The Memphis Grizzlies visit the Orlando Magic, following a home win over the Houston Rockets and a couple days rest.
WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (20-12) @ Orlando Magic (14-18)
WHERE: Amway Center – Orlando, FL
WHEN: Monday, December 26th – 6:00 p.m. CST
HOW TO WATCH: Fox Sports Southeast (or you can search for ‘NBA Streams’ but you didn’t hear that from me)
HOW TO LISTEN: 92.9 ESPN Memphis
BETTING ODDS: Memphis (-2); over/under 195
About the Magic ( 14-18, 6-10 home)
Sitting at 12th in the Eastern conference, the Magic haven’t quite figured out their rhythm yet. Following a victory in mid-December, they have followed every win with a loss, and vice versa. In their last three games, the Magic are 2-1 (so is Memphis) – including wins over both the LA Lakers and the Miami Heat. The most recent news surrounding the franchise deals with trade rumors regarding Nikola Vucevic, the team’s leading rebounder.
Evan Fournier leads the team, averaging almost 18 points, trailed closely by OKC Thunder acquisition Serge Ibaka (15ppg). Ibaka also leads the team in three-point percentage, a situation all too familiar for Grizzlies fans.
About the Grizzlies (20-12, 8-5 road)
The Grizzlies were treated with two days of rest following a 112-109 victory over their Western Conference foe, the Houston Rockets. Memphis is now the only team in the NBA with wins over Golden State, Cleveland, LA (Clippers), Portland and Houston – an impressive resume given the setbacks experienced this season.
Just over a month ago, veteran point guard Mike Conley suffered a fractured vertebrae, sidelining the Grizzlies captain for an ‘indefinite’ amount of time. Injuries to Chandler Parsons, James Ennis, and Vince Carter followed – leaving Memphis with a nine-man roster. Insert: panic.
The shorthanded Memphis team grinded to a 7-2 record, and Mike Conley returned in ONLY THREE WEEKS. Conley, Ennis, Carter and Parsons have all returned to the lineup, sending shockwaves of excitement throughout Grind City.
Marc Gasol leads the Grizzlies in scoring, averaging 20 points. Mike Conley, who is also having a record year, follows closely with 18. JaMychal Green, arguably the highest value player on the roster (he makes less than $1 million), is a double-double machine.
The Grizzlies currently hold the 5th spot in the Western Conference.
Un-Official Official Expert Prediction
The last time these two met, the Magic visited the Grindhouse for a preseason exhibition game – so it really doesn’t matter. But if you must know, the Grizzlies won the game 102-97. Wade Baldwin led the Grizzlies with 15 points that night. He isn’t even on the roster anymore. *sighs*
Memphis has one of the best defenses in the league, holding both Golden State and Cleveland to season-lows in scoring. The Magic are four spots out of the playoffs in the East.
Coming off two days of rest, Memphis should have no problem knocking off a streaky Magic team on the road. However, knowing the Grizzlies, it will probably come down to the wire.