Wizards (6-6) at Grizzlies (3-9)
Notable Grizzlies numbers this season (pound the salt):
19th in expected winning percentage (.377).
8th in pace factor (94.4 possessions per game).
11th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (108.3).
27th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (112.3).
Notable Grizzlies numbers last season
28th in expected winning percentage (.331).
8th in pace factor (92 posessions per game).
11th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (108.7).
30th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (114.3).
PG: Damon Stoudamire
SG: Mike Miller
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Darko Milicic/Stromile Swift
PG: Antonio Daniels
SG: DeShawn Stevenson
SF: Caron Butler
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Brendan Haywood (hopefully)
Wizards at Grizzlies: Grizzlies by 6
Over/Under on total points: 205.
I know, I know, second game of a back to back, but I'm not scared of tonight's game. Memphis is a mess right now, with their star player struggling to adapt to their new coach, and a number of unfortunate injuries. Their key rookie, Mike Conley, is out, making it two consecutive years in which their rookie point guard was hurt in the first month of the season. Rudy Gay is balling, but he's been struggling recently, and while Stromile Swift is playing well, he might have to play more with Darko out.
When we previewed this team, they seemed like a darkhorse playoff squad. Now, I just don't see it. Pau has an insanely low 11.8 rebound rate this year, and often looks lost offensively. Mike Miller has fallen back to earth a bit, and it's painful to see Damon Stoudamire starting and Kyle Lowry sitting. They're decent offensively, but they don't have a penetrating guard who could hurt us, so I see a good defensive performance tonight. On the other end, they're still not defending, with no shotblockers and a host of inexperienced wingmen. I see Caron playing well tonight against the madator defense of Rudy Gay, and I see Blatche and Jamison having strong games.
One thing Memphis does have, though, is decent depth, with Lowry, Terrance Kinsey, the hated one, Hakim Warrick, and potentially Swift off the bench. This game will likely become a track meet, so that doesn't really bode well for us. Nick Young is going to have to be big again, and I'd like to see Songaila show me something tonight. Those two, and Blatche, will be key.
But something about this game seems so unthreatening. We really need this one, with Dallas and San Antonio coming up next week. If we don't get it, we're in trouble.
This is an open game thread, so add to the tally of "if only we had JCN" comments here (we're at two so far).