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Pregame Peek: Thunder vs. Grizzlies

Pregame Peek: Thunder vs. Grizzlies

Thunder (6-4, 2-2 road) vs. Grizzlies (5-6, 2-2 home), 7PM CST at FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN

 

TV:

Fox Sports Oklahoma

Cox channel 37 (SD) and 722 (HD) in Oklahoma City; channel 27 (SD) and 722(HD) in Tulsa

DirecTV channel 767-5

Dish channel 416

AT&T U-Verse channel 753

 

Offensive Rating*: Thunder 109.4 (2nd), Grizzlies 99.5 (28th)

Defensive Rating*: Thunder 103.1 (14th), Grizzlies 107.8 (24th)

Simple Rating System**: Thunder 6.10 (5th), Grizzlies -6.01 (25th)

* an estimate of points scored or allowed per 100 possessions

** team rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule. Zero is league average.

The Thunder hopes to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Boston by flying over the state of Arkansas to take on the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are also playing on the second night of a back-to-back, having knocked off the Timberwolves 114-106 last night.

There’s not much about the Grizzlies that we don’t intimately know already. The core has been together for at least six seasons, but there are signs that the rest of the league is leaving the ol’ Grit-n-Grind behind. Their 99.5 Offensive Rating is down nearly 6 points from last season and would be the franchise’s lowest rating since their first season in Memphis in 2001. Their defensive rating of 107.8 is five points worse than last season.

Non-Obvious Player to Watch, Memphis: have you heard the one about Matt Barnes and Serge Ibaka not liking each other? Given his terrible play so far this season, the only thing Barnes can probably contribute is to instigate brouhaha.

Non-Obvious Player to Watch, OKC: I’ve thought it would be Enes Kanter the past two games, but that’s because I thought surely he’d log more than 19 minutes in both games. So let’s shift focus to Anthony Morrow, who seems due to snap out of a season-long slump at some point. The Grizzlies are allowing opponents to shoot a league-worst 39.5% from deep this season. Perhaps the planets and stars will align.

Random Fun Thing: The Grizzlies will look radically different tonight. Because throwback jerseys are all the rage, the Grizzlies will look like the old Memphis Sounds of the ABA. And if you’ve never heard of the Memphis Sounds before it’s because the franchise lasted for exactly one season, in 1974-75, and went 27-57.

Pregame coverage: the normal pregame crew of David Garrett, John Rohde, and Desmond Mason is reunited tonight.

 Postgame coverage: Because we had some much fun last night, Jerry Ramsey and I have postgame duty again tonight immediately following the game.

 

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