Memphis Grizzlies Status Check:
Road Record: 0-1
Streak: Won 1
Last game: 113-93 win over Houston
PPG: 96.7 (16th)
Opponents PPG: 95.3 (14th)
Offensive Rating: 102.0 (18th)
Defensive Rating: 100.6 (12th)
Pace: 94.8 (7th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .481 (18th)
Turnover Percentage: .160 (26th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .766 (7th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .302 (7th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .246 (12th)
Opp. eFG%: .465 (12th)
Opp. TO%: .137 (16th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .242 (20th)
Leading scorer: Zach Randolph (19.0)
Stats from Basketball-Reference
Last year’s surprise team in the playoffs will help open the United Center tonight as the Bulls come back to Chicago after their four game California road trip.
The Bulls play their first home game tonight, and are home for one more game (Hawks), before they head away for a three game roadie starting in Detroit.
Chicago has looked much better since their loss at Golden State, after which Rose promised to be more aggressive. Since the Bulls’ only loss of the season, Chicago has won both games by double digits. Individually, Rose is coming off a 29 point, eight rebound and 16 assist game, his second best assist total ever in a game in which he also out battled Chris Paul (Rose had 17 assists and 30 points in a game against Milwaukee last season.).
“The last two games he’s been very, very aggressive and our team has played with a lot of force offensively,” Tom Thibodeau said.
When Derrick plays well, Chicago’s offense usually follows suit, and that’s the way it has been thus far. All of Chicago’s starters are averaging double digit points. Rip Hamilton, Chicago’s new starting shooting guard, scored 16 points in his last two games out, after averaging just eight in his first two contests for the Bulls. Hamilton has only hit on one of his six threes, but unlike Keith Bogans, he can get offense from elsewhere.
Hamilton is shooting 70 percent at the rim, and 50 percent from 10-15 feet. Bogans shot just 42 shots at the rim all of last year and didn’t take a single shot from 10-15 feet the entire season. Bogans shot 27 percent from 16-23 feet, while Hamilton is shooting 37.5 percent from that range. Scoring from the two-guard…it helps!
Ronnie Brewer hasn’t been a slouch either, averaging 7.3 points and 2.5 rebounds. These numbers help give Brewer a 19.6 player efficiency rating, second best on the team. Brewer also hasn’t missed a three yet this year, which I absolutely expect to continue throughout the season.
On the other side of the court, the Grizzlies are coming off their first win of the season, a game in which they beat the Rockets by 20. Memphis shot 56.3 percent in the win, compared to the Rockets 43 percent. The Griz scored 113 points in that game, after averaging just 88.5 in their first two games (against San Antonio and Oklahoma City). Don’t expect the Grizzlies to score a lot of points against Chicago though.
Last season the Bulls swept the Grizzlies. Rose recorded his lone triple-double against Memphis in January. He scored 22 points, grabbed ten rebounds and added 12 assists. The Bulls and Derrick won this game without either starting big man, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, who were both out with injuries. Kyle Korver had 22 points off the bench, shooting 6-10 from three and Luol Deng added 28 points of his own.
On the defensive side of the ball, Chicago played well, holding the Grizzlies to 37.7 percent shooting from the field and 14.3 percent from three. Zach Randolph was Memphis’ leading scorer but he shot just 35 percent.
Chicago did noticeably miss their starting bigs when it came to rebounding though. Memphis recorded a 35.6 offensive rebounding percentage en route to grabbing 16 O-boards. This was aided by the fact that Kurt Thomas hasn’t jumped since the early 2000s. Even with these extra shots, Memphis scored just 84 points.
Rose put up great stats in the second matchup as well, scoring 24 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists. He shot only 27 percent from the field, but got to the line 13 times to make up for his poor shooting.
The Bulls had their big men back for this game, and dominated the glass. Chicago out-rebounded the Grizzlies by 13, and posted a 42.9 offensive rebounding percentage.
Memphis was much improved from the field, shooting better than 49 percent, but still shot horribly from three (13.3 percent).
Memphis hasn’t been a good three point shooting team this year either. They are averaging just 1.7 three pointers made per game, and shooting 17.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Bulls on the other hand are shooting a very good 41.2 percent from three and hitting seven threes per game. That puts Chicago fourth in three-point percentage, while the Grizzlies are dead last.
Memphis will probably still be without their starting point guard, Mike Conley, who has missed their last two games with an ankle injury. Jeremy Pargo has filled in well his place, averaging 11.3 points and five assists in just 24.7 minutes per game.
After Rose scored 29 against Chris Paul and the Clippers it will be interesting to see if Pargo, or perhaps Tony Allen, can slow the reigning MVP down.
Who’s your ‘dadi? The Grizzlies resigned Hamed Haddadi on Saturday. Last season Haddadi averaged 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds. I hope to see some Haddadi versus Omer Asik.