Game info: 8pm ET in Memphis. Airing on CSN.
The Sixers will play their 2nd game of a tough 8 game roadtrip against a tough Memphis Grizzlies team that is 18-7 and 12-2 at home. They are one of the better defensive teams in the league and are great at forcing turnovers, although the Sixers are not usually prone to giving up the ball.
For the Sixers to have any chance, they need to play agressive and find a way to get to the line. In their last game against Brooklyn, the Nets went to the line 30 times, while the Sixers went just 10. There are a few reasons for this, one of them being they don’t have a physical center to draw contact in the paint, and finish. Lavoy Allen has been playing well of late and has showed a spark we haven’t ever seen from him, but he is not a guy that is going to get to the line a ton. In addition, Spencer Hawe’s points usually comes from putbacks and 15 foot jumpers, so he is not a huge candidate to get to the line.
Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday have to be more aggressive and get to the line. Evan was good at driving last year and using his size and strength to get to the line, but with the development of his jumper, he feels he doesn’t feel the need to drive as much anymore, when that isn’t the case. Jrue drives on occasion, but more times than not he is shooting long twos that aren’t great shots.
Memphis has a great front court with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who is one of the most underrated players in the league in my opinion. They also have Tony Allen who is an excellent perimeter defender and can shut down almost anyone in the league. Mike Conley has played well at point guard, and Rudy Gay is having an all star caliber season as usual.
The Sixers will try and inch closer to .500 during this tough road trip, while the Grizzlies will attempt to continue to climb in the Western Conference standings.