Bear Necessities: Key notes, numbers and trends entering Grizzlies-Celtics matchup
BOSTON - The Grizzlies (19-25) shoot to end a five-game road losing streak when they open a two-game Eastern Conference trip on Friday against the Celtics (30-16) at T.D. Garden.
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’ back-to-back set that finishes Sunday at Toronto (34-13) concludes a three-game stretch against three of the best five teams in the East following Wednesday’s 111-101 home loss to the Bucks. Memphis has lost 9 of its last 10 games overall, including a 112-103 home loss to the Celtics on Dec. 29. The Grizzlies’ lone victory in that span came Jan. 9 against the Spurs.
- After the two-game road trip, the Grizzlies return home for a season-long, five-game homestand that starts with Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Game against the Pelicans. The eight-day, five-game homestand at FedExForum includes visits from the Hornets (Wednesday), Kings (Jan. 25), Pacers (Jan. 26) and Nuggets (Jan. 28). The Grizzlies are 11-10 at home this season.
- Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. continues to progress during a productive month individually despite the team’s overall struggles. Jackson ranks 11th in the NBA in blocks per game (1.57), and has more games with at least two rejections (18) than any other rookie. He is shooting 56.3 percent from the field and averaging 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks in January.
- One major component of the Grizzlies’ recent struggles has been turnovers. Memphis allowed 25 points off turnovers Wednesday against the Bucks, which marked the fifth time in six games the Grizzlies have surrendered at least 25 points on miscues. Through their first 38 games, the Grizzlies only gave up 25 or more points off turnovers on four occasions, and had ranked among the NBA’s top 10 teams at protecting the basketball.
- The Grizzlies are listing only Kyle Anderson (left ankle) and Dillon Brooks (toe surgery) as out for Friday’s game in Boston. The Celtics did not report any injuries entering Friday’s game.