Memphis Grizzlies (28-22, 11-15) vs. OKC Thunder (40-12, 23-4)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.4 (1st), Grizzlies– 103.1 (20th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.2 (12th), Grizzlies – 101.7 (9th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.0 (6th), Grizzlies – 91.6 (16th)
View from the enemy: 3 Shades of Blue
It’s not a high profile team like the Bulls or Heat, but the Grizzlies are certainly a team to be taken seriously. They haven’t been quite as good as some anticipated, but they’re pretty much full strength and with that frontline, a dangerous matchup for anyone. A day after the emotional beatdown of Chicago and the Heat coming up again Wednesday, this one could be a bit difficult to get up for.
Memphis coming in: The Grizzlies played Saturday beating the Bucks.
Three Big Things:
1. Randolph and Gasol. Zach Randolph hasn’t been starting because he’s been trying to work back in shape, but that interior tag team is scary. The Thunder, like everyone, had issues with it last season. Serge Ibaka is improved so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles Z-Bo.
2. Russell Westbrook. He’s been completely killing it lately, not forcing things, not overplaying. But the Grizzlies have always seemed to bring out the worst in Russ. They pressure him, force turnovers and play him physical. Can he keep it going?
3. Focusing. Again, this game’s between the Bulls and Heat. It’s a back-to-back and while at home, it could be one the Thunder aren’t entirely up for. But this is a potential playoff foe and a team that’s dangerous. OKC’s 3-0 against the Grizzlies this season, so the Thunder already have the season series, but a sweep would be sweet.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go City.