Scouting Report: Memphis Grizzlies
The Hawks are fresh off two straight quality wins, but things don’t get any easier with a trip to Memphis Sunday for a date with the Western Conference runner-ups from a year ago.
The Grizzlies have been hit by the injury bug as well, as starting center Marc Gasol has played in just 13 games this season. Tony Allen has also missed time do to injury, and they recently traded away backup point guard Jerryd Bayless to get Courtney Lee from Boston.
The players they do have are good though. The offense is led by Mike Conley, who is first on the team in points and assists. He is a good floor manager and can beat you in a lot of ways, most notably getting to the rim. He’s a good shooter as well though, so Jeff Teague will draw a tough assignment yet again. The Hawks will have to play good team defense against him, because Memphis doesn’t have a ton of good shooting threats.
Zach Randolph anchors the low block, and he’s having another All-Star worthy season with 17 points and 10 rebounds per game in 33 starts. If Paul Millsap guards him, and I suspect he will for most of the evening, it should be a fun battle between two blue collar, physical players in the post.
The Grizzlies’ bench has been one of the best in the NBA this season with six players averaging at least seven points. Big man Ed Davis, who came over in the Rudy Gay trade last year, Hawks training camp invite James Johnson, former Heat player Mike Miller and Duke alum Jon Leuer lead the bench mob for Memphis.
The Grizzlies aren’t the most athletic team, and they won’t score the most points, but they are great defensively, even without their big man. With the way Atlanta has played defense lately, I’d expect a low scoring game on Sunday.
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