|2008/2009 NBA Regular Season|
|April 8th, 2009|
|Mike Conley||PG||Rafer Alston|
|O.J. Mayo||SG||Courtney Lee|
|Rudy Gay||SF||Hedo Turkoglu|
|Darrell Arthur||PF||Rashard Lewis|
|Marc Gasol||C||Dwight Howard|
|October 31st: Grizzlies 86, Magic 84|
The Orlando Magic, fresh off a loss to the Houston Rockets last night, will look to bounce back against the lottery-bound Memphis Grizzlies. There is some reason to beware this 22-win team, though. It had won 4 straight games prior to last night's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. And while only one of those wins came against a playoff-bound team, it's nonetheless hard to argue that the Grizzlies aren't peaking right now.
Much of that is due to the brilliance of second-year point guard Mike Conley. He's been on fire of late, averaging 19.4 points and 6.8 assists (to just 1.8 turnovers) in Memphis' last 5 games. Additionally, he's shooting lights-out: 34-of-64 from the field and 17-of-29 from three-point range. That's an effective field goal percentage of 66.4, so Rafer Alston needs to keep a hand in his face. Please.
This game presents a chance for Dwight Howard to bounce-back from his poor outing against Yao Ming last night. Unfortunately for him, Marc Gasol is a fine defensive center, and the sort of physical presence who can ruffle his feathers a bit. Gasol even baited Howard into committing his first technical foul of the season way back on Halloween night.
Despite their recent strong play, though, the Grizzlies are still a 22-win team that the Magic should beat with relative ease. Further, none of the Grizzlies' 8 road victories have come against teams with winning records, which is to say all their quality wins have come within the friendly confines of FedExForum. I don't believe they have anyone who can adequately defend Rashard Lewis or Hedo Turkoglu without totally killing their own offense. They're also susceptible to the three-point shot, so the Magic should let it fly. Within reason, of course.
Tip's at 7 on FSN Florida. Go Magic, and get revenge.