Battle of the Bottom:
As many teams in the Eastern and Western conference jockey for postseason spots, the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets find themselves out of playoff contention and near the bottom of the league standings. The Nets, who are tied with the Dallas Mavericks for the fifth worst record in the league at 22 wins and 48 losses, have lost 7 of their last 10 games.
Last time out, Brooklyn defeated Dallas 114-106 behind a 23-point game by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. The Grizzlies have the second-worst record in the league, floundering at 19-50. Memphis just rattled off a 19 game losing streak which was ended in their last game, a win over the Denver Nuggets.
The Grizzlies would probably be best off taking another loss and securing better odds of a lottery pick. However, their win over the Nuggets shows the Griz are still not to be taken lightly.
The Russell-Harris Backcourt Experiment Continues:
Once more, the backcourt of D’Angelo Russell and Joe Harris will be expected to be paired in the starting lineup. The two games that have passed since Kenny Atkinson moved Harris to the starting lineup and Spencer Dinwiddie to the bench do not allow for a large sample size, but show some signs of positivity.
In 27 minutes, the new starting lineup has posted a net rating of +12.3. The Nets lost a close game against the Philadelphia 76ers and won a tight game against the Mavericks, but the positive net rating of the lineup shows that this new backcourt could be something to watch.
Clash of the Centers:
Inarguably, Marc Gasol remains the Memphis Grizzlies’ best player. Even though the team itself is faltering, Gasol has managed to average 17.7 points and 8.5 rebounds. His matchup with Jarrett Allen, who has been playing well for the Nets, will have a large impact on the outcome of the game.
In the 10 games since the All-Star break, Allen has averaged 10.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks. Additionally, the center has been shooting a stellar 56.5 percent. Allen has struggled at times defensively this season but has steadily improved with more playing time. Shutting down Gasol is no easy task, but if Allen can slow the Spaniard down and limit his production, the Nets have a good chance of coming away with a victory.
- Point Per Game: The Grizzlies are dead last in the league in points per game, averaging just 98.8 points. The Nets are in the upper half of the league when it comes to scoring, as they average a solid 106.1 points per contest.
- Field Goal Percentage: Brooklyn remains to be the worst shooting team in the league at just 43.8 percent. Memphis is not far behind the Nets, shooting barely better with a percentage of 44.1, 27th in the league.
- Three-Point Percentage: Both the Grizzlies and the Nets are in the bottom portion of the league when it comes to three-point percentage. Memphis is 28th in the league 34.9 percent and Brooklyn is 26th, shooting 35.1 percent from three.
- Assists: The Nets remain one of the better passing teams (12th), averaging 23.2 assists per game. The Grizzlies, on the other hand, are 26th with 21.4 assists per contest.
- Big Three Catagories: The Griz have the fourth worst net rating in the league at -5.7, third worst offensive rating at 101.7, and the 20th defensive rating in the league at 107.4. The Nets have the sixth worst net rating at -4.8, the eighth worst offensive rating at 103.9, and the fifth worst defensive rating of 108.7.
Date: Monday, March 19th, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Barclays Center, New York, New York
TV: YES Network, NBA League Pass
History: The all-time record between the two teams is split 21 games apiece. Earlier this season in November, the Nets came away with a 98-88 victory over the Grizzlies.
- Jeremy Lin (knee) out for season
- Allen Crabbe (illness) is day-to-day
- Dante Cunningham (concussion) is out