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Game Preview: Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are back in action taking on Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers.
By Andrew Katz - February 23, 2024, 3:44 pm - 0 comments

Who: Los Angeles Clippers (36-18, 3rd in the West) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (20-36, 13th in the West)

When: Friday, February 23rd, 7:00 P.M. CST

Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN

How To Watch: Bally Sports Southeast

Injury Report

Memphis: Jaren Jackson Jr. (Probable, Quadriceps), Jake LaRavia (Questionable, Ankle), Desmond Bane (Out, Ankle), Ja Morant (Out, Shoulder), Brandon Clarke (Out, Achilles), Scotty Pippen Jr. (Out, Back),  Marcus Smart (Out, Finger)

Los Angeles: None

Score in Transition

The Memphis Grizzlies are, you guessed it, dead last in fastbreak points per game. After finishing second in the league with 17.8 fastbreak points per game a season ago, the Grizzlies are averaging a startling 11.9 points in transition. 

The Grizzlies’ fastbreak success is personnel-based, rather than scheme-based. Or at least that is what head coach Taylor Jenkins would have fans believe seeing how Memphis has lost its identity. Losing Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and playmakers such as Marcus Smart and Brandon Clarke has limited the Grizzlies’ options but that does not mean Memphis has to play slow. 

The Clippers are in the bottom third of opponent fastbreak scoring and opponent fastbreak efficiency, making them the perfect target for an increased tempo. Los Angeles is coming off a back-to-back after losing at Oklahoma City last night, meaning Memphis’s crew of young guns gets a tired Clippers team that is the second oldest team in the league, only behind the Milwaukee Bucks whom the Grizzlies just defeated before the All-Star break.

After a week off in Turks and Caicos, Jaren Jackson Jr. and the rest of the Memphis Grizzlies should show their youth and energy and run the Clippers out of town. 

Fully Unleash GG Jackson

GG Jackson has grabbed his opportunity and run with it. Despite only starting one game, Jackson has become a cornerstone of Memphis’s future. Over his last six contests, Jackson is averaging 20.7 points on 48 FG% and 43.5% from beyond the arc, 5.3 rebounds and over two stocks. 

The youngest player in the NBA still has so much to add to his game but he already seems unstoppable if you catch him on the right night. With increased minutes and usage, Jackson will learn on the fly and prepare himself for next season, when it will really count. Even with all of Memphis’s injuries, the Grizzlies have remained competitive because of guys like Jackson. 

The silver lining of Memphis’s lost season has been the emergence of Jackson and Vince Williams Jr. If you were like me and doubt had started to trickle in after Memphis’s past few drafts, that feeling has subsided with the two late-round selections. Memphis has the bones of a contender next season if it can stay healthy. A core of Morant, Smart, Bane, Williams Jr., JJJ, Jackson, and whoever their first-round pick this season becomes is as good as anyone’s in the league and has the flexibility to compete with anyone in the West. 

The Clippers are coming to Memphis thinking they have an easy one on their schedule. Boy, am I ready for the Grizz to prove them wrong. 

Prediction: Memphis 112, Los Angeles 108


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