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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Suns Game Preview

The Grizzlies return home looking to bounce back from a tough loss in San Francisco.

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Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (20-12,13-2 home) vs. Phoenix Suns (19-15, 5-10 road)


WHERE: FedEx Forum — Memphis, TN

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


MEMPHIS: Danny Green (Out, knee)

PHOENIX: Jae Crowder (Out), Devin Booker (Out, Groin), Cam Payne (Out, Foot), Cameron Johnson (Out, knee), Landry Shamet (right Achilles soreness)


MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Steven Adams

PHOENIX: Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, Mikal Bridges, Torrey Craig, DeAndre Ayton

After a disappointing loss in San Francisco, the Grizzlies return home to face the Phoenix Suns for the second time in less than a week. The Grizzlies won the last matchup in Phoenix after getting out to a big first quarter lead and rode that energy to a 25-point win.

The Suns will be without Devin Booker again and will also be missing Landry Shamet who scored 31 points in their game on Christmas Day. On the other side, the Grizzlies only have one name on the injury report for the first time this season as Danny Green is still recovering from his torn ACL.

Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Bouncing back at home

There was a lot of anticipation going into the game on Christmas Day. Losing a game like that can go one of two ways, you can either let it fuel you to be better or let it negatively affect your play going forward. For the Grizzlies, it is important for them to get a win on their home floor, where they are 13-2 this season, to build momentum going into the new year.

For Memphis, it all starts with defending the 3-point line, which has been an issue for a lot of the season. However, they are significantly better at home allowing teams to shoot just 31% from behind the arc (2nd in the NBA). They will also have to shoot better from three, as they shot just 25% over the 4-game road trip.

More help for Ja Morant

Ja Morant was incredible in San Francisco, finishing with 36 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds but it wasn’t enough. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks got into foul trouble and Desmond Bane’s shot was off in the last game, all three will have to pick it up against the Suns.

In last weeks game against Phoenix, the Grizzlies had six players in double figures and four with double-doubles. Even without a few key pieces, the Suns are still a tough team to beat. The Grizzlies will need to get some help offensively from players that aren’t Morant.

Figuring out the rotation

Another thing to watch for tonight is the Grizzlies’ rotation as they try to find their groove now that they are basically fully healthy. Rookies David Roddy and Jake LaRavia have been the odd men out so far, but look for both of them to get opportunities going forward, especially if another player is struggling. Also watch for Ziaire Williams to continue to find his legs and role on the Grizzlies roster.

There are going to be a lot of loving pieces, but at the end of the day the Grizzlies have a lot of quality players that would get minutes on most NBA teams. However, it’s going to take some time for all the pieces of the puzzle to fit together.

Sunday’s loss was disappointing, but at the end of the day it’s still just one of 82 games. A bounce back win over a good western conference opponent could help dampen the negative energy from Saturday. For a prediction, expect the Grizzlies to come out determined and start strong on their way to a hard fought victory 122-115.

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