Keys To The Game: Bulls vs. Grizzlies (2.26.22)

The Bulls take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night in a meeting of two title contenders.

The Grizzlies youth and athleticism has blended well with some veteran talent such as center Steven Adams, leading to one of the more physical and fast-paced teams in the league.

Ja Morant is having an incredible breakout year, and incredible feat for a player who was already considered a success story.

It will take another total team effort from Chicago to take down a red-hot Memphis team this weekend.

Limit Jaren Jackson's 3-point attempts

Former No. 4 overall pick Jaren Jackson Jr. has been very bit of the shot-blocking, floor-spacing "unicorn" he was projected to be but he just hasn't been able to stay on the court.

Jackson has primarily been effective as a pick-and-pop player but in Memphis' last game before the All-Star break, they Grizz were thwarted in part due to Jackson's performance from beyond the arc. He went 0-for-4 from 3-point range, a tough thing to recover from for a team that is 24th in 3-point percentage.

If the Bulls keep Jackson from getting comfortable from deep, they will be a great spot defensively.

Defend without fouling

Memphis is second in the league in free throw attempts, taking just over 23 attempts per game from the charity stripe. Morant, obviously, powers a decent chunk of that production as both a driver and playmaker.

Morant is great when getting downhill and drawing contact to get to the free throw, buying him some valuable rest time and helping a team that loves contact get into the bonus early.

If the Bulls can practice verticality and avoid sending Morant to free throw line 10+ times, it will greatly dampen the Grizz offense.

Extra attention on rebounding

The Grizzlies come into Saturday night as the leading rebounding team in the league grabbing just over 52% of their total rebounding opportunities on the season.

Memphis won't be afraid to mix it up with Nikola Vucevic and the newly acquired Tristan Thompson, so it will be very important for the Bulls guards to help out on both the offensive and defensive glass.