11/2 Utah vs. Memphis
7:00 pm MT – AT&T SportsNet/League Pass
Opponent record: 3-2
Season series: Grizzlies lead 1-0
The Memphis Grizzlies may have been one of the worst teams in the league last year, but especially now with both Mike Conley and Marc Gasol in action, they are simply a team that can never be overlooked. Their slow-it-down, grind-it-out style can still get the best of any team caught unprepared and unaware.
That’s exactly what Utah found out a week ago when they dropped an ultimate dud against Memphis, losing by a score of 92-84 in what was a ghastly offensive performance for both teams, but especially the Jazz. Memphis’ defense deserves some of the credit for Utah’s woes, but by and large it was just a poor shooting night for Utah.
They’ll need to play much smarter this time around, and do everything in their power to maintain an upbeat tempo to avoid falling into the slog of a game that the Grizzlies hope to create. The Jazz held both Grizzlies stars to rough shooting nights, but simply couldn’t find the offense themselves to compete.
Memphis rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. and former Jazzman Shelvin Mack were also both forces in the contest that Utah will need to be better prepared for. It’s pretty ironic that both Jazz losses thus far on the season have come largely at the hands of former teammates – Jonas Jerebko in the loss against Golden State and Shelvin Mack, who had 12 points on 57.1 percent shooting, in last week’s loss to the Grizz.
The fact of the matter is that in a long and grueling 82-game season, each and every team is going to lay an egg every once in a while. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Jazz did in the prior contest against this team. In fairness, I think Memphis is better than a lot of people are giving them credit for, and certainly better than they were last year now that they’re healthier. Nevertheless, this is still a game the Jazz should get, and I believe that they will.
They ought to have a chip on their shoulders and aim to vindicate themselves in this game against the team that forced them into their worst performance of the season just a week ago.
My Prediction: Jazz Win
Final Score: Utah 97, Memphis 88