Grizz Lead

3 Keys to a Grizzlies Win in Brooklyn

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The Memphis Grizzlies aim to keep their win streak alive on the road tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. The two teams have had opposite seasons. The Nets were expected to be an Eastern Conference threat, but injuries have derailed their season. Despite their struggles, they are still holding on to the seventh seed. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have exceeded expectations and are firmly in the eighth seed in the West. The team has recovered from a rough post-All-Star start, and have found their footing in the wake of injuries to Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke. The two are still listed as out, but the hope is they will return after this game.

A BATTLE OF THE LOW SEEDS

These teams are surprisingly similar. Both teams get majority of their scoring from their point guards, have a streaky scoring wing and steady rotation of bigs. Both teams play at a high pace. The Nets are missing their two biggest names due to injury. In their absence, Spencer Dinwiddie has stepped up and leads the team in scoring. Caris LeVert has established a good rhythm after returning from injury, and carried the team to a victory last night, scoring 51 points in Boston. On the other side of the court, Ja Morant leads the Grizzlies in scoring. Dillon Brooks, despite being in a slump lately, provides a secondary scoring punch from the wing. The team is 18-3 when Brooks scores 20+ points.

3 KEYS TO A GRIZZLIES WIN

  1. Rebound the ball. The Nets are second in the league in total rebounds per game. The Grizzlies are seventh. The team that wins the rebound battle will likely win the game. For the Grizzlies, they’ll have to send extra bodies to the boards. Without Jackson and Clarke, they’re a little thinner than usual at the big spots. The other players will have to crash and help Jonas Valanciunas, who will have his hands full with Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan. Gorgui Dieng’s minutes will be critical. Dieng has provided great rebounding numbers off the bench, and will need to do so tonight. Dieng and Valanciunas should not be on the floor at the same time tonight.
  2. Push the pace. The Nets played a tough game in Boston last night. They made a surprising comeback and won the game in overtime. The Grizzlies had an off day. Even though the Nets are used to a high-tempo game, the Grizzlies should still look to utilize their fresh legs and push the pace. Brooklyn is 2-6 in second games of a back-to-back this season. The Grizzlies should look to wear them down early. Doing so will help neutralize the Nets’ home-court, where they are 16-13.
  3. Defense. The Nets do not have a great offense. They’re one of the league’s worst shooting teams in every category, slashing 44/34/74 as a team. The Grizzlies should look to pack the paint and force them to shoot long shots. Memphis will need to keep Caris LeVert in check, as he’s proven to be a catalyst for Brooklyn. The Nets also turn the ball over a lot, averaging nearly 16 per game. The Grizzlies guards should feast in the passing lanes all night. They should have many fast-break opportunities as long as they are focused on defense.

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About Richmond Bailey Caldwell

Die-hard Grizzlies fan since 2009. Aspiring basketball writer and coach. University of Georgia sport management alum. Perennial first team all-defense selection.

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