The Denver Nuggets travel to Memphis to face off against the Memphis Grizzlies tonight, in a matchup that shouldn’t be all that close but probably will be. The Grizzlies have lost 21 of their past 26 games but had an emotional victory over the Indiana Pacers in their last game, one that provided the picture for this article and another memory of this era of basketball for Memphis.
The Nuggets are the better, younger team, but Memphis is 12-13 at home while Denver is 11-11 away, and Marc Gasol plays enough like Jokic style-wise to make it interesting. If Denver can’t keep the turnovers from showing up against that Mike Conley Jr. defense vs. Denver’s injured guard corps, this game could stay tighter than it should. Denver needs to avoid another slow start and keep their foot on the gas to rack up another win.
Who: Memphis Grizzlies (20-30) vs Denver Nuggets (33-15)
When: 6:00 PM MST
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis TN
How to watch/listen: Altitude TV, AltitudeNOW.com, the AltitudeNOW app and Altitude Radio 92.5 FM
Rival blog: Grizzly Bear Blues
Kyle Anderson - Questionable (ankle), Omri Casspi out (knee), Chandler Parsons - out (does he still play here?), Dillon Brooks - out (foot), Garrett Temple - out (shoulder), Jamal Murray - Questionable (ankle), Isaiah Thomas - out (yes), Michael Porter Jr - out (still)
What to Watch For
The last Charge of the Bear Brigade. Mike Conley Jr. and Marc Gasol have defined Memphis basketball, Grit and Grind, forever. They’ve played together for a decade in their own inimitable style. They’ve gone from Marc being a fat, lesser replacement for his brother Pau Gasol and Mike being Some Other Guy in the Kevin Durant / Greg Oden draft of 2007 to carving out a niche for themselves in a place that will retire their jerseys and remember them forever.
It’s coming to a rough close, as most endings do, but it has been a pleasure to watch the two men work even when their style of successful basketball wasn’t my favorite. I can appreciate anything done to its utmost level, whether that’s Brutalist architecture or Memphis Basketball. The Grizzlies are going down hard right now but even wounded bears are dangerous, and the Nuggets need to take care of business on this stretch where they play 6 of their next 7 on the road.
Prediction: Denver 109, Memphis 98. It will require Denver playing some semblance of defense for a quarter or two and not going cold on the road, but these are things that should happen.