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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Preview

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The Blazers host the Grizzlies in the third game of a six-game home stand.

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (6-4) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (6-4)

Tuesday, November 7th - 7:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Meyers Leonard (out), Al-Farouq Aminu (out)
Grizzlies injuries: JaMychal Green (out), Wayne Seldon (out), Ben McLemore (out), Marc Gasol (probable), Mario Chalmers (probable)
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, NBA League Pass (outside of Portland)
How to stream: YouTube Live TV, Playstation Vue, Hulu Live TV, FuboTV, NBA League Pass (outside of Portland)
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Grizzly Bear Blues

Two days after a thrilling 103-99 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Portland Trail Blazers are back in action against Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis has started the season 6-4, despite losing Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, and Vince Carter—all key cogs in the Grizzlies’ “Grit and Grind” style of play over the last half-decade.

What to Watch

  • Rebounding will be key. While Portland has been dominating opponents on the glass this season, Memphis comes in to tonight’s game ranked No. 23 in rebounding. The Blazers have a real opportunity to control the game via the boards, creating second-chance opportunities and ensuring that the Grizzlies aren’t able to capitalize on the offensive end.
  • The Grizzlies have turned into a 3-point shooting team. Last season the Grizzlies ranked No. 24 in 3-pointers attempted per game. This season, coach David Fizdale has them up to 5th in the NBA, with over 30 attempts a night. While they still play at a slower pace, the days of Memphis trying to win 94-87 are over. Portland will need to defend the arc while still ensuring that Gasol has adequate coverage in the paint. Easier said than done.
  • Will the real Evan Turner please stand up? After a strong opening week, Evan Turner has shot 37 percent from the floor and 15 percent from the 3-point line since. More concerning, Turner has notched a 1:1 assist to turnover rate. If the Blazers are hoping to break out of their second quarter blues, they’ll need Turner to find another gear as he assumes ball-handling duties when Damian Lilard sits near the end of the first quarter.

What they’re saying

Ross Jarrar of Grizzly Bear Blues likes Chandler Parsons’ switch to power forward in limited minutes this season.

+24.8: Chandler Parsons’ net plus-minus per-100 possessions, otherwise known as On-Off per 100. CP has taken the move to backup PF quite well this season. As I stated in last week’s numbers, his shooting has been incredible even if it did take a dip in week 3. Parsons has been a great part of the bench and the Lakers game showed how quickly you can miss him.

Memphis doesn’t have any true 4’s or anyone who could play the 4 for an extended period of time without Parsons there. Jarell Martin starts, but when he came off the bench on Sunday, James Ennis moved up a position and it never quite worked. Parsons has legitimate size and playmaking skills, and he has the skillset to be a 4 in today’s NBA. Tyreke Evans is anchoring the bench, but Parsons still plays a valuable role.

Parker Fleming at Beale Street Bears talks about how Tyreke Evans was the steal of this year’s free agent crop.

The Grizzlies are the best team that Evans has ever played for in his career, which is saying something. He’s playing with two established stars in Marc Gasol and Mike Conley — who both are great passers and successful off the ball. However, playing next to Chandler Parsons could be great for Evans. He and Parsons (when healthy) are both versatile wings that can pass and drive to the basket. At the moment, both of them are shooting great from 3, making them much more difficult to deal with. Over half of Evans’ minutes this season have come with Parsons on the floor, and as a two man combination, they are outscoring opponents by 18.5 points per 100 possessions.

Evans has played the majority of his minutes with the bench unit of Dillon Brooks, Mario Chalmers, Chandler Parsons and Brandan Wright. That unit has outscored their opposition by an average of 18.7 points per 100 possessions. The numbers get even better when Evans shares the floor with Conley and Gasol.

It’ll be interesting to see how much the coaching staff tweaks the rotation, but Evans should be playing crunch time. His ability to make plays and create his own shot isn’t something that the Grizzlies on the wing have had in some time.