Game: Memphis Grizzlies vs Detroit Pistons
When: 7:00 pm CST
Where: The Grindhouse (aka FedEx Forum), Hoops City (aka Memphis, TN)
Records: Memphis Grizzlies (21-15), Detroit Pistons (12-25)
Expected Starting Lineups:
Memphis: Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights, Marc Gasol
Detroit: Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Tayshawn Prince, Jason Maxiel , Greg Monroe
Memphis keeps on rolling making big plays at crucial times. The Grizzlies are 7-1 in their last 8 games and have risen to 5th place in the tight Western Conference playoff race just one game behind the LA Lakers for the coveted 4th place record in the conference and home court advantage in the playoffs, something the Grizzlies have never achieved.
Last night in Toronto the Grizzlies allowed the Raptors to hang around by shooting just 3-1o from the free throw line in the 4th quarter but Rudy Gay made a clutch shot with 26 seconds remaining and O J Mayo got a huge rebound and outlet pass to Tony Allen to ice the game.
The Grizzlies have already beaten Detroit on the road this season but that Pistons team thanks to a dominating first half where the Grizzlies shot 60% from the field. The Pistons stormed back in the 3rd before the Grizzlies used a 16-2 run to ice the game. When the Grizzlies lead at halftime at home they are a perfect 10-0 on the season.
Detroit has struggled with injuries this season, like most NBA teams, and have struggled badly on the road winning only 3 games overall and none against a Western Conference opponent. Detroit did defeat Charlotte in their last game and are hoping to parlay that win into a streak.
Detroit is at a crossroads right now with youth (Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, Jonas Jerebko) mixing with veterans (Tayshawn Prince, Ben Wallace, Ben Gordon) but youth is definitely being served in Detroit. Brandon Knight had a big game against Memphis in the first meeting scoring 22 points (his personal best at the time) and Greg Monroe chipped in with a double-double in the game.
This will be Detroit’s first game in March not having played since February 29th so the Pistons should be well rested and prepared for the game tonight while the Grizzlies played last night in Toronto. Both teams are missing their starting PFs entering the season with Charlie Villanueva and Zach Randolph both close to returning.
Prediction: Memphis can read a calendar and knows this is one of four home games this month, the Grizzlies won’t waste it. Grizzlies win.