Memphis Grizzlies Status Check:
Home Record: 9-2
Last 10 Games: 6-4
Streak: Won 1
Last game: 99-86 win over Jazz
PPG: 97.1 (14th)
Opponents PPG: 90.9 (2nd)
Offensive Rating: 106.8 (10th)
Defensive Rating: 99.9 (2nd)
Pace: 90.1 (27th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .475 (19th)
Turnover Percentage: .139 (13th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .719 (22nd)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .319 (2nd)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .222 (9th)
Opp. eFG%: .473 (5th)
Opp. TO%: .159 (3rd)
Opp. FT/FGA: .210 (17th)
Leading scorer: Rudy Gay (19.0)
Stats from Basketball-Reference
Grizzlies Injury Report:
Darrell Arthur: doubtful (concussion-like symptoms)
The Bulls hit the road for a short trip to take on the Grizzlies, before flying back home to face the Celtics on Tuesday night.
The Grizzlies were great out of the gates, winning 12 of their first 14 games. But haven’t had the same success since then, going 4-3 over their last seven. Memphis did snap a three game losing streak their last time out, when they topped the Jazz by 13. Zach Randolph dropped 25 points to go with 16 rebounds; Marc Gasol went for 16 points and 8 rebounds, while Mike Conley added 12 points and 8 assists.
Memphis dominated their opponents on the glass, outrebounding Utah 48-35. They also won the battle in the paint, scoring 50 points to the Jazz’s 38. That came against Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, who are great bigs themselves.
The inside battle is going to be key, as Memphis has arguably the best big man duo in the league. Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer are going to have their hands full trying to slow Randolph and Gasol down. Expect to see a little more of Taj Gibson tonight, in an effort to try and hold Memphis’ bigs from tearing Boozington apart on the defensive end.
Points are going to be tough to come by tonight. Even if the Bulls do stop the Grizzlies, which won’t be easy considering Memphis is 10th in offensive rating, they are going to have a tough time scoring points of their own. The Griz own the second best defensive rating in the league (99.9). The Bulls are third in defensive rating at 100.3 and 20th in offensive rating (103.2).
Chicago is looking for its fifth straight road victory, and third consecutive win overall. The Bulls topped Brooklyn Saturday night, getting a one-point win behind 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks from Joakim Noah. Marco Belinelli scored 19 points on 6-9 shooting and Luol Deng chipped in 17 points and seven boards.
The Bulls trailed 77-71 with less than five minutes left, but a line-up lead by Marquis Teague brought the Bulls back for the victory. Teague scored four points and Belinelli added six, in the final five minutes of the game. Deron Williams hit a three at the buzzer to make it a one point win, but really the Bulls outscored Brooklyn 12-2 over the final five minutes, an amazing defensive effort (the two points the Nets scored came on free throws from Williams).
“We played great defense the last three or four minutes,” Belinelli correctly observed after the game. “That’s why we won the game.”
Kirk Hinrich will be in for the Bulls, after missing the last two games with a knee injury. With Hinrich returning, it probably spells the disappearance of Teague’s minutes, which is unfortunate because it was nice to him getting playing time. Per 36 minutes, Teague is averaging 9.8 points (38.1 percent FG) and 6.5 assists. Hinrich’s per 36 numbers are 8.8 points (36.1 percent) and 7.3 assists.