GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Grizzlies
The Cavaliers (21-40) will wrap up their five-game homestand tonight when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies (40-19) for the final time this season. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET.
In their most recent contest on Wednesday against Utah, the Cavs went on a 12-1 run in the final 2:46 to defeat the Jazz 104-101 for the come-from-behind win. Also in the victory, seven Cavs players combined to swat a season-high 12 shots. The last time the Cavs had at least 12 blocks in a single game was November 16, 2007 against Utah (also 12 blocks).
Cleveland dished out 23 assists to just 12 turnovers against on Wednesday and ranks 6th in the NBA at taking care of the ball this season (14.1). The Cavaliers have tied or had fewer turnovers than their opponents in 30 of their last 35 contests.
Memphis comes into tonight's contest having won ten of their last eleven games, including a 101-98 victory over Portland on Wednesday.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Injuries: (Cavs) - Kyrie Irving (Illness, Doubtful), Dion Waiters, (Illness, Probable), Daniel Gibson, (Illness, Probable), Omri Casspi, (Appendectomy, Out), Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)
(Grizzlies) - Zach Randolph, (Left Ankle Sprain, Day-to-Day), Darrell Arthur, (Neck and Back Soreness, Day-to-Day)
*Subject to change
The Cavaliers lead the all-time series against the Grizzlies, 21-11 posting a 13-2 mark in games played at home with the posting a 9-8 mark in games played in Memphis. Cleveland is 11-5 in its last 16 games against Memphis. In fact, the Cavs have won seven straight games over the Grizzlies at Quicken Loans Arena.
In their first meeting on Nov. 26, the Cavs shot .800 (12-15) from the foul line and outrebounded Memphis, 41- 33. Dion Waiters tallied 15 points, three assists and a career-high four steals in 35 minutes. Daniel Gibson hit a pair of triples, including his 544th career three-pointer to pass Danny Ferry for 4th place on the Cavs all-time leader list.
Key to the Game/Key Matchups
Key to the Game
Race to 100
The Grizzlies are undefeated this season (18‐0) when scoring 100 points (17‐3 in 2011‐12, with two of the three losses coming in overtime). Conversely, Memphis has won twice this season when the opposing team scores 100 (2‐6).
The Cavs have hit the century mark in scoring in 10 of their last 14 games and possess the 2nd-highest scoring average in the Eastern Conference since Feb. 2 (104.9 points per game).
Memphis has held 51 of its 59 opponents under 100 points this season, a higher number than any other team in the NBA.
Cavaliers frontcourt vs. Grizzlies frontcourt
Memphis has arguably the best frontcourt in the NBA with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Although Randolph is listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury, the Cavaliers will have to game plan as if they will face the dynamic tandem.
Tristan Thompson leads the Cavs with 21 double-doubles on the season and is averaging 13.6 points on .500 shooting, 10.5 rebounds and 1.0 block in 32.8 minutes since Dec. 19 (35 games). Thompson notched his 21st double-double of the season against the Jazz on March 6 as he tallied 16 points, 12 rebounds and a season-high tying three blocks in 31 minutes.
Along with Thompson, the Cavs' big have been crashing the glass. Cleveland’s 16 offensive rebounds led to 16 second chance points on Wednesday. Furthermore, the Cavs have the highest second chance points per game average in the Eastern Conference (15.7), The Cavs are also pulling down 12.5 offensive rebounds per game, which is the 7th-most in the league.
Where to Catch the Action