WHEN: 5:00PM CT
WHERE: Little Caesers Arena — Detroit, Michigan
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Bally Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Desmond Bane (Out, toe), Danny Green (Out, knee), Ziaire Williams (Out, Patellar Tendinitis) Jake LaRavia (Doubtful, LT Foot Soreness)
Detroit: Cade Cunningham (OUT, Lower Leg)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, John Konchar, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Steven Adams
Detroit: Killian Hayes, Isaiah Livers, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley III
Another unique Sunday tip-off for the Memphis Grizzlies. The dreaded 5:00 P.M. Sunday game. It will be a game that can either show you peak basketball, or two teams that just aren’t used to playing in this slot. For Memphis, this will be their fifth-straight Sunday evening tip.
The Grizzlies, coming off of a huge victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night at FedEx Forum, provide solid momentum before heading out on the road for tonight’s matchup with the young Detroit Pistons. The Pistons are coming off of a huge win against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night along with two nights of rest.
The Grizzlies have struggled on the road this season, how do they turn it around this evening?
Establish Tempo early
What’s the best tempo for the Grizzlies? Their defense. Memphis will have to continue perfecting their defense. In the last week, Memphis has shown signs of progressing their defense towards where it was last season.
Memphis will have a really good opportunity tonight to take off on the Pistons with their defensive intensity. Detroit ranks in the bottom half of the NBA in scoring per game, and their defense sits in the bottom half of the NBA as well.
If Memphis is able to establish a tempo early by utilizing their defense to fuel their offense in transition, look for Memphis to take this one in blowout fashion.
Avoiding the slow-start
It’s no secret, NBA Players don’t enjoy these 5:00 P.M. Sunday tip-offs. This can lead to uncharacteristic from both teams. For the Grizzlies, it will be about keeping Detroit out of their rhythm, and pushing the tempo with control.
Limiting unnecessary turnovers and getting out in transition early will be huge for Memphis tonight from a mental standpoint. Avoid the Sunday blues, get the win in the Motor City.
These types of games are hard to predict, but it’s an opportunity for Memphis to establish their standard for this season. Detroit will be without Cade Cunningham, and scoring will hard to come by, so don’t give them opportunities to get hot.
This has the feeling of a game that could get out of hand early, as Memphis has zeroed in on who they want to be this season. It starts on the defensive end, and that’s bad news for the Pistons.
The spread right now has Memphis as a 7.5 point favorite, and I’d play that up to 9.5. I think Memphis handles Detroit, and the starters rest for majority of the fourth quarter. I also think Jaren Jackson Jr., has a big night, and Ja Morant has a great playmaking night.
With that being said...
Memphis 125, Detroit 107