Thunder (50-18, 20-13 road) at Grizzlies (45-21, 26-8 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 112.7 (1st), Grizzlies– 104.8 (18th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.0 (7th), Grizzlies – 100.1 (2nd)
Pace: Thunder – 93.9 (8th), Grizzlies – 88.6 (28th)
View from the enemy: 3 Shades of Blue
Looking through the schedule, this might be the Thunder’s most difficult back-to-back of the entire season. Especially considering the current circumstances. The Nuggets are obviously very legit and the Grizzlies have reestablished themselves as a potential contender in the past few weeks.
What the Thunder face is a very serious challenge on the road against an excellent team. The Thunder worked Memphis in the last meeting, but that was the first game after the Rudy Gay trade and the Grizz only had like six total players. Every game against Memphis is always a major adventure and never not the most stressful thing ever. Considering the Thunder are still stinging from last night, I’d expect a knockdown dragout kind of game tonight.
Memphis coming in: The Grizzlies cruised over the Wolves on Monday.
Three Big Things
1. In the mud. That’s where this game will be own. The Grizzlies are paint focused and will try to pound OKC inside. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are strong on the offensive glass and can own a game from the inside out.
2. Turnovers. There aren’t many teams that frustrate and swarm the Thunder like the Grizzlies do. They’re a team that take of the ball while playing hyperphysical defense and pressuring the ball like crazy. OKC has to value the ball and make sure to get the most out of each possession, at least as much as possible.
3. Energy. The Thunder have seemed to sort of lack a little of it at times recently. The Grizzlies are going to bring it. The Thunder have to match their intensity.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Better.