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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Game Preview

The Grizzlies look to extend their winning streak as Ziaire Williams’ return nears

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (15-9, 9-2 home) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (11-13, 5-8 away)


WHERE: FedExForum — Memphis, TN

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


MEMPHIS: Ziaire Williams (Questionable, Patellar Tendinitis), Jake LaRavia (Doubtful, Foot Soreness), Desmond Bane (Out, toe), Danny Green (Out, knee), Kenneth Lofton Jr. (Out, Two-Way Transfer), Vince Williams Jr. (Out, Two-Way Transfer), Kennedy Chandler (Out, G-league assignment)

OKLAHOMA CITY: Chet Homgren (Out, Foot), Kendrick Williams (Out, Knee)


MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, John Konchar, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Steven Adams

OKLAHOMA CITY: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey,Jalen Williams, Luguentz Dort, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

The Grizzlies have won three straight games heading into tonight’s matchup against the Thunder — the second game of a six-game home stand for Memphis. Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and John Konchar are back in the starting lineup after missing Monday’s victory against the Heat. There’s also a good chance we see Ziaire Williams get to play for the first time since Summer League.

The Thunder have also won three straight games, thanks to the incredible play of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He has scored 30 or more points in each of his last seven games. Here are some trends, matchups, and players to watch in tonight game.

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

The impending return of Ziaire Williams

Although it hasn’t been confirmed, all signs point to a Williams return against the Thunder. Williams returns to a Grizzlies bench that has had its ups and downs this season, but seems to be hitting its stride. It might take some time for Williams to get back to form, but his play on both ends will definitely provide a spark.

His rookie year got off to a rough start, but by the end of the season Ziaire had become a key rotation piece for the Grizzlies. During Summer League, he was asked to take on more responsibilities offensively, making quick decisions as a point-forward and showcasing his shot creation ability. If Williams does return tonight, it would bring the Grizzlies one step closer to being fully healthy for the first time all season.

Dillon Brooks Vs Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

The last time Gilgeous-Alexander scored under 30 points, it was Dillon Brooks who forced him into tough shots and held him to just 15. Brooks forced him into tough shots both inside and out, while also limiting his space and ability to attack the rim.

This season, Brooks has been a defensive juggernaut. He has the most difficult matchup on a nightly basis, whether it is a guard or a forward. Gilgeous-Alexander has proven to be a matchup nightmare all season, and will definitely be looking to make up for his last performance against Brooks. The Grizzlies will need another great defensive performance from Brooks to continue their win streak.

Continue dominating at home

It’s still early in the season, but in a very competitive western competitive western conference ever game matters. That also means that the Grizzlies must continue to capitalize on their opportunities at home. So far, Memphis is 9-2 at home and could jump into the West’s 1st seed with a good stretch at the FedEx Forum. Both of these teams have been playing great basketball of late, but the home court advantage could definitely be the difference.

For a prediction, expect this game to go down to the wire as both teams seem to be clicking. However, the Grizzlies overwhelming presence inside against a smaller OKC lineup should give them the advantage. Look for both Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr. to have big games in a 120-113 win.

The Grizzlies will tip off against the Thunder at 7 p.m. All nationally televised NBA games can be watched on Sling TV.

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