Posted on: October 2nd, 2014 by Anthony Pignatti Comments

 

Projected Record: 47-35 (8th in West)

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Marc Gasol

A trimmer Marc Gasol holds down Memphis's frontcourt. (AP)

Head coach: Dave Joerger
Projected record: 47-35 (8th)
2013-14 record: 50-32
2013-14 ORtg: 103.3 (T-16th)
2013-14 DRtg: 102.1 (T-7th)
Players in: Jordan Adams, Vince Carter, Patrick Christopher, rights to Jarnell Stokes
Players out: James Johnson, Mike Miller, Ed Davis
Projected Starting Lineup: Mike Conley, Courtney Lee, Tayshaun Prince, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol

They didn’t make headlines this offseason, their key players are all returning and, to this point, are healthy.

The Memphis Grizzlies won 50 games in ‘13-’14 with last season’s reigning DPOY, Marc Gasol, missing 23 games due to a knee injury. Oh, and they did it playing in the West.

Understand this: they’re an exceptional team.... ">MORE →

 

It's just one game, so it's too soon to say that Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett is "back." But boy, did Kevin Garnett look good last night. His stat sheet wasn't eye-popping -- eight points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block in 28 minutes of play -- but as the Nets wanted from the 37-year-old forward, his impact went beyond the numbers. Garnett hit a few big midrange shots down the stretch, showcased his classic "goaltend the shot after the foul" move, broadcasted his trademark intensity on both ends of the floor, and talked center Brook Lopez through a rough stretch in the first quarter on the bench.

Garnett also hit shots when the Nets needed it. After the team dealt with a rough third quarter and a double-digit lead cut down to two in the fourth, Garnett played the entire fourth quarter, hitting two jumpers and anchoring the defense with Brook Lopez. On a team that's lacked a communicator over the last two seasons, Garnett's got to fill his role and produce a solid effort night in and night out. Saturday night may have been the first time he put that all together in one game.

 

Tyshawn Taylor Brooklyn Nets

Tyshawn Taylor (AP)

The 4-12 Brooklyn Nets are on the second half of a back-to-back, facing the Memphis Grizzlies tonight in Memphis.

Injury Report: Paul Pierce, who was listed as doubtful with a bruised right hand, is OUT. Deron Williams (ankle), Jason Terry (knee), and Andrei Kirilenko (back) all skipped the team's road trip and will not be in the arena.

Starting Lineup: Tyshawn Taylor, Joe Johnson, Alan Anderson, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez.

When & Where: 8 P.M. EST, FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN.
Watch: YES Network, NBA TV (National)
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM

 

Mike Conley

Mike Conley & the Grizzlies host Brooklyn. (AP)

Fresh off a stinging loss in Houston to the powerful Houston Rockets, the Brooklyn Nets fly to the home of Graceland to take on the Memphis Grizzlies at 8 P.M. tonight.

The Nets have dealt with their fare share of injuries, but the Grizzlies lost a core of their identity when center and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol went down with a non-contact knee injury on November 22nd. He was officially diagnosed with an MCL sprain and is out indefinitely, a crushing blow to what was the league's second-best defensive team last year and an offense that often ran through Gasol at the elbows.

Even without Gasol, the Grizzlies are a talented bunch -- but then, compared to the Nets these days, most are.... MORE →

 

Lionel Hollins

Lionel Hollins (AP)

The Memphis Grizzlies officially released coach Lionel Hollins yesterday, leaving him free to speak with other teams about a head coaching position without needing permission from the Grizzlies. Effective yesterday, Hollins is no longer with the organization.

The Brooklyn Nets, once considered a top potential destination for Hollins, asked for permission from the Grizzlies to speak with Hollins the day after Memphis was eliminated from the playoffs. The Grizzlies declined, and the Nets did not request to speak with Hollins again. Now, if they wish to speak with Hollins, they don't need to ask anyone but him and his representation.

The Nets met with former New Jersey Nets point guard & recent retiree Jason Kidd yesterday, and will meet with Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw on Wednesday.

 

Lionel Hollins

Lionel Hollins doesn't sound like he wants to leave Memphis. (AP)

After being granted permission to speak with other teams by the Memphis Grizzlies, Grizzlies head coach & Nets coaching candidate Lionel Hollins went on a tirade about the Grizzlies on First Call with Peter Edmiston on Sports 56 WHBQ/87.7 FM., simultaneously blasting his current/likely soon-to-be former team for preparing to move on and stressing that he wants to stay with them.

Some of Hollins's quotes (h/t Memphis Commercial Appeal):... MORE →

 

AP

Memphis Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien didn't exactly put to rest the rumors of Lionel Hollins' departure in an interview with the media following the Grizzlies exit from the Western Conference Finals. Levien danced around the issue of Hollins future in Memphis for three minutes, never giving more than lukewarm praise for the Grizzlies coach.... MORE →

 

Marc Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Matt Bonner

WENDIGOOOOOOOOOO (AP)

Each day that there's a playoff game, we'll have three things to watch in the NBA playoffs. Each note will be accompanied by a contest. We'll announce winners after each round. Here's today's three things to watch:

1) San Antonio's continued dominance. The San Antonio Spurs crushed the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, in a 105-83 laugher in San Antonio. The Spurs hit 14 three-pointers, shot 52.6% from the field, and never had a real threat from Memphis, who many anointed as the favorites in the series. Grizzlies starters shot just 40.9% from the field and didn't have a shot after going down 31-14 after one quarter. The Spurs have one of the most consistent, fluid offenses in the NBA, and Memphis -- who have both the defensive player of the year in Marc Gasol and one of the game's elite perimeter defenders in Tony Allen -- could do nothing to stop it. At home again in Game 2, will the Grizzlies make the necessary adjustments?

2) Zach Randolph. One of the aforementioned adjustments the Grizzlies have to make is getting Zach Randolph involved in the offense. Randolph turned in a terrible Game 1 performance, going just 1-8 from the field and finishing with just two points in 28 minutes of action. The Spurs stymied Randolph with a mixture of hard work and strategy -- pushing Randolph out of the paint and swarming him with defenders that could help off their man. If that analysis tells us anything, it's that Randolph can take advantage if his teammates show a bit more commitment to acting as a threat. Randolph averaged 16.1 points per 36 minutes this season and 19.7 per game in the first two rounds of the playoffs -- can he counter?

3) San Antonio's balance. The Spurs had five players score in double figures in a rout and Tim Duncan wasn't one of them. Manu Ginobili wasn't one of them, either. That should tell you all you need to know about San Antonio's balanced offensive approach, one that values the right shot over the top shooter. The Spurs have a bevy of offensive weapons, specifically with three-point shooters. When they're hitting, there's a lot of points to go around.

 

Kevin Durant, Mike Conley

Will Thunder strike again? (AP)

Each day that there's a playoff game, we'll have three things to watch in the NBA playoffs. Each note will be accompanied by a contest. We'll announce winners after each round. Here's today's three things to watch:

1) Indiana vs. Manhattan. The Pacers defeated the Knicks 102-95 in Game 1 on the road, thanks to a balanced effort -- six Pacers scored in double figures and they led by 16 heading into the fourth quarter. With a win today, the Pacers would secure a dominating home-court advantage -- needing just two wins with as many as three more games at home. The Pacers produced a convincing 44-30 edge in rebounding, unexpectedly led by Brooklyn-born guard Lance Stephenson.

2) Kevin Durant. Oklahoma City barely eked out a victory in Game 1, winning 93-91 against the Memphis Grizzlies, one of the league's best defenses and a team that starts Marc Gasol, the league's Defensive Player of the Year. Kevin Durant led OKC to victory behind 35 points on 13-26 shooting, adding 15 rebounds and a 19-footer to take the lead for good with 11 seconds left. There's few ways -- if any -- to stop Kevin Durant, but if any team has the capability of doing it, it's the Grizzlies, who employ both Gasol and Tony Allen, arguably the league's best perimeter defender. Memphis has a bevy of talented scorers, and the Thunder barely won even with Durant's routine explosion and may need an unlikely hero to seal Game 2.

3) Carmelo Anthony's shooting. Anthony is no stranger to shooting -- Game 1 marked the 44th time this season that he's recorded more field goal attempts+free throw attempts than points. He averaged 28.7 points on 28.8 FGA+FTA per game in the regular season, which makes this proposition basically a 50-50. The Knicks will be most successful if Anthony's shooting efficiently -- will he?

 

Check out the advanced box score from last night's 76-72 Memphis Grizzlies win over the Brooklyn Nets here...

 

Warm-Ups

The Game Starts Now... MORE →

 

Grade the Game At Any Time!

Tonight: After a late rally faltered in Friday night's contest to the Houston Rockets, the Brooklyn Nets finish up two-game homestand with a nationally televised game against the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:00 P.M. EST tonight in Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 36-18 Grizzlies are on a six-game winning streak.

The BK Game Streak: Speaking of streaks... Today marks game 4 of "The BK Game Streak," where you can build a streak of wins along the betting line over the course of the season. Three prizes will be awarded at the end of the year, with first prize a $200 Amazon Gift Card. Log in with Facebook to get started, vote in the box above, and good luck!

Watch & Listen: Tonight's game is broadcast on YES Network. Ryan Ruocco and Mike Fratello are on the call. The game is also nationally televised on ESPN. The game is radio simulcast on WFAN, and in Spanish on WADO.

More on tonight's game, including injuries and stats, after the jump... MORE →