Grizz v. Bulls: The Battle of the Gasol Brothers
The Grizzlies (21-4) are will take on the Chicago Bulls (16-9) tonight at the Grindhouse. Tip off will start at 7pm. This will be the first meeting between both teams. The Grizzlies have won 6 straight games (longest winning streak in the NBA at the moment) and are 12-1 at home. Bulls will be without Derrick Rose and it is unknown if Tony Allen will be able to go for the Grizzlies.
Grizzlies are coming off of back to back victories against the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. Will a win tonight solidify them as one of the top teams in the NBA?
What to watch for
The front court battle will be fascinating to watch. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph goes up against Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. Marc Gasol and Zbo are averaging 36.2 points per game and 19.2 rebounds; however, Pau Gasol and Noah are averaging 27.3 points per game and 21.5 rebounds. Marc Gasol would likely try to send a message to Pau to let him know, he’s the better player. Zbo usually struggles against the Bulls but may have more confidence going into this game since he got the monkey off his back against the Spurs.
Who will be able to stop Jimmy Butler? He is playing some of the best basketball of his career. He is averaging 21.5 points a game. He scored his career high 35 points in a victory last night over the New York Knicks. He also kicked in 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals. It may be a long night for whomever guards him. It may be a combination of Quincy Pondexter, Courtney Lee, Vince Carter and Tayshaun Prince especially if Tony Allen is out due to his eye injury.
Grizzlies must bring on their A+ game once again, despite fatigue. Grizzlies players may be tired since they have played 6 games in 8 nights with several games going into overtime and beyond. This will probably be a game where the starters don’t play much, if the bench unit comes out on fire. Or the starters will be up for the challenge. Make no mistake about it this will be a tough game for the Grizzlies and it will be a dog fight. Grizzlies must DEFEND, DEFEND, DEFEND the 3 point line. They must scratch and claw to get rebounds. Getting rebounds from Pau and Noah might prove to be difficult. The Bulls are a scappy team and are similar to the Grizzlies. Grizz backcourt has little room for error since the frontcourt will likely have a difficult task ahead of them. Both Mike Conley and Courtney Lee should fight for rebounds as well to take the pressure off of Zbo and Marc. It would be good if Vince Carter can hit 5 or more three point shots again. In the last two games he is averaging 17 pts and been shooting 56 percent from the 3 point line. The difference in the game could very well be the battle of the benches. We need to sit back and enjoy the heart palpitations yet again. It wouldn’t be Grizzlies basketball without heart palpitations from all of GrizzNation. It might not be pretty how they win, but it’s definitely gritty!!
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