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Who: Memphis Grizzlies vs Orlando Magic
When: 7:00 pm CST
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
Records: Memphis (40-25), Orlando (37-28)

Expected Starting Lineups:
Memphis – Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol
Orlando – Jameer Nelson, J J Reddick, Jason Richardson, Ryan Anderson, Glen Davis

Preview:
Memphis concludes the season tonight with a possibility of finishing with the highest winning percentage in franchise history and the 5th most wins despite playing 16 fewer games than normal. An amazing accomplishment especially since the team’s only all-star entering the season missed 39 of the 66 games.

Oh and by the way, the Grizzlies can clinch home court advantage in the first round with a win tonight.

The Grizzlies accomplished this with a total team effort. Marc Gasol stepped up his game. Rudy Gay returned to his pre-shoulder injury form and Mike Conley, Tony Allen and O J Mayo combined for one of the more dangerous backcourt combinations in the league. New faces Marreese Speights, Dante Cunningham and Quincy Pondexter stepped in a played major roles despite not having the benefit of a pre-season.

Most importantly, Head Coach Lionel Hollins didn’t allow the team to feel sorry for themselves, insisting on supreme effort despite the injuries and demanding schedule. Instead of allowing the slow start to the season and all the other excuses to define the team, he insisted on the same grit and grind effort every night in spite of it and the results are evident. The season is a success regardless of the playoffs.

Orlando took a different approach to the season. From Dwight Howard distraction with his contract situation to his clash with the front office over the team’s talent to his blow up with Head Coach Stan Van Gundy the Magic have been a team on the decline all season.

It is too bad since the Magic were very competitive this season led by the emergence of Ryan Anderson and the continued development of players like J J Reddick, the Magic were the 3rd best Eastern Conference team until the late season swoon dropped them to 6th place.

Offensively, the Magic are a team based on the philosophy of dumping the ball inside to Dwight Howard and leaving everyone else on the three-point line looking for open looks. Defensively they pressure the ball knowing that Dwight Howard was behind them to distract anyone’s shot who beat their man off the dribble. Without Howard in the lineup the team has looked lost, lacking both their swagger and their intensity.

Prediction: While the Grizzlies are likely going deep into the bench looking to rest the players expected to contribute the most in the playoffs. The Magic are looking to find some momentum heading into the playoffs. However the Grizzlies are playing for more and that will make the difference.

 

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13 Responses to Memphis vs Orlando – Season Finale

  1. Joel B.No Gravatar says:

    man oh mann, this is going to be a crazy game, the Grind House better be ROCKING. With a home court like the Forum, with a crowd like we had last year, Home court advantage would be HUGE for us. GET IT DONE GRIZZ!

  2. Joe SmithNo Gravatar says:

    Man home court advantage in the first round, then (hopefully) play the Spurs in the WCSF, we are looking at at least 6 playoff games at FED-EX (3 vs Clips/3 vs Spurs). I think the LAC will result in Memphis winning 4-1. Then the Spurs series, I’m hoping we can maintain dominance and win that in 6. OKC waits for us in the Finals. I don’t see them losing to the Mavs or Lakers. Wish I was in Memphis…IT”S GOING TO BE NUTZ!

  3. KyleNo Gravatar says:

    Ive been sayin that in this stretch, i couldnt see the clips winning more than two more! Grizz have put themselves in this place by making sure they WIN, even if it was ugly! One more win tonight and we are looking at the clips comin to two road games in the grind house, and they are on a 3-4 game road losing streak, and the grizz on a long home winning streak! Let’s do this grizz!

  4. EvanNo Gravatar says:

    4th seed is OURS!!

    I will be at the game tonight. Who wants to meet up?

    GO GRIZZ

  5. EvanNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, and Big Baby suffered a mild ankle sprain last night and I believe is listed as day-to-day.

  6. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    Hollins for COY.
    Clips suck. Griz in 5.

  7. boNo Gravatar says:

    DEF hollins for coy,
    yet nobody at espn can see it….
    don’t waste toooo much starter energy tonite. i’ll take a rested team stealing one of first 2 games AT clippers instead of wearing out our team……worked at SA last year

  8. CarpNo Gravatar says:

    Is tonight’s game vs. Orlando the biggest regular-season game in franchise history?

  9. AussieGNo Gravatar says:

    Thankfully this one is at home.. it’s a VERY GOOD warmup playoff type game. To win this one will be such a boost!

  10. TerryNo Gravatar says:

    4th Place! 4th Place! 4th Place!

  11. Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

    Let’s do it Grizz, Orlando’s not just gonna roll over so let’s bring the A game from top to bottom!

  12. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Came here to take my lumps. I’ve been saying for over a week that the Grizz should be resting and that they have only a miniscule shot at 4th. Well look who’s taking the 4th seed tonight. Couldn’t be happier to have been proven wrong, and couldn’t be happier that the Grizz have made this charge into the 4th seed WHILE resting ppl.

    GNG!

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