GameDay Preview: Cavs at Grizzlies

Alonzo Gee, Rudy Gay
Joe Murphy/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Cleveland Cavaliers (3-10) will wrap up their three-game road trip tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies (9-2) at the FedExForum, tip off 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Wine and Gold will look to bounce back from Saturday's nail-biting 110-108 loss to the Miami Heat while the Grizzlies are hoping to build momentum upon their 106-98 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in their last game.

In Miami on Saturday, the Cavs tied their season-low with 11 turnovers, while converting 18 Heat miscues into 22 points. The Cavs are now forcing 16.7 miscues per game, which ranks 5th in the NBA.

Memphis has a very balanced team. Their dynamic frontcourt of Power Forward Zach Randolph (16.7 ppg, 13.6 rpg) and Center Marc Gasol (15.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) are a great compliment to their athletic wing players led by Rudy Gay (20.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and their floor general Mike Conley Jr. (14.8 ppg, 6.5 apg).

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Jeremy Pargo, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Grizzlies: PG - Mike Conley Jr., SG - Tony Allen, SF - Rudy Gay
PF - Zach Randolph, C - Marc Gasol

Injuries: (Cavs) - Luke Harangody (Right Knee Orthoscopy, Out), Kyrie Irving (Hairline/Non-Displaced Fracture in Left Index Finger, Out),
(Grizzlies) - Tony Wroten (Person Reasons, Not with Team)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers lead the all-time series against the Grizzlies, 21-10 posting a 13-2 mark in games played at home with the series tied at eight in games played in Memphis.

This will be the first of two contests between the Cavs and Grizzlies this season. The two teams only met once last season when Kyrie Irving had a game-high 25 points on 10-16 (62.5) shooting in 29 minutes, while Tristan Thompson finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in an 109-101 loss in Memphis.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

No Easy Buckets
The Grizzlies are 6‐0 this season when reaching 100 points (17‐3 in 2011‐12, with two of the three losses coming in overtime). They currently rank seventh in the NBA in scoring at 100.7 ppg.

Memphis is also 1‐0 this season when shooting at least .500 from the field after going undefeated (13‐0) at that rate last season. Furthermore, the Grizzlies have won their last 22 games when converting on more than half of their shot attempts dating back to a victory on March 14, 2011 vs. LA Clippers.

Coming into tonight's contest, the Wine and Gold give up the second most points per game at 102.2 and are allowing a league-high 49.2 percent shooting from the floor. The Grizzlies possess a versatile scoring attack that can pound it inside or get out on the break, so the Cavaliers will have to be tough inside and get back in transition to limit the amount of easy baskets.

Key Matchup

Cavaliers frontcourt vs. Grizzlies frontcourt
Memphis has arguably the best frontcourt in the NBA with the aforementioned Randolph and Gasol. Cleveland's tandem of Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao, along with reserve Tyler Zeller, will have to match the Grizz big men step-for-step.

The frontcourt matchup features the league's top two rebounders. Varejao is posting a career-high 14.1 rpg while Randolph has been cleaning up the glass at 13.6 rpg. As a team, both squads also rank near the top of the league

The Cavs come into tonight’s contest as the NBA’s leader in second chance points allowed (10.5), while ranking 2nd on the offensive end in second chance points (16.5). Cleveland has tied or outrebounded their opponent on the offensive end in 12 of their 13 games so far with an average of 13.5 offensive rebounds per game (4th) to their opponents’ 9.2, which is the lowest in the NBA. Overall, the Cavs are allowing 39.9 rebounds per game this season (5th in NBA). Conversely, Memphis is only allowing 39.7 opponent rebounds per game (4th in the NBA).

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM 220, NBA League Pass Audio