Game: Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trailblazers
Place: Rose Garden Arena, Portland, OR
When: 9:00 PM CST
Records: Memphis (10-6), Portland (10-7)
Expected Starting Lineups:
Memphis – Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights, Marc Gasol
Portland – Raymond Felton, Wesley Mathews, Gerald Wallace, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kurt Thomas
Memphis is going for a franchise record tying 8th consecutive win but will have to play a lot better than they did last night to defeat Portland. The Grizzlies lost the season series last year going 1-2 and have never had a lot of success in the Rose Garden. Portland has won 5 of their last 7 games there.
The Grizzlies are playing their 4th game in 5 nights after storming back from 20 points down with just over 3 minutes left in the 3d quarter to get the miracle win at Golden State. Headband wearing Rudy Gay, possibly channeling the spirit of Zach Randolph, led the Grizzlies with 23 points including a huge jump shot as the shot clock expired to put the Grizzlies up 4 points in the closing seconds. Rudy finished the scoring for the Grizzlies with a free throw as the Grizzlies rose to .500 on the road for the season with the win. Helping Rudy out were Tony Allen with 10 huge points in the 4th quarter, Mike Conley with 20 points and 9 assists and O J Mayo who despite shooting poorly actually led the Grizzlies with a +15 +/- mark.
Portland played Monday night as well but easily took care of Sacramento. However the game didn’t come without a cost. Marcus Camby strained his groin in the game and is listed as questionable for tonight’s game. The Trailblazers have been led by LaMarcus Aldridge (23.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG) including a string of seven consecutive games reaching at least 20 points. Gerald Wallace (123.8 ppg and 7.1 rpg) is expected back after missing the Sacramento game with a hand injury.
The Blazers backcourt is very changed from last season. Gone are all-pro Brandon Roy (retirement) and Veteran Grizzlies Killer Andre Miller (traded to Denver along with Rudy Fernandez) for starting PG Raymond Felton (11.1 ppg and 7.3 apg). 3rd year pro Wesley Mathews (13.3 ppg and 3.3 rpg) takes over at SG. While not as impressive historically against the Grizzlies both players have increased their production at home. Nicolas Batum and Jamal Crawford lead a talented and deep bench.
Prediction: Grizzlies streak comes to an end