Monday, January 28, 7:00 PM (EST) at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
28-15 (2nd Southwest, 4th West)
18-25 (4th Atlantic, 9th East)
TV: Comcast SportsNet Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM | Live Stats
THE ENEMY: M. CONLEY | T. ALLEN | R. GAY | Z. RANDOLPH | M. GASOL
MATCHUP TO WATCH
C Marc Gasol vs. C Spencer Hawes
Marc Gasol may not enjoy the same name recognition as his older brother Pau, but there is little doubt who the more impactful Gasol has been this season.
Acquired in the summer of 2008 as a mere throw-in piece in the blockbuster trade that sent his brother to the Lakers, the younger Gasol brother has blossomed from second-round project to All-Star caliber center.
Over his five-year NBA career, the 7-1, 265-pound big man has averaged 13.1 points (52.3 FG%), 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. This season, he's maintained those healthy numbers, averaging 13.3 points (48.6 FG%), 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.8 blocks.
Much like his brother, he has the ability to step out and knock down shots beyond 15 feet (46.6 FG% this season), but can also bang down low and create easy buckets for himself in the paint, where he uses his length and bulk to finish through contact.
After starting 110 of the 118 games in which he'd appeared in two seasons as a Sixer, center Spencer Hawes spent the first 42 games of the 2012-13 season in a reserve role.
That changed Saturday night against the Knicks, when head coach Doug Collins decided to shake up his starting lineup and replace second-year big man Lavoy Allen with the seven-footer, Hawes.
Although he took just four shots en route to as many points, the 24-year-old center blocked four shots and pulled down five boards while stretching the floor and creating lanes for Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner to utilize. Holiday and Turner combined for 55 points and the Sixers went on to top New York 97-80.
Over the Sixers' last four games, Hawes is averaging 13.3 points (60.0 FG%), 7.0 rebounds (3.0 offensive), 2.5 assists, and 2.0 blocks per game.
Where The Battle Will Be Waged
The Grizzlies hold the league's top mark in offensive rebounding percentage, grabbing 32.5% of all available offensive rebounds. They are also second in the league in points in the paint over their last three games (seventh on the season), having scored 54.7 points of their 96.7 points per game that way during the stretch.
Notes On The Opponent
• The Grizzlies will be making an overnight flight to Philadelphia from Memphis after hosting the New Orleans Hornets at FedEx forum Sunday night. The Grizz are 2-3 on the year in second games of back-to-backs.
• Starting point guard Mike Conley played just four minutes in Sunday night's 83-91 loss to the Hornets after spraining his left ankle. His status for Monday night's game is still up in the air; the six-year man was in a walking boot following the game.
• After averaging 17.9 points per game on 41.3% shooting through the first 33 games of the season, Memphis' leading scorer, Rudy Gay, is averaging just 13.6 points on 39.0% shooting over his last seven games. He has failed to top 20 points in a game during the slump.