Bear Necessities: Key notes, numbers and trends entering Grizzlies-Bucks matchup
MEMPHIS - The Grizzlies (19-24) return home to face a top MVP candidate for the second consecutive game on Wednesday when Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks (31-12) visit FedExForum.
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 look to rebound from Monday’s 112-94 loss in Houston, where reigning league MVP James Harden padded his current campaign for the honor with 57 points against Memphis. Antetokounmpo arrives for Wednesday’s game after picking up his second Eastern Conference Player of the Month award this season on Tuesday. He then got his fourth triple-double of the season in leading Milwaukee to a 124-86 home win over Miami before traveling to Memphis.
- The Bucks own the league’s second-best record at 31-12, which is behind only Memphis’ opponent on Saturday in the Raptors (33-12). Milwaukee has won 13 of its last 16 games, with victories coming by an average margin of 16.2 points. However, the Grizzlies lead the two-game season series against the Bucks after registering one of their most impressive road wins of the season with a 116-113 victory on Nov. 14 to hand Milwaukee its first home loss of the season after a 6-0 start.
- The Grizzlies face one of the NBA’s most lenient three-point shooting teams in the Bucks, who surrender more three-point makes (13.0) and attempts (35.8) than any other team. Memphis shot 10-for-22 from beyond the arc Monday against Houston, which marked just the second time this season the Grizzlies lost a game when shooting at least 40 percent on threes. They are now 9-2 when shooting 40 percent or better from beyond the arc. On the other hand, the Bucks are the league’s top rebounding team at 49.1 boards a game while the Grizzlies are last at 39.9.
- Injuries have forced the Grizzlies to change their lineup in each of the past two games, and there could be another tweak coming Wednesday. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the starting shooting guard and small forward spots will be “a mixed bag” that’s determined by several factors, including a specific game’s matchup and defensive assignments. Rookie second-round pick Jevon Carter started Monday in Houston alongside Mike Conley, Garrett Temple, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marc Gasol. Other fill-in starting options include Justin Holiday, Omri Casspi and Shelvin Mack.
- After participating in Tuesday’s practice and Wednesday’s pregame shootaround, Gasol said the elbow stinger he sustained in Monday’s game has subsided and he will play against the Bucks. The Grizzlies are listing only Kyle Anderson (left ankle) and Dillon Brooks (toe surgery) as out. Other than G-League assignments, the Bucks list only George Hill (bruised ribs) as probable.
For the Grizzlies complete game notes, check here: Grizzlies Game Notes