Found January 04, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Time to forget Toronto The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off one of the most disappointing losses of the season, and things aren’t getting any easier as they travel to Memphis to take on the surging Memphis Grizzlies. Matchup: Portland (16-15) @ Memphis Grizzlies (20-9) Venue: FedExForum Time: 5:00 PM PT Date: Friday, Jan. 4, 2012 Marc Gasol and Tony Allen are part of the reason Memphis excels on defense. (Photo: Danny Johnston/AP) Game Notes/How They Match Up It’s no secret that the Trail Blazers have won games this season with their offense. When they fail to score, their defense hasn’t been good enough to stop the charge on the other end of the floor. With a 16-15 record, they’ve clearly given up their fair share up games this season; but it’s been a rare occasion when they’ve played well offensively and still lost. Memphis, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. The Grizzlies are a tough, physical team that wins games on the defensive side of the court. They are the best team in the league at preventing their opponents from scoring, and they know how to win games that stay in the low-90′s or below. What to Watch: Portland When the Blazers shoot better than 45 percent from the field, they are virtually unbeatable. Unfortunately, they’re going up a defense that is first in the league in points allowed and gives up just 43 percent shooting on a nightly basis. The Blazers must have backup plans if the stars aren’t able to put the ball in the basket. Memphis has physical defenders who could trouble both Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard, and if those two go cold, they’re going to need someone to step up behind LaMarcus Aldridge. Look for that 45-percent mark to be a key factor in this game, and if Portland doesn’t reach it, they likely don’t escape with a win. What to Watch: Memphis One of the things that Memphis has to their advantage against most teams is size. As a result, they’re one of the more dangerous teams in the NBA when it comes to scoring in the paint. Through two months of play, they’re the seventh-best team in the league when it comes to scoring at the rim. Marc Gasol is a physical force on the block, Zach Randolph is crafty despite his lack of athleticism and forward Rudy Gay can finish with authority. For most teams, this is a problem they have to simply prepare for. For Portland, it’s something that could ultimately push the game out of their hands if Memphis dominates as the stats indicate they should. LaMarcus Aldridge will be matchup up against Zach Randolph. (Photo: The Oregonian) The Blazers have been the worst team in the league this season at defending the paint, and without Meyers Leonard available for the game, they’ll need to cross their fingers that the Grizzlies abort the plan that has gotten them where they are today. Key Matchup As it is every time these two teams face off, the key battle can be found when looking at the power forward position. Zach Randolph has become a Blazer-killer since leaving Rip City, and LaMarcus Aldridge will be given the unfortunate task of trying to contain a sure-fire double-double pl ayer at his own position. Luckily for Aldridge, Randolph has never been known as a defender. The Blazers’ big man will be able to take Randolph both inside and outside all game long. If his shot is falling, the offensive part of this battle will belong to him. The question, of course, is: can Aldridge keep up on the boards? We’ll find out Friday. Injury Report Portland: OUT—Meyers Leonard, DOUBTFUL—Sasha Pavlovic Memphis: DAY-TO-DAY—Jerryd Bayless, DOUBTFUL—Wayne Ellington Prediction The Blazers looked great against the New York Knicks and awful against the Toronto Raptors. How they’ll look against Memphis is anybody’s guess. Blazers 89 – Memphis 103 CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Sources: Grizzlies Explore Rudy Gay Trade Scenarios

The Grizzlies have held preliminary trade talks over the past few weeks centered on Rudy Gay.

Tony Allen Receives His Old, Blood-Stained Jersey From Celtics (Video)

Being back in the TD Garden was emotional for Tony Allen. The former Celtics defensive ace is now an invaluable member of the Memphis Grizzlies, but he could not help by have fond memories of the place where he literally shed blood to help the Celtics win a championship. Allen’s Grizzlies handed the Celtics their fourth consecutive defeat, and after giving his diagnosis of his...

Trail Blazers maintain mastery over Memphis

MEMPHIS -- The Portland Trail Blazers overcame a poor shooting night with a superior defensive effort as they held the Memphis Grizzlies to 28 percent shooting in the second half -- including 23 percent in the final quarter – to win 86-84 Friday for their ninth victory in 12 games It also was the Trail Blazers 14th win over Memphis in the past 18 games. The Trail Blazers (17...

Trail Blazers 86, Grizzlies 84

MEMPHIS -- The Portland Trail Blazers held the Memphis Grizzlies to six points in the final nine minutes to help the Blazers post an 86-84 victory Friday night for their ninth win in 11 games. It also was the Trail Blazers 14th win over Memphis in the past 18 games. The Trail Blazers (17-15) were led by Wesley Matthews, who scored 21 points. J.J. Hickson added 19 and LaMarcus...

Sources: Grizzlies Gauging Teams’ Interest in Trading for Rudy Gay

  The NBA trade deadline is over a month away, but apparently that hasn’t delayed the latest Rudy Gay trade rumor from dropping on the web.  RealGM.com (via ESPN.com’s Grantland) reports that Memphis has engaged in preliminary trade discussions with teams about its starting small forward.  Rudy Gay was also the subject of trade rumors in June.  Gay’s $84 million contract...

Grizzlies F Randolph out with flu-like symptoms

Zach Randolph has been ruled out for the Memphis Grizzlies' game against the Portland Trail Blazers due to flu-like symptoms. Coach Lionel Hollins announced Randolph was ill during his pregame media availability on Friday night. The 6-foot-9 Randolph is averaging 16.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. He leads the NBA in double-doubles with 22 and is second in the league in...

Rudy Gay Being Shopped?

But the Grizzlies are about $4 million over the luxury tax, staring at a very expensive four-man core that, if left intact, could take Memphis over the tax line in this season and the following two. Three straight tax seasons wouldn’t trigger the dreaded repeater tax penalties, but that path would hamstring Memphis’ roster-building flexibility during those three years and could...

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves prediction and preview

Up-and-down road trip The Portland Trail Blazers have been the epitome of confusion throughout their current road trip. Wins against the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies are outstanding for this ball club, but a beat down from the Toronto Raptors shows just how young they actually are. Matchup: Portland (17-15) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (15-14) Venue: Target Center Time: 5:00...

Are you kidding? Amir Johnson gets away with double dribble

Explain this. First of all it’s the NBA and players at that level should know the most basic rules. Secondly, how do three referees miss the call after the player dribbles, stops and picks up, dribbles again and scores. Maybe Amir Johnson of the Toronto Raptors has found an exception to the rule and chose [...]

NBA Trade Rumors: Rudy Gay May Be Traded by Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies are surprisingly competitive this year.  Yet, they are still willing to trade away a big piece of their team it seems.  The Grizzlies may be willing to entertain trade offers on Rudy Gay.  With the trade deadline fast approaching, Memphis is considering putting Gay on the block. According to Zach Lowe of Grantland, the Grizzlies may trade Gay because of...

Zach Randolph Sits in Grizzlies' Loss Against Trail Blazers

The Memphis Grizzlies had to play last night's contest against the Portland Trail Blazers without one of their stars.  Zach Randolph sat out last night with flu-like symptoms.  Without Randolph in the lineup, the Grizzlies couldn't overcome the Blazers.According to an official release from the team, Randolph was ruled out shortly before tip because of the symptoms. "...

GIF: Rajon Rondo gets Tony Allen with the ball fake

Tweet   Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies is one of the NBA’s better defenders. He was a member of the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2011 and First Team last year. Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is one of the more crafty players in the league with the ball in his hands, known [...]

Grizzlies 93, Celtics 83

Mike Conley had 23 points and nine assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 93-83 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night and send Boston to its fourth consecutive loss. Rudy Gay scored 19 points and ex-Celtic Tony Allen had a season-high 15 points for Memphis. Paul Pierce scored 17 for Boston, but he had just one basket in the third quarter and none in the fourth while missing...

Hard-working Grizzlies sink slumping Celtics

BOSTON -- Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins was looking for more energy from his team at TD Garden on Wednesday night. He got it. "It was a very gratifying win because we really got back to playing our brand of basketball," Hollins said after the Grizzlies raised their record to 20-9, the best start in franchise history, with a 93-83 victory over the struggling...

Conley, Grizzlies hold off Celtics

BOSTON (AP) -- Mike Conley had 23 points and nine assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 93-83 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night and send Boston to its fourth consecutive loss. Rudy Gay scored 19 points and ex-Celtic Tony Allen had a season-high 15 points for Memphis. Paul Pierce scored 17 for Boston, but he had just one basket in the third quarter and none in the...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.