Bear Necessities: Key notes, numbers and trends entering Grizzlies-Magic matchup
MEMPHIS – The Grizzlies (32-32) are set for a crucial home game before facing five of their next seven on the road when they face the Orlando Magic (29-35) on Tuesday at FedExForum.
Bear Necessities is a spotlight on key Grizzlies’ facts and trends, curated from Communication Manager Ross Wooden’s Game Notes, to stay informed entering tonight's matchup.
Here are a few things to watch:
- The Grizzlies and Magic meet for the second and final regular-season matchup, with both teams holding the eight seed in their respective conferences. Orlando has won six of its last 10 games, and is coming off a 20-point road win at Houston. The Grizzlies are 15-3 in their last 18 home games, having won each of the past two at FedExForum by 17 points. The Magic won the first meeting between the teams, handing the Grizzlies one of their worst losses this season in a 118-86 setback Nov. 8 in Orlando.
- Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant added another historic feat to his first-year accomplishments in the NBA by becoming the first rookie in franchise history to record 1,000 points and 400 assists. Morant (404 assists) passed the 400 mark in Saturday’s home win over the Hawks, and he is on pace to shatter the previous rookie assists mark set by Antonio Daniels (334) set during the 1997-98 season. Morant, the three-time Western Conference Rookie of the Month, leads all NBA rookies in scoring and assists.
- With their next victory, the Grizzlies will match their win total from all of last season when they finished 33-49. A key reason for the team’s success this season has been bench production. Through four March games, Memphis’ bench ranks first among the league’s reserve units in made threes (7.5), first in rebounds (24.0), first in assists (12.8), first in steals (5.8) and second in points (53.0). The reserves have recently been led by Tyus Jones, John Konchar, Josh Jackson, Anthony Tolliver and Gorgui Dieng.
- Tuesday’s matchup also features two of NBA’s most productive big men in Memphis center Jonas Valanciunas and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic. Since the All-Star break, Valanciunas ranks third in the NBA in rebounding (14.2) and third in offensive boards (4.2) while helping the Grizzlies place second in second-chance scoring (16.6) since the break. Valanciunas’ 150 rebounds over the last 10 games are the most for a 10-game stretch in franchise history. Vucevic is averaging 19.5 points and 11 rebounds this season.
- The Grizzlies list Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee), Brandon Clarke (quad), Justise Winslow (back) and Grayson Allen (hip) as out for Tuesday’s game. Jackson and Winslow are likely to return within a week, the team announced Monday. Jackson has missed the past eight games since spraining his knee Feb. 21. Winslow has yet to play for Memphis since being acquired in last month’s trade from Miami. The Grizzlies, who have 18 regular-season games remaining, expect Clarke to return at some point this season.
For the Grizzlies complete game notes, check here: Grizzlies Game Notes