Memphis Grizzlies Week 3 Preview

Heading into their third week of action, the Grizzlies sit at 3-2 with a signature win over the Utah Jazz, who they will face again on the road late this week. In addition to a rematch with the Jazz, the Grizzlies will also face off against Suns for the second time in this young season. First, they will start the week off at home vs the Wizards.

4 Things To Watch For

1. Will Kyle Anderson find his flow?

The guy who was supposed to be Memphis’ impact free agent signing this offseason has been anything but that. So far this season he is averaging less than 4 points per game on 35% shooting from the field. He drew a start on Saturday with Chandler Parsons sidelined due to sore knees. Will J.B. continue to put him in the starting lineup or will he go back to a bench role due to lack of production?

2. Can Jaren Jackson Jr. stay out of foul trouble?

In 5 games, JJJ is averaging 4.4 fouls per game. He struggled to stay on the court while in college at Michigan State with this same issue. When he is in the game, he makes an immediate impact with his scoring ability and shot altering instincts on defense, but he doesn’t help anyone out if he is forced to warm the pine.

3. What can MarShon Brooks do against good teams?

With his 18 point performance against Phoenix on Saturday night, Brooks has likely earned himself some more playing time as the Grizzlies desperately need some additional buckets – they rank 27th in the league in points per game.

4. Will Dillon Brooks beat the sophomore slump?

So far this season, Dillon is averaging 17 minutes per game and only 4 points per contest. He has been featured heavily this year at the 3 at times with Omri Casspi playing the stretch-4 position. Last year he had the ball in his hands a lot more due to the lack of ball handling ability on the team. Now that we have a new floor general on the second unit in Shelvin Mack, Brooks will need to find out how he fits into the updated offense and settle into his new role.

Opponent Previews

Tuesday, October 30th vs Washington Wizards 7:00 cst

This season has started out very rough for the Wizards. Similar to last year, there is some dissent among the team as players seem to not be meshing as well as one would hope. They are currently at 1-5 and rank in the bottom third in the league on both sides of the ball. They play at the 3rd fastest pace in the league. Washington averages 114 points per game, while Memphis is only giving up 101 points to each opponent, which is the best in the NBA.

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Despite their record, you can’t sleep on Washington because they have plenty of star power and scoring ability in John Wall and Bradley Beal, who are averaging 20 and 23 points per game respectively. The key to this game will be controlling the pace of play. Memphis plays at the slowest pace in the NBA and if they limit the number of possessions that those All-Stars have the ball in their hands, then they should be in good shape.

Consistent Starters: John Wall (20p/7a), Bradley Beal (23p/4r/3a), Kelly Oubre (14p/5r), Otto Porter (9p/5r), Ian Mahinmi (4p/3r)

Key Bench Players: Jeff Green (11p/5r), Markieff Morris (12p/5r)

Key Injuries: Dwight Howard (back, day-to-day)

Friday, November 2nd @ Utah Jazz 8:00 cst

The solid Utah Jazz offense only scored 84 points against Memphis in their first match up of the season. In that game, Jae Crowder led the Jazz with 15 points. You won’t see the same team performance this go around. Expect to see a fired up Donovan Mitchell and I can guarantee that Joe Ingles will shoot better than 1-7 from three.

The Jazz enter the week with a record of 4-2 in the crowded Western conference. Their stingy defense (6th in the league) has allowed them to keep a positive record despite not having an extremely overpowering offense (12th).

Starters: Ricky Rubio (9p/7r), Donovan Mitchell 22p/4a), Joe Ingles (14p/5r), Derrick Favors (9p/7r), Rudy Gobert (17p/13r)

Key Bench Players: Jae Crowder (12p/5r), Donte Exum (9p/2r)

Key Injuries: Derrick Favors: (knee, day-to-day)

Sunday, November 4th @ Phoenix Suns 7:00 cst

Devin Booker has been out over a week with a hamstring injury and that has been dearly costly for Phoenix. On what is already a short roster, losing your best player is pretty much a death blow. Trevor Ariza is scoring at a clip below his career and recent season averages due to the fact that he is no longer playing with some of the largest offensive threats in the league in Houston. Deandre Ayton is doing exactly what he was drafted to do. He is currently shooting 64% from the field! Nearly half of his shots are coming at the rim, where he is nearly perfect at 91%. He has only had one bad game so far this year, and that was against Denver when Nuggets center Nikola Jokic owned him to the tune of a triple double.

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Deandre Ayton shot chart: Basketball-Reference

Memphis beat up on Phoenix last week, and I can’t imagine it being much different this go around unless Booker is in the lineup.

Starters: Isaiah Canaan (7p/3r/3a), Devin Booker (27p/4r/6a), Trevor Ariza (9p/4r/3a), Ryan Anderson (7p/3a), Deandre Ayton (17p/10r)

Key Bench Players: TJ Warren (15p/3r), Josh Jackson (8p/2a)

Key Injuries: Devin Booker (hamstring, day-to-day), Isaiah Canaan (ankle, day-to-day)


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