Bear Necessities: Key notes, numbers and trends entering Grizzlies-Blazers matchup
PORTLAND – The Grizzlies (31-46) approach the midway point of their four-game West trip when they stop in Portland on Wednesday to face the Blazers (49-28) at the Moda Center.
Bear Necessities is a game-day spotlight on some Grizzlies notes of note to stay informed entering tonight's matchup.
Here are a few things to watch:
- The Grizzlies have split the first two games of their final extended road trip of the season, with a 120-115 win Saturday in Phoenix followed by a 113-96 loss in Los Angeles to the Clippers on Sunday. Memphis wraps up the trip against Dallas on Friday, but first look to win the four-game regular season series against Portland. The Grizzlies have won two of the first three matchups against the Blazers this season and could secure a season series victory for the first time since a 4-0 sweep in 2014-15.
- The injury bug took another significant bite out of the Grizzlies rotation during Sunday’s loss to the Clippers, when center Jonas Valanciunas suffered an ankle injury midway through the second half and did not finish the game. Valanciunas underwent an MRI on Monday, which confirmed a Grade II right ankle sprain that will shut him down for the remainder of the season. Valanciunas was coming off a career performance the previous night in Phoenix, where he posted 34 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. He averaged 19.9 points and 10.7 rebounds since being traded to Memphis.
- Seven of the 10 Grizzlies who played and finished Sunday’s game in Los Angeles have had experience in the NBA G League this season, including Bruno Caboclo, Jevon Carter, Tyler Dorsey, Dusty Hannahs, Ivan Rabb, Julian Washburn and Yuta Watanabe. In all, 27 different players have seen action in a Grizzlies uniform this season, which is tied with Cleveland for most in the NBA. That player total is one shy of the Grizzlies' own single-season NBA record of 28 players used during the 2015-16 season.
- Memphis is 1-6 this season in games when leading scorer Mike Conley does not play, and the team is 58-117 overall (.331) without Conley since he was drafted fourth overall in 2007. Conley, who missed Sunday’s game with a sore ankle, has played in 70 games this season, which are his most since he played that exact same total in 2014-15. Conley is averaging a career-high 21.1 points this season, which would be the highest single-season scoring average of any player in franchise history.
- The Grizzlies are listing Valanciunas (ankle), Kyle Anderson (shoulder), Dillon Brooks (toe surgery), Jaren Jackson Jr. (thigh bruise), Avery Bradley (shin) and C.J. Miles (foot) as out, while Conley (ankle) is doubtful and Joakim Noah (knee) is questionable for Wednesday’s game. The Blazers are listing Jusuf Nurkic (leg) and CJ McCollum (knee) as out against the Grizzlies.
For the Grizzlies complete game notes, check here: Grizzlies Game Notes