Apr 11, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) defends against Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) as Gortat loses the control of the ball in the second half at the FedEx Forum. Memphis defeated Phoenix 104-93. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Memphis Grizzlies(14-4) vs. Phoenix Suns(7-15)

Talk about an ironic game huh? The Phoenix Suns suffered an overtime loss to Memphis just a little over a week ago which was their 6th and final game on their 6 game road trip. Had the Suns won that game their losing streak would have ended at 3 but that losing streak has swelled up to 7; the worst losing streak the Suns have faced since 2003-2004.

Coming into tonight’s game the point spread between these two teams are actually even according to ESPN.com. The Memphis Grizzlies are currently injury free however the Suns has Sebastian Telfair, P.J Tucker, and Jermaine O’Neal listed as day-to-day on the injured list. Tucker has missed the last 2 games due to an MCL sprain and the timetable for his return is very much unclear however Tucker participated in Tuesday’s practice(first practice since the injury) but odds are he won’t suit up tonight.

Keys to the game: Suns

– Force this Memphis team to take outside shots. With Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph on the Memphis front-line the last thing the Suns would want is for those two guys to have a field day around the basket.

– Hands up at all times!(Or down). This Memphis team loves to pass the ball especially between Gasol and Randolph with those little bounce passes to a cutter or to each other inside the painted area. Those passes really takes the defense because it creates easy scoring opportunities.

– Put Luis Scola on Zach Randolph. Not to dismiss Markieff Morris’ game but he’s nowhere near talented or experienced enough to guard Randolph. During the last game Randolph had a field day with Morris every time he got matched up against him at the offense end.

Keys to the game: Grizzlies

– Dominate early. This Suns team has lost 7 straight games so their confidence isn’t exactly at an all time high, so if the Grizzlies take a early double digit lead they could just about drain what’s left of the Suns spirit.

– Get Rudy goin! Rudy Gay has not had a very good season and he’s fresh off a 7 of 25 shooting game, Memphis should look to get him involved early and hope he can delivery a big game.

The X-Factor:

– Dialing long distance, as in 3-point shooting. The Suns have not shot the 3 ball well but this may be one of the games they take a few extra more of those because when as a team you’ve lost 7 straight games it gets to a point where you say to yourself “I can make this shot, what do I have to lose?”

Match-up Of The Night:

– Last time these two teams played I looked at Scola vs. Randolph and indeed it was a fun match-up to watch but this time around I wanna give Gortat vs. Gasol a shot. Gortat is probably playing his final few games in Phoenix so a couple of strong outings will help his cause and show other teams out there he’s worth trading for; Gortat in the loss to Mavericks and Clippers put up 9 points and 9 rebounds in 51 combined minutes of play.

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Tags: Marcin Gortat Memphis Grizzlies NBA Phoenix Suns

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