Sunday, November 9, 2008
Game 6: Grizzlies @ Nuggets
(Boulder-CO) If Saturday's game was the second marriage between Chauncey Billups and the Nuggets then tonight is the second honeymoon. The Memphis Grizzlies pay the Nuggets a visit tonight, but shouldn't be taken lightly. Memphis is a stout 3-3 overall and has two quality wins over Golden State and a surprising victory over the Orlando Magic.
The Grizzlies are a very young athletic team. Rookie O.J. Mayo has surprised many with how early and easily he has made the transition from starring at USC last year to making a solid contribution this year for the Grizzlies. Mayo is playing nearly 40 minutes per game and averaging 17.3 points which ranks him the league's second-highest scoring rookie behind Chicago's Derrick Rose's 17.7 ppg. The Grizzlies may have also struck it big with rookie Marc Gasol. The younger brother of Pau, Marc has taken no time in emerging as a solid addition for this year's Memphis team. He is currently leading the team in rebounding at a nightly clip of 8.8 rebounds while also averaging 10.8 points per game through his first six NBA games.
Then you have the scary athleticism of Rudy Gay. The 6'8" third-year player is picking right up where he left off last season as the leader of the Grizzlies. Gay is averaging a team-high 20.7 points with many of those scores coming by way of spectacular fashion. His combination of speed, finesse, and size make him an entertaining player to watch and a headache for the opposition.
As for how the Nuggets can defeat the Grizzlies it's actually pretty simple. Score. The Grizzlies come into tonight's game struggling to put points on the scoreboard and are averaging under 90 points per game. In two of their three wins, Memphis has scored 90 or fewer points and of their six games total have only scored more than 90 points twice. This means two things: The obvious being if the Nuggets can run a controlled fast break and get good looks at the basket in the halfcourt set they should have no problem tonight. The less obvious storyline in tonight's game will be the Denver defense. As outlined, the Grizzlies don't score a whole lot of points so tonight's game should be a litmus test for where the Nuggets are defensively.
Time to get us a Grizzly!