Who: Memphis Grizzlies vs Phoenix Suns
When: 7:00 pm CST
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
Records: Memphis Grizzlies (33-23), Phoenix Suns (30-27)
Expected Starting Lineups:
Memphis – Mike Conley, Quincy Pondexter, Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights, Marc Gasol
Phoenix – Steve Nash, Shannon Brown, Jared Dudley, Channing Frye, Marcin Gortat
Memphis is 0-2 against Phoenix this season, one of the few teams the Grizzlies haven’t beaten this year remaining on the schedule. However both losses were at the tail end of long road trips not in the comfy confines of FedEx Forum where the Grizzlies have the 4th best home record in the Western Conference. It also is the first game that Zach Randolph and Gilbert Arenas have been on the team.
Since Zach Randolph returned to the team and Gilbert Arenas was signed, basically completing the roster for the rest of the season, the Grizzlies have gone 8-4 but the Grizzlies lost the first two games. Since March 25th, the Grizzlies have defeated the Lakers, Thunder, Heat and Clippers along with Milwaukee and Golden State. The last three games have come without starting SG and defensive specialist Tony Allen who’s recovering from a split lip.
A couple of days after the Grizzlies recent hot streak began the Suns had to deal with life after Grant Hill who tore the medial meniscus in his right knee. Shannon Brown was inserted into the starting lineup and the Suns have gone 5-3 since that switch including wins over the Lakers, Jazz and Timberwolves.
The Suns still have Steve Nash who leads the NBA in assists at 11.2 a game. Channing Frye is a power forward with a deadly outside shot. Frye leads all NBA players in 3 point shots made since the 2009-10 season. Frye also is averaging 12.9 ppg and 6.7 rpg since Feb. 1. Marcin Gortat is a big man who can challenge Gasol on both ends of the court. His 16.0 ppg is a career high and nearly averages a double-double with 9.9 rpg.
Currently the Suns sit in 9th place in the West but face a murderer’s row in their next five games. At Memphis, At Houston and at San Antonio. This streak could determine if Phoenix makes the playoffs or not with Denver and Dallas already a game ahead and Utah sitting just half a game behind the Suns.
Prediction: The Grizzlies have been on a roll and seem to have all the pieces needed to handle the Suns.