OKC Thunder (8-2, 3-1 road) at Memphis Grizzlies (3-5, 2-1 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.2 (3rd), Grizzlies– 96.9 (28th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 105.5 (23rd), Grizzlies – 101.2 (13th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.0 (14th), Grizzlies – 93.4 (7th)
View from the enemy: 3 Shades of Blue
To Memphis, where things are always entertaining but never all that fun. Last time Oklahoma City visited, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had a knife fight on the bench, or something like that. Memphis isn’t living up to its preseason hype right now and is seriously wounded without Zach Randolph. Mike Conley, who was injured on the very first play last time, will be back and he’s always played well against OKC.
Memphis coming in: The Grizzlies have dropped two straight and last played Sunday.
Three Big Things
1. No Z-Bo. Zach Randolph is a definite Thunder killer but without him, it makes Memphis a lot more one dimensional and also makes Serge Ibaka more of a weapon. Marreese Speights was brought in to replace him and while he’s a high energy player and good rebounder, he’s not a guy Memphis can count on late in games to get key points.
2. Rudy Gay. A lot of pressure will be on Gay to carry Memphis tonight, so it’s key for KD to keep focused on his old buddy. The Grizzlies had the Thunder in trouble last time but Gay went cold down the stretch.
3. Turnovers. It’s how the Grizzlies tend to survive against the Thunder but last time, OKC controlled the giveaways well. And they won. Without Randolph, Memphis is going to rely on creating turnovers and hoping the Thunder have an off night. Otherwise, if the Thunder are focused and ready, they should handle things.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Chemistry.