Grizzlies vs Jazz: Game Preview

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The Grizzlies are coming off the dramatic win in Phoenix and will be in Salt Lake City tonight to take on the Utah Jazz at 8 p.m. in the EnergySolutions Arena.. Writer Jody Genessy summed up the Jazz team best with this tweet:

This Jazz team have beaten some playoff bound teams this season, including the Grizzlies. Don’t let their 17 wins fool you. In the last meeting, the Grizzlies were without Zach Randolph and Tony Allen. Grizzlies are looking to extend their win streak to 8.

Match-up to watch: Gordan Hayward v. Jeff Green

Gordan Hayward has been having a good year and is averaging above his career highs offensively and defensively. In the last meeting against the Grizzlies, he scored 21 points and was 2-2 from the 3 point line. Hayward and Green’s match up against each other will be interesting. Green need to attack the basket more to get Hayward in foul trouble. Green also need to not leave him open at the 3 point line. How this match up plays out could be the game changer.

Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol factor

Zbo aka ZBeast and Big Spain together are tough matchups for most teams. In the last meeting, Zbo was out both Marc and Mike Conley had to carry the load. Rudy Gobert had 16 rebounds including 5 offensive rebounds. In the last 3 meetings against the Jazz, Zbo is averaging 21.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists; his brother from another mother, Big Spain is averaging 20.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game against Utah in the last three outings. Gobert and Favors are good but they both can’t match the output of Zbo and Marc toghether.

Bench Unit

The Grizzlies bench is ranked number 18 overall in the NBA and is averaging 31.9 points per game, while the Jazz bench is ranked at number 27 in the league averaging 25.7 points per game. Nick Calathes, Beno Udrih and Kosta Koufos have doing a good job as of late for the bench unit. Tony Allen has been coming off the bench since Jeff Green has been integrated into the starting line up. TA bring another level defensive dynamic to the bench. He has been outstanding and has literally been a game changer. Jazz bench like the Grizz bench is inconsistent offensively at times, but does have multiple players that can score in double figures on any given night.

Looking at the Jazz’s record, once could predict an easy win for the Grizzlies but that might not be the case. They just came off a tough loss against the Blazers last night. The Grizzlies starting unit need to come out hot and be aggressive on both ends of the floor. Grizzlies need to defend the 3 point line and make their free throws. It might not be pretty, but I expect the Grizzlies to pull it off.

Sharon Brown
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