Friday night will find Jazz playing off of Beale Street in Memphis. Hopefully the Jazz will be sour and leave town feeling the blues. The Jazz are currently struggling on the road having now lost 5 straight after losing to the Thunder in Oklahoma City Wednesday night. This does give hope to Grizzlies fans that if the Thunder could beat the Jazz, then maybe we can too. Their road record for the season stands at 7-12. Their last road win was December 19 @ Detroit in double overtime.
The Jazz are suffering from injuries this season. They have missed over 100 games due to injury. As a Grizzlies fan, I am not crying over the fact that Carlos Boozer is out and that Paul Milsap is listed as day to day and didn't play Wednesday night. We need wins and I don't care who we are playing, I just want a win. At the end of the season when we discuss their record, we don't discuss who played and who didn't play for the teams we beat.
The 3 keys to the game are as follows:
1. Until the Grizzlies break this trend, this will always be the first key. They must score 20 points in the 1'st quarter, We are winless when we score less than 20 in the first quarter. I don't understand why so many games we come out flat in the first quarter. It seems that there may be a lack of proper preperation so we fall behind and then have to play from behind. If Arthur doesn't start due to injury, I hope that Warrick starts. This might help with this key if we put our 4 top scorers on the court to start the game.
2. Kyle Lowry must play tight defense on Deron Williams. We must contain Deron. He is averaging 15.4 ppg and 9.8 apg. Against the Thunder he scored 25 points. Against the Pacers on the 12'th he scored 23 points with 11 assists. We must contain him and keep him from getting his teammates involved. We need to keep him under 20 points and around 6 assists.
3. Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo must recover from the horrible game against the Cavs. These 2 must score their season averages and get at least 40 points combined. Getting 16 points combined will not win us any games. They also need to hit more 3 point shots. Extend the defense out and open it up for Warrick and Gasol down low.