Knicks @ Grizzlies Gameday

Scouting Report

Jonah Ballow


Knicks vs. Grizzlies 8 PM
Where to Watch: TNT
Where to Listen: ESPN 1050 AM

Big Picture

Riding a current four-game winning streak, the Knicks are feeling good heading into a two-game road trip that begins in Memphis on Thursday night. There is a belief that this ball club has worked out some of the kinks that resulted in the early season homes losses. New York could be at full strength in the near future as Jared Jeffries eyes a return to the floor and Baron Davis continues to rehab. At 6-4, the Knicks have won three straight road games and will look to maintain the momentum in Memphis. Last year the Grizzlies shocked the NBA world with an unbelievable run to the postseason and upset of the No. 1 seeded San Antonio Spurs. Despite losing star small forward Rudy Gay for a majority of the season; Memphis prevailed to provide hope for the direction of the franchise. In order to keep the nucleus intact, the Grizzlies inked Marc Gasol to a four-year $58 million dollar deal. Unfortunately, Memphis will have to overcome adversity once again after Darrell Arthur was lost for the entire season due to a torn Achilles and the even bigger loss of Zach Randolph for up to eight weeks. Randolph sustained a torn right MCL on January 1. The Grizzlies have dropped to 3-6 with three straight losses to the Jazz, Lakers, and Thunder on Tuesday night.

Last Time Out
Behind Carmelo Anthony’s 27 points, New York toppled Philadelphia 85-79 at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks limited the Sixers to just 39.5 percent shooting from the floor in snapping their six-game winning streak.

Memphis fell to Oklahoma City on Tuesday night 100-95. The loss marked the third straight defeat for the Grizzlies and they are now 2-2 at FedEx Forum.

The Numbers Game
The Knicks are only allowing 85.5 points per game during their four-game winning streak.

Match-up to Watch
Tyson Chandler vs. Marc Gasol

Without Randolph in the lineup, Memphis will feed their big man in the paint and search for Gasol in the halfcourt set. He is a true seven-footer with skills very similar to his brother, Pau Gasol but Marc is more of a bruiser in the paint. In the Knicks wins, Tyson Chandler has played a major role on both sides of the court -- averaging 12.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks in those six victories. Chandler’s athleticism and length should be able to neutralize the size and strength of Gasol.

What to Look For
The Grizzlies are a dangerous team despite the loss of Randolph. Head coach Lionel Hollins has adjusted the starting lineup and placed Mareese Speights at the power forward spot next to Gasol and Gay in the frontcourt. Mike Conley, Gay, Gasol, and O.J. Mayo off the bench form a group that can succeed offensively even on a team that only averages 91 points per game. As the Knicks preached all throughout training camp, defense has been the key to their wins and the squad is finding a way to snatch victories in grind-it-out type of games. This is the third back-to-back for New York but they had no issues in the previous set by crushing Detroit on the road.

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