Game: Memphis Grizzlies vs Denver Nuggets
When: 7:00 pm CST
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
Records: Memphis Grizzlies (16-14), Denver Nuggest (17-13)
Expected Starting Lineups:
Memphis: Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights, Marc Gasol
Denver: Ty Lawson, Aaron Afflalo, Corey Brewer, Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufas
Memphis has been playing some of their best basketball of the season, and their worst, this month sometimes in the same game. In their last two games the Grizzlies won back to back games against Houston and at New Jersey. The Grizzlies started hot against Houston but allowed the Rockets to crawl back into the game late before Mike Conley made a big three to ice the win. Against New Jersey the Grizzlies were hot and cold all night taking big leads only to give up big streaks to lose the lead before finally pulling away in the end thanks to Tony Allen’s big three-point basket.
Big three’s aren’t the Grizzlies forte however and the team won’t be reaching fans expectations if they don’t start putting together complete efforts. Mike Conley, Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol have led the team offensively and Tony Allen has been excellent defensively since returning from his sore hip and knee. Marreese Speights had a huge game against New Jersey (19 points and 18 rebounds) and the Grizzlies hope to see those types of efforts more consistently going forward.
However the bench has been struggling lately with O J Mayo unable to buy a basket and Jeremy Pargo struggling to run the offense. Hollins is finding more confidence going with the bench for longer stretches but not as a unit preferring to keep some starters on the court at all times.
Denver started the season strong and was 2nd in the conference at one point but have struggled lately dealing with injuries. Nene and Timothy Mosgov are questionable for tonight’s game and Danilo Ganillari is out. The Nuggets are only 8-7 at home but still a strong 9-6 on the road.
Denver was blown out at Dallas in their most recent game when the Nuggets started the game shooting 28% in the 1st quarter. Kosta Koufas had a double-double against the Mavs but has struggled as a started for Denver. Ty Lawson and Aaron Afflalo have been attempting to hold things together with the normal starting frontline out but neither player is capable of putting the team on their backs for a full game.
Spaniard Rudy Fernandez provides good range and scoring punch from the bench but even a team as deep as Denver can’t make up for three starters out along the frontline. Denver has been very successful against the Grizzlies Lately (12-3 in the last 15 games) and that should help their confidence in this game. Denver needs to avoid long scoring droughts, especially in the first quarter, to maintain that confidence.
Prediction: Even if Nene and Mosgov return the Nuggets would have their hands full. Grizzlies winning streak stretches to three games tonight.