Who: Memphis Grizzlies vs Denver Nuggets
When: 7:00 pm CST
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Records: Memphis Grizzlies (23-16), Denver Nuggets (23-18)
Expected Starting Lineups:
Memphis – Mike C0nley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights, Marc Gasol
Denver – Ty Lawson, Aaron Afflalo, Corey Brewer, Kenneth Faried, Timothy Mozgov
Memphis lost Saturday night at Phoenix to suffer their first set back since the All-Star break. The team seemed flat and unable to make the needed stops against the potent Suns offense down the stretch and when they did make a stop they couldn’t convert on the other end. The defense lapses don’t bode well for tonight’s game. The loss dropped the Grizzlies to 5th place in the tough Western Conference, one game ahead of Denver. The Grizzlies have won both previous match-ups against the Nuggets but those games were both in Memphis at sea level, not a mile high.
Despite averaging a league best 104.1 PPG the Nuggets are only 11-9 at home this season and only 6-4 in their last 10 games. Injuries have played a large part in the Nuggets recent struggles. The Nuggets are still missing Daniel Gallinari and Nene but are finding some consistency from their current lineup.
Memphis will need to get back to the power play that helped them win five consecutive games before the Suns game. Memphis was beaten up inside all night getting killed on the boards and in the paint, traditional areas of strength for the Grizzlies. Denver’s been getting great energy from rookie Kenneth Faried. Marreese Speights will need to use his size advantage or Dante Cunningham will be asked to come in and match Faried’s speed and aggressiveness. Zach Randolph is still a game or so away from playing and the Grizzlies may miss his presence in this game.
Prediction: Back to back with a huge kicker at altitude gives Denver the advantage tonight.