Key #3 – Watch the turnovers
I most certainly sound like a broken record now, but the fact remains. If Utah not only hopes to defeat Memphis, but also become a formidable team this year, then they’ll have to cut down on the turnovers. That’s true every night, but especially against a Grizzlies team that thrives off of opponent miscues.
The last time these two teams met, Utah committed 15 turnovers to Memphis’ 10. That discrepancy isn’t overwhelming, but the difference in that area between these two teams over the season most certainly is. The Grizzlies are currently third in the league in turnovers per game at a mere 13.7. The Jazz, meanwhile, are coughing it up 16.1 times per game, good for 24th in the league.
In other words, while the Grizzlies excel at taking care of the ball, the Jazz have looked nothing short of careless on offense.
But the discouraging discrepancies don’t stop there. Memphis is also second in the league in opponent turnovers, forcing their foes into a whopping 18.3 per contest. The Jazz, on the other hand, come in at 24th, causing just 14 turnovers per game.
Last of all, Memphis is sixth in points off turnovers at 20 per game and seventh in opponent points off turnovers per game at 14.7 whereas the Jazz are 19th in points off turnovers (15.4) and 24th in opponent points off turnovers (18.7).
The Readers’ Digest version of all that? The Memphis Grizzlies are really good at limiting turnovers while forcing their opponents into turnovers that they then capitalize on by scoring easy points. Meanwhile, the Jazz are just the opposite, turning it over at will, and rarely forcing or capitalizing on opponent miscues.
The Jazz are guilty of turning the ball over excessively, and especially against a suffocating Memphis team that relies on opponent mistakes in order to score, that’s something that simply cannot happen. Utah needs to take better care of the ball this time around against the Grizzlies if they hope to avoid falling into an 0-2 regular season series mark and drop back to a mediocre .500 on the year.