Bear Trap: Boston Celtics @ Memphis preview

Memphis Grizzlies logo
Memphis Grizzlies logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a horrible game it was. The Celtics were so horrible at defending the pick and roll, you could have used the swing gates at Woolies and they would still have died. Brandan Wright was ballin’ thanks to the porous defense.

Stat check: The Grizzlies have won 7 of their last 10 games. They are currently 9-0 at home.

Game time: 24 March 2013, 1100hrs AEDT

Watch it on: NBA League Pass

Roster changes:

  1. Rajon Rondo (ACL) and Jared Sullinger (back) are out for the season.
  2. Courtney Lee rolled his ankle late in the Mavs game. Courtney claimed that the sprain was mild, but no official statement on his status tomorrow

Top enemy performers:

  1. Scoring: Zach Randolph (15.8)
  2. Rebounds:  Zach Randolph (11.8)
  3. Assists:  Mike Conley (6.2)

Keys to the game:

  1. Dark horses — Tayshaun Prince & Jerryd Bayless. The Grizzlies are a great defensive team, and they have gotten even better when they acquired Tayshaun Prince in the Rudy Gay trade. In the last 10 games, Prince has averaged 6.3 rebounds and 0.6 steals.  Offensively, Prince has not made an impact but he still averages 10 points in the last 10 games. As for Jerryd Bayless, Memphis has not been shy going to him as an offensive option because of his performance thus far. In the last 10 games off the bench, he has averaged 13.3 points/game, making 46% FG [40/106], and 50% 3FG [18/36]). It’s definitely worth while to keep an eye out for these two guys.
  2. The Big Men Problem. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are a terrifying pair, for different reasons. Randolph is a pure grit-n-grind player, hustling and working his way down low for the ball. Gasol’s high basketball IQ allows him to identify the opponents’ game plan and funnel them into help defense. Both are physical, tough guys who excel at moving and rebounding the ball. The Celtics have been playing small ball as of late, and it will definitely take more than simple offensive sets to get the ball into the paint. This also means that defensively, it will hurt our chances at rebounding the ball (even more).
  3. No downtown shooters? Got it. Since the departure of O.J Mayo and Rudy Gay, the only consistent 3 point threats are Mike Conley and new addition Jerryd Bayless. Conley is still struggling to find his stroke, which leaves Bayless as the real threat. This works in our advantage because our guys will be able to cut a little slack in trying to close out the 3-point shooter and do more work in the paint. That is, if no one suddenly gets hot and burns us from downtown.

Today’s game was nothing short of disappointing, but no point crying over spilled milk. Just have to keep moving on.

TRAP GAME ALERT: Celtics are on a back-to-back game! However, Memphis is also on a back-to-back, which may work in our favour.

Fun fact #1: The Celtics have won all 5 of their previous visits at Memphis.

Fun fact #2: The Lakers lost today. That always brightens up my day.

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