WHEN: 7:00PM CT
WHERE: FedEx Forum — Memphis, TN
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Bally Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Ja Morant (Questionable, RT Thigh Sorness), Steven Adams (Questionable, RT Ankle Soreness), Jake LaRavia (Questionable, LT Foot Soreness), Desmond Bane (Out, toe), Danny Green (Out, knee),
ATLANTA: Dejounte Murray (Out, Ankle Sprain), John Collins (Out, Ankle Sprain)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, John Konchar, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Steven Adams
ATLANTA: Trae Young, Trent Forrest, AJ Griffin, De’Andre Hunter, Clint Capela
The Memphis Grizzlies have been on a roll, winning their last five games overall and six straight at home. They look to extend that streak as they welcome the Atlanta Hawks to Memphis.
Similar to the Grizzlies, the Hawks have had some injury concerns early this season. Both Dejounte Murray and John Collins will be out for Atlanta. However, they have proven that they can win without them in spectacular fashion. Just look at this AJ Griffin game winner from last night.
AJ GRIFFIN GAME WINNER MY GOODNESS— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) December 12, 2022
Ja Morant and Steven Adams are both questionable to play, but expect both of them to play tonight after two days of rest. Here are some matchups, trends, and players to watch out for in todays’s game.
Ja Morant vs Trae Young
When it comes to young guards around the NBA, it’s seems like Morant and Young or always pinned against each other. Both players have dazzled NBA fans since their first game in the league, but have continued to improve since.
However, this season has definitely been a tough one for Trae Young. Through 24 games, he has shot his worst percentage from both the field and behind the three-point line. So far this season, they have both scored a little over 27 PPG, but Morant has done it with better efficiency overall.
Whenever these two young point guards compete it’s always an exciting matchup. Even though they probably won’t guard each other, Dillon Brooks will likely get the Young assignment, however, these two will still be the box office matchup of the night.
Feed Jaren Jackson Jr.
Since the Grizzlies play both Jackson and Steven Adams together, it often creates size mismatches at the PF position. Tonight he will likely be guarded by a good defender in De’Andre Hunter, but Jaren definitely has the advantage on the interior.
So far this season, Jaren has attacked these matchups better than any other time in his career. He has also done it efficiently, shooting 60% on two-point attempts to start the season. He has been on a tear, scoring 20 or more points in seven of his last nine games. Look for Jackson to continue this strong play on offense, while continuing his case for best defender in the NBA on the other end.
The Hawks are missing two of their best players, but that does not mean they don’t have enough talent to win this game. The Grizzlies have a habit of letting teams hang around even when they are clearly better. In order to avoid this, the Grizzlies need to get out to a quick start to try and out the Hawks in a hole early.
Look for Morant and the starters to come out on a mission in the 1st quarter. The Grizzlies are 10-4 when scoring 30+ points in the first quarter this season, so a good start is essential to increase the streak to six.
For my prediction, I think the Grizzlies should get their win streak to six tonight. They are 11-2 at home this season and have played their best basketball of the season in FedEx Forum, look for this trend to continue on Monday.