Game Preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs Boston Celtics
When: Sunday, November 19th, 7:00 CST
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
How to Stream/Watch: Bally Sports Southeast
The Grizzlies look for their rhythm as they return home
The Grizzlies are on the second night of a back-to-back as they face the team with the current best record in the NBA, the Boston Celtics. Memphis is coming off a 120-108 win over the San Antonio Spurs which takes them to 3-9 on the year. The win came in comeback fashion as the Grizzlies came back from 19 down to get the win in San Antonio. Boston is coming off a 108-105 win against the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
Memphis has yet to win at home this year with a 0-5 record at the Grindhouse while the Celtics have a 5-2 record on the road. They have a tall task on their hands, as the new-look Celtics have lived up to their high expectations so far this season.
The additions of Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis have fit like a glove for the Celtics. Holiday has been able to bring his premiere playmaking, defense, and championship pedigree to the Celtics along with Porzingis’ length, rim protection, and versatility. Both are averaging double figures and have been able to complement Boston’s superstar duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown well.
Tatum and Brown have picked up where they left off from their All-Star seasons a year ago by averaging 27.5 and 22.9 PTS respectively. These four players along, with their deep bench, will pose issues for Memphis all night.
Boston has notoriously had Memphis’ number recently. In the last 15 meetings between the Celtics and Grizzlies, Boston has a 14-1 record, as the only win for the Grizz came in a 132-126 overtime win on March 22, 2021.
To change their fate from the past few years, Memphis will depend on big performances from Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr. and their young bench to push the pace and compete with the high-powered Celtics. Being back in front of the Memphis faithful will certainly give the Beale Street Bears a needed boost of energy after a rough start to the year.
Projected Starting Lineups:
Memphis: Jacob Gilyard, Desmond Bane, John Konchar, Jaren Jackson Jr., Bismack Biyombo
Boston: Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis
Memphis: Steven Adams, Brandon Clarke, GG Jackson II, Luke Kennard, Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, Xavier Tillman Sr.
Boston: Jordan Walsh, JD Davidson, Nathan Knight
Can the Grizz continue to find things to build on?
Let’s face it: no one predicted the Grizz would be 3-9 on the season. No one could’ve predicted the injuries Memphis has faced this year. We knew they were going to struggle without Ja Morant, but with so many different guys in and out of the lineup, it’s been a struggle.
Simply, it’s been frustrating. A lot of the losses have come down to the wire in the 4th quarter and they’ve had some of the same issues on the court. Three point defense, rebounding and lack of depth have been constant hindrances for the year. However, there have been bright spots.
Desmond Bane is having a career year, averaging career high in points with 25.5. Bismack Biyombo has been a consistent double-double machine, and in spurts, Memphis looks like a very good basketball team.
Against the Spurs, Derrick Rose returned to the lineup and gave a solid 9 PTS in 14 minutes. Ziaire Williams and Santi Aldama scored 17 PTS each in the comeback effort. JJJ looked back to his old ways with a game-high 27-point performance.
Even in the Lakers blowout loss, the bench scored a total of 72 points. This is something we haven’t seen all year. All of these factors are things that we can see as positives for the team to build on going forward. And for Grizzlies fans, these are things to look at other than the final score to keep our confidence in this team.
The only thing I want to see in this team is the confidence and swagger of years prior. I get it, it’s difficult when you have one of the worst records in the league. But, that’s what makes the Grizzlies the Grizzlies. The energy, the pride and the trash talk are things we have only seen in spurts this year.
I’ve seen way more bad body language and complaining to the refs for calls. That’s simply not our identity.
Win or lose I want to see the confidence in this team that we’ve seen over the past few years. We saw this during the second half of the Spurs game, and they need that same energy going up against the Celtics. No matter what the outcome will be, the effort and execution of this team against marquee teams like the Celtics will go a long way to the end goal of this team once everyone gets healthy.
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