The time has come for the Grizzlies (42-28) to clamp down those jaws and finish the regular season with that grit and grind play us fans absolutely love. As Memphis starts a 5 game road trip, a date with the Utah Jazz may be just what they need to stay ahead of the pack in the playoff race.
The Grizzlies sit tied with Dallas for the 7th spot in the West, but own the current tie breaker due to winning %. The Grizzlies still have two games in hand on the Mavericks and would need to win both of those games to jump Dallas at the end of the season.
With crucial matchups against the Warriors on Friday Night and in Portland on Sunday, the Grizzlies can’t look past the Jazz. Utah is a team with not much talent, but they can play toe to toe with anyone in the NBA on their home court. At (23-48) it’s hard to imagine why the Grizzlies would have a tough time matching up with Utah. Utah throws out a lineup that struggles to score, but has the talent to still win games with PF Derrick Favors, PG Trey Burke and SF Gordon Hayward.
The Grizzlies have won both of the matchups this season with Utah and those were both 10 point victories for Memphis at the FedEx Forum. The most recent victory was a 96-86 win over the Jazz on March 19th. Zach Randolph led all scorers with 21 points.
The Grizzlies have held Utah to under 100 points in 14 straight contests, and that looks to continue tonight. The Grizzlies held Minnesota to 92 points on Monday night which is 14 below their season average of 106.2 per game. In the game prior, Memphis held Indiana to its lowest output of the season in an 82-71 victory.
It all points to a Memphis victory tonight, but don’t be down on the Jazz because they can be a tough out at home.