Cavaliers at Grizzlies Preview
Cavaliers (46-26) @ Grizzlies (50-21)
Coming off a contest in which LeBron James showed to the world once again why he is the MVP, LeBron and Co. look to take on the uprising Grizzlies. This game on Wednesday comes with much controversy. Earlier on the week, Kevin Love stated that he and James “aren’t best friends.” This included a statement in which he insists that Russell Westbrook is the NBA MVP this season. Of course, with the success of the team comes anybody trying to derail the Cavaliers chemistry by twisted any normal comment into something destructive.
A team that was once on fire and once even derailed the home winning streak of the Golden State Warriors look to welcome the Cavaliers into the “Grind House”. The Grizzlies however are a solid 6-4 in their last 10, and have a solid three game lead over third place in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies have stayed true to their nickname and have grinded out every victory that has come their way this season. A team that has been normally free has secured the second seed in the incredibly difficult Western Conference. Memphis has also recently clinched a playoff spot, joining only the Golden State Warriors to also clinch a spot in the Western Conference.
Cleveland has looked sluggish in the first quarter of recent games, but has been able to come back in the latter quarters to regain the lead and close out the game. The Cavaliers should be cautious about their sluggish play. Games in which the Grizzlies play in aren’t high scoring which would bare the Cavaliers from igniting to make the deficit back up.
The Cavaliers have had immensely improved bench play from the guard position especially from Delly. Performing great in the Indiana game and decent in the Bucks game, Delly is proving he would deserve playoff playing time. The Cavaliers also could be argued as the hottest team going into the playoffs, and look to continue their stretching of the lead for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
Since the last contest between the Grizz and Cavs, the Grizzlies have added small forward Jeff Green, and the Cavaliers have added J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Timofey Mozgov.
This will be the final meeting between the Cavaliers and Grizzlies.
Here are some things you need to know before watching:
Cleveland Cavaliers at Memphis Grizzlies – Fedex Forum
Game start 8:00 P.M. EST. Cavs TV- FSO. Grizzlies Tv- SportSouth
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Kyrie Irving: 21.8 PPG, 5.3 APG, 3.2 RPG, 46.9 % FG
SG: J.R. Smith: 13.0 PPG, 2.5 APG, 3.7 RPG, 42.8 % FG
SF: LeBron James: 25.9 PPG, 7.3 APG, 5.8 RPG, 49.2 % FG
PF: Kevin Love: 16.6 PPG, 2.3 APG, 10.2 RPG, 42.9 % FG
C: Timofey Mozgov: 10.8 PPG, 0.8 APG, 6.9 RPG, 59.8 % FG
PG: Mike Conley: 16.2 PPG, 5.3 APG, 3.1 RPG, 45.1 % FG
SG: Tony Allen: 8.7 PPG, 1.4 APG, 4.4 RPG, 50.0 % FG
SF: Jeff Green: 12.8 PPG, 1.7 APG, 4.2 RPG, 41.0 % FG
PF: Zach Randolph: 16.6 PPG, 2.1 APG, 10.9 RPG, 49.1 % FG
C: Marc Gasol: 17.8 PPG, 3.8 APG, 8.0 RPG, 49.3 % FG\
Matchup to Watch For:
When the bench of the Cavaliers comes in and matches up with the Grizzlies starting five, look for the Shumpert and Allen matchup. Coined the “Grindfather” by the ever-loyal Grizzly fan base, Tony Allen has prided himself by his tremendous effort put on the defensive end of the basketball floor. Allen will never shoot the lights out or put up any amazing numbers, besides his team leading 2.1 SPG (good for 4th in the league). Allen puts in the work that doesn’t show up in the box score. He is a rare breed in the NBA. He is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. While playing against J.R. look for Smith to be pestered by Allen.
On the other end, look for Iman Shumpert to have a hard test in Wednesday’s game. Shumpert, a younger version of Allen and a much more offensive minded version, prides himself for his great perimeter defending and athleticism. Shumpert should outscore Allen anytime they matchup, but Allen should have the edge in the defensive department. The Cavaliers made the move to acquire Shumpert because of his magnificent defending, but few guards are able to say their defending surpasses the likes of Tony Allen.
- Anderson Varejao: Season.
- Courtney Lee: Day to Day.
- Cavaliers 8-2 in last 10.
- Grizzlies 6-4 in last 10.
- Grizzlies 1st in Southwest Division.
- Cavaliers 1st in Central Division.
- Grizzlies 2nd in Western Conference.
- Cavaliers 2nd in Eastern Conference.
- Season Series 1-0 CLE