WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
The Grizzlies victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday put them in a tie for first place in the Southwest Division along with the San Antonio Spurs, just like we all predicted. The Grizzlies made the offensively potent Nuggets play their slugged down style of play and became the first team in the NBA this season to win a game while scoring less than 90 points. The last two times the Grizzlies defeated a superior opponent, they responded with disappointing losses to the Kings and Suns. Fortunately for the Grizzlies, their matchup tonight is another tough one against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Here’s what to expect for tonight’s game against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Shoot a three, you coward
The 76ers shoot a mediocre 33.7% from beyond the arc, thanks in large part to the fact that one of their point guard literally refuses to shoot a three, while the other literally forgot how to shoot a basketball last year. Robert Covington, Landry Shamet and JJ Redick are the 76ers only legitimate 3 point shooters, so the Grizzlies have ample opportunity to stack the paint with both Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marc Gasol to slow down Joel Embiid who is playing out of his mind to start the season (27.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.3 blocks per game). If the Grizzlies can force the 76ers to get most of their points out of the paint, they should be able to come out on top against one of the Eastern conference contenders.
Protect home court
In case you didn’t notice in the stats above, the 76ers are 1-5 on the road, while the Grizzlies are an undefeated 4-0 at home. The Grizzlies average 15 more points at home, shoot it 8% better from 3, and average 7 more assists at home. The Grizzlies need to get behind what should be a ruckus home crowd for the first wrestling night of the season and confuse the 76ers early. The young 76ers average 18.5 turnovers on the road, so they’re susceptible to the pressure from a crazy road environment. The Grizzlies will need to take advantage of that and force the 76ers to make mistakes.
When the Grizzlies resorted back to “Grit-n-Grind” they meant it! The team is back to winning games they should lose and losing games they should win. The 76ers probably have more talent than the Grizzlies, but the Grizzlies have more experience. As long as the Grizzlies can keep JJ Redick and Robert Covington in check from beyond the arc, they should be able to keep the game close against a young 76ers team.
Considering the 76ers will be on the second night of a back-to-back I believe the Grizzlies will pull out another defensive slugfest and avoid at least some smack talk from Joel Embiid on Twitter.
Memphis 95, Philadelphia 90