJURY REPORT:

MEMPHIS: Jaren Jackson Jr. (Out, foot surgery recovery), Danny Green (Out, knee surgery recovery), Maybe Other Key Players (Out, it’s preseason)

Miami : Gabe Vincent (Questionable, Knee), Caleb Martin (Questionable, Knee), Bam Adebayo (Out-Rest), Jimmy Butler (Out-Rest), Kyle Lowry (Out-Rest)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Santi Aldama, Steven Adams

MIAMI: Tyler Herro, Víctor Oladipo, Max Strus, Haywood Highsmith, Omer Yurtseven

After a three day break, the Memphis Grizzlies will be back in action for preseason matchup vs the Miami Heat. It’s still preseason, but since there has been such a long break between games I would not be surprised to see all the starters playing again. However, since we are not sure of it I’ll break this preview into two different parts based on who plays.

There are a lot of questions marks going into this game, specifically on who the Heat will be playing in this game. On the 2nd night of a back to back during the preseason, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and Bam Adebayo are all expected to sit this game out. I also do not expect the other Heat starters to get a lot of run even if they do play.

However, since the Grizzlies haven’t played in the last 3 days, I would still expect their starters to play at least in the first half.

If the Starters play

In their last matchup against the Magic, they looked solid but still a little sloppy. The Grizzlies turned the ball over 27 times in their last game, many of them unforced errors. They did force 25 on the other end, which is promising, but they must do a better job of taking care of the ball against the Heat and during the regular season.

Santi Aldama is a player to watch during this game as well after his big performance against the Magic. He has potentially secured the starting 4 position until Jaren returns, but it would be great to see him continue his momentum into the regular season. Look for him to get more open looks from behind the arc, especially off drive and kicks, after shooting 4-5 from three on Monday.

It would also be encouraging to see Desmond Bane knock down some threes after going 0-5 in the first game. Look for the Grizzlies to get him open shots early so he can be in a good rhythm heading into the regular season. Bane has shot over 43% from three in his career though, so his jumper is definitely not something to be too concerned about.

I’d also look for Dillon Brooks to have a bounce back performance after his foul trouble in the last preseason game. When he was in the game Brooks played solid Defense on 1st overall pick Paolo Banchero, but five fouls in 22 minutes is not a good start to the season. Expect a more focused Brooks even if it is just preseason.

If it’s the young Grizzlies time to shine

Alternate lineup prediction: Kennedy Chandler, John Konchar, Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Santi Aldama

The Grizzlies have been known to play their guys every other game during both preseason and summer league, so even despite the long break we could see the younger lineup from the 1st game against the Bucks. However, that lineup also proved to be very effective in their first action together and could still pull out a Grizzlies win.

If this is the lineup, the number one thing I’d look out for is the rookies, especially David Roddy and Jake LaRavia. LaRavia is the rookie most likely to make the rotation night one, so it would be good to see him have another good game. He seemed hesitant to shoot in Summer league but has grown out of that already, averaging 10 points on 7.5 shots per game off the bench.

Roddy did not get as much playing time when the starters came back but looked very good in the first preseason game, leading both teams in scoring with 18. He also knocked down two of his four attempts from behind the arc.

A game led by the younger Grizzlies would also mean the return of fan and NBA twitter favorite Kenneth Lofton Jr. Last game the fans in FedEx Forum were chanting his name, so expect the people to get what they want at some point during the game. It could be the last chance for Grizzlies fans to watch Lofton Jr. for a while, as he will spend a lot of time in the G- league.

Regardless of who plays, but especially if he is in the starting lineup, it will also be important to watch Ziaire Williams during tonight’s game. Williams has been solid through two games but hasn’t been able to fully show all the work he put in this off-season. I’d like to see him get a chance to run the offense and make reads in the pick and roll a little bit more before the season starts on October 19th.

Regardless of who plays, the most important this is that the Grizzlies will compete. They are one of the few teams in the NBA can get their fans excited for a preseason game even if the entire team isn’t playing. The depth and youth of this Grizzlies team will be a theme throughout the season and it will be an enjoyable experience regardless.

Final Score Prediction:

Grizzlies 105 Heat 100

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