Wolves vs. Grizzlies Gameday
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Wolves vs. Grizzlies 7:00 PM - Target Center
Where to Watch: FS North
Where to Listen: 1130 KFAN AM
*Get your questions on the radio airwaves during halftime! Just tweet questions to @WolvesRadio and listen to the halftime show hosted by John Focke on 1130 AM.
* O.J. Mayo (10-game suspension) - OUT
Full of talent and potential, the Grizzlies are starting to put all the pieces together by winning seven of their last 10 games and biting the heels of the Blazers for the crucial eighth spot in the Western Conference standings. Earlier in January, O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen were involved in an altercation on the team flight that was reportedly fueled by a card game. At the end of the month, Mayo was suspended 10 games without pay for violating the league's anti-drug program. Mayo said the substance was an over-the-counter product, in fact, he stated it was an energy drink that caused the positive test. Despite the off-the-court news, Memphis searches for improvement and a potential playoff berth. On Monday night, the Grizzlies may have snatched their most impressive victory in defeating the Orlando Magic at home for their third straight win. Memphis will play its next three of four games away from FedEx Forum, starting with tonight's matchup against the Wolves.
Last Time Out
Behind 53.3 percent shooting from the floor, the Grizzlies edged the Magic 100-97 on Monday. The victory improved Memphis' overall record to 25-24 and 15-7 at home.
The Wolves effectively snapped a six-game slide with an overwhelming 103-87 win over the Raptors on Saturday night.
The Numbers Game
Minnesota is shooting 38.5 percent behind the arc this season, good for the fourth best ranking in the entire league. Kevin Love, Luke Ridnour, and Anthony Tolliver are all hitting above the 40 percent mark.
Match-up to Watch
Kevin Love vs. Zach Randolph
While Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, and even Mike Conley present potential matchup issues tonight; Zach Randolph is the main contributor for Memphis. Averaging 20 points and 13.2 rebounds per game, Randolph is having an All-Star type of season and playing a major role in the recent winning streak for the Grizzlies. Randolph is a strong low-post scorer with the ability to hit the midrange jumper. He is also enjoying a career season on the glass and providing Memphis with another option on the blocks next to Gasol. Love, Blake Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge are the trio keeping Randolph away from Los Angeles for the All-Star game. The Wolves power forward will meet Randolph for the first time this season after the Grizzlies big man missed the October 30 contest due to a right hip contusion. Love registered 14 points and 13 boards in the game in Memphis, numbers that pale in comparison to the recent output from the third-year star. Searching for his 34th straight double-double, Love will certainly be motivated to help his team record back-to-back victories and showcase his talents before the All-Star reserves are announced tomorrow night.
What to Look For
At Monday's practice, Michael Beasley summed the first matchup against Memphis, "We went into their house and got blown out." Beasley felt the team had a great practice and needed a couple of days off after four games in six nights last week. The Wolves should be refreshed heading into a game against a Grizzlies squad that rolled to a 109-89 victory in late October. During the first meeting, Memphis posted a franchise-record 22 steals to spearhead the lopsided win. The 30 Minnesota turnovers also led to the crushing defeat and must be corrected in tonight's contest.
Watch for the Grizzlies to possibly utilize a 2-3 zone with Hasheem Thabeet anchoring the middle. If Memphis shows the zone defense, the Wolves will turn to rookie Wes Johnson to attack the soft spots and hit his fluid midrange jumpers as seen in Utah last week. Beasley and Love are also great offensive options to kill the zone and turn the tide in Minnesota's favor.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jonah on Twitter.