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Preview - Memphis Grizzlies @ Utah Jazz

Summary

The Jazz are getting some good breaks right now.  Teams are coming into the ESA having played the night before or wrapping up a road trip.  That's not to discount the Jazz wins though.

Memphis comes into this game after having lost to the Clippers last night in terrible fashion.  They scored only 7 points in the fourth quarter while giving up 33 and went down hard, 98-88.

They had been playing really well over their last seven games.  They were 5-2 and an impressive win at Portland.  Before that, they had lost 7 straight and 8 of their first 9.

And of course they've had to deal with the whole Allen Iverson saga.  That should be behind them now.

They're not lacking on offense.  They're 10th in the league in PPG with 102.2 while their offensive rating puts them slightly above average.  Their defense however is amongst the worst in the league.  They're ranked 29th in defensive rating and give up nearly 107 points a game.  Only the Knicks, Raptors, and Warriors give it up more.

They're allowing opponents to shoot almost 50% from the floor per game and almost 40% from behind the arc.  So the Jazz should be able to continue their offensive explosion tonight against the Grizz.

The last two games against the Bulls and Trail Blazers, the Jazz have shot nearly 61% from the field including 53% from downtown all while compiling 65 assists.  They've also held the last two team to shooting in the low 40s.

If they keep that up against the Grizz, Memphis will have to shoot out of their minds to keep it close.  Let's hope the Jazz have another start against the Grizzlies like they did with Portland.

How the Jazz win

Keep passing the ball well.  The offense is predicated on movement, timing, and passes. Right now they're passing just the right amount.  They're not looking to shoot as soon as they get the ball yet they're not making too many passes and making things too difficult.

Second, control the boards.  Despite giving up a lot of points, the Grizzlies outrebound most opponents.  They have 710 boards compared to their opponents' 432, a 278 rebounding difference.  The Jazz on the other hand have 643 rebounds to their opponents 614, a difference of just 29.  Of course that has a lot to do with the Jazz making a higher percentage of their shots at 49%.  The Grizz have dominated the league in offensive boards with 219 while giving up just 163.  Win the boards and the Jazz win this game.

How the Jazz lose

Looking for their own shot.  We see too much one-on-one from the Jazz when they lose.  It puts them out of position to get back on D and it make playing D against them much easier.  When they're running their picks and getting in crisp passes, they're much harder to defend.

Giving up too many extra-chance points.  It doesn't matter if the Jazz are playing good D if they're letting Memphis get more than one shot down the floor.

Other notes