The Utah Jazz (22-45) head to the birth place of Rock N’ Roll Wednesday night to face off against the Memphis Grizzlies (39-27). These two teams have only squared off once this season and that was a 104-94 Grizzlies win back on December 23rd.
The Grizzlies are coming off another three game road trip that saw them go 2-1. The Grizzlies picked up a big comeback win over the rival Pelicans last Wednesday night on a Conley game winning floater in the lane as time expired, followed up by a 99-86 loss to the Raptors on Friday in Toronto and rounding it out with a 103-77 thumping of the 76ers in Philadelphia.
At 39-27 the Grizzlies are sitting just 1 game ahead of the Phoenix Suns for the 8th and final playoff spot, but are only a half game behind Dallas for the 7th spot in the conference. If Memphis can make up 4.5 games in their final 16 regular season games on the Portland Trail Blazers, then they can secure the 5th spot in the West which may even more beneficial.
The last time the Jazz and Grizzlies met, Randolph had 22 points (8-14 FG) and 10 rebounds leading the Grizzlies to the 104-94 win and since departed PG Jerryd Bayless led the bench with 17 points. Wednesday’s matchup will be the second of three between the two teams this season. The final contest will be in Utah on March 26th.
It’s been quite the opposite for the Utah Jazz as they haven’t seen as much success since the All Star break unlike the Grizzlies. Utah which has lost four straight and losers of nine of their last ten with a win sandwiched in over Philadelphia (20 straight losses) is having a rough time finding a way to win.
The Jazz who rank 15th in scoring defense at just over 101 ppg have been lifeless on the defensive end lately. They’ve allowed their opponents to score over 100 points in six of their previous eight games. The lone exceptions were a low scoring Indiana team and surprisingly the Clippers in a 96-87 loss last Friday in Utah.
The Jazz are currently fighting for the worst record in the West with the Los Angeles Lakers and currently hold that advantage at 22-45 while the Lakers are at 22-44. The Jazz have some young talent but are still a long way away from competing in the ever tough Western Conference again.
With a win over the Jazz, this will mark the 5th straight season the Grizzlies have gotten to the 40 win plateau. The Grizzlies go back on the road Friday after a one game home stand to face the Miami Heat.