Nets-Grizzlies: Grit & Grind come to Brooklyn

Nets-Grizzlies: Grit & Grind come to Brooklyn
Joe Johnson, Mike Conley
Joe Johnson & the Nets host Memphis for the only time this season. (AP)


The Brooklyn Nets host the Memphis Grizzlies tonight in Brooklyn, for a chance to go over .500 for the first time this season.

Brooklyn Nets


Memphis Grizzlies
29-29 Record 34-25
7-3 Last 10 Games 7-3
103.0 Points scored per 100 possessions 102.9
104.3 Points allowed per 100 possessions 102.6
94.1 Possessions per game 92.2
45.1% Field goal percentage 46.0%
35.9% Three-point percentage 35.3%
47.4% Rebound percentage 51.6%
15.3% Turnover percentage 14.5%
Joe Johnson (14.9) Top Scorer Mike Conley (17.6)

Projected starting lineup: Mike Conley, Courtney Lee, Tayshaun Prince, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol

Led by first year coach Dave Joerger, the Grizzlies are one of the hottest teams in the NBA. From their slow start, the Grizzlies have marched their way back into the playoff conversation, looking to take a spot from the Suns, Mavericks or Warriors. The Grizzlies have gotten great contributions from borderline all-stars Mike Conley and Zach Randolph.

The Grizzlies embody a tough, grind-it-out style. They get superb defense on the perimeter from Mike Conley and Tony Allen, each averaging over 1.5 steals per game. They also have one of the best defensive centers in the league, Marc Gasol, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Lastly, they get second chance efforts on the boards from both Randolph and Gasol.

Randolph in particular is an intriguing player to watch. Even with their blowout win against the Bulls Monday night, they were out-rebounded by the Bulls. Z-Bo is known for bullying defenders, and the Nets hybrid lineup with Paul Pierce at power forward puts them at a disadvantage.

The last time the Nets and Grizzlies faced off, Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche keyed a surprise victory. Johnson went off for 26 points as Tony Allen could not slow him down, while Blatche took advantage of a Gasol-less and Randolph-less frontcourt scoring 21 points and hauling in 8 rebounds.