Game: Memphis Grizzlies vs Indiana Pacers
When: 7:00 pm CST
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
Records: Memphis Grizzlies (13-13) , Indiana Pacers (17-8)
Expected Starting Lineups:
Memphis Grizzlies – Mike Conley, Quincy Pondexter, Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights, Marc Gasol
Indiana Pacers – Darren Collison, Paul George, Danny Granger, David West, Roy Hibbert
Memphis is coming off a less than thrilling victory over the Kevin Love less Minnesota Timberwolves. The win did snap a 3 game losing streak however. The Grizzlies are 3-7 in their last 10 games but are in the midst of a 5 game home stand so should be well rested for the battle.
Memphis is struggling to find some consistency with both last year’s all-star Zach Randolph and 2nd team all defensive team member Tony Allen out with injuries. Allen is listed as day-to-day and may play in the game. In his place Quincy Pondexter started the last two games and had a career high 17 points against Minnesota. Memphis will need another good game from Pondexter tonight.
Rudy Gay hasn’t gotten to the free throw line in the last two games and needs to be more aggressive against the Pacers to open up shots for his teammates. Marc Gasol, named to the Western Conference All-Star team last night, needs to step up as well but the most important contributions may need to come from the bench where O J Mayo has been cold and no one else has really stepped up in his absence.
Indiana is also led by a 1st time all-star center in Roy Hibbert. David West and Danny Granger have also made All-Star game appearances so the Pacers have talent. With the 4th best record in the Eastern Conference that is obvious. What isn’t obvious is the chemistry developed among the team. What’s most impressive about Indiana is their 10-6 mark in road games.
David West’s arrival from New Orleans and the maturing of 2nd year player Paul George have helped change the personality of the Pacers. No longer dependent simply on 3 point shots and offensive rebounds the Pacers bring speed at the point, length on the wings and power down low. Defensively the team has been struggling of late but is still 7th in the league in points allowed and 4th in rebounds.
Prediction: Indiana is struggling but hasn’t lost two in a row all season. That streak stays in tact tonight as Indiana wins the game although a big home crowd energy could make a difference.