Phoenix At Memphis
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
The Memphis Grizzlies have been sputtering of late and coach David Fizdale is pondering lineup changes designed to fuel a move upward in the Western Conference standings. The Grizzlies are sixth in the West entering Tuesday's game against the visiting Phoenix Suns and Sunday's win over the Denver Nuggets was only their second in the past five games.
Fizdale sees the opportunity to challenge the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth spot but feels the lineup needs more stability to achieve that. "It's more about fit now and who plays the best together, and what gives my best players the best chance to be great," Fizdale told reporters. "Right now, every game is so critical when you're fighting for home court (in the playoffs). So those are tough decisions coaches have to make, but I'm going to continue to evaluate over the next week or so." Phoenix lost the first two of a three-game road swing and dropped 12 of its last 15 contests. The Suns allowed 100 or more points in 21 of their past 22 games and rank next-to-last in scoring defense at 112.5 points per game.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, FSN Southeast (Memphis)
ABOUT THE SUNS (18-41): Phoenix has the worst record in the Western Conference and didn't play center Tyson Chandler or backup point guard Brandon Knight in either of its first two games after the All-Star break. Suns coach Earl Watson opted to play post player Alan Williams and rookie point guard Tyler Ulis instead in perhaps identifying whether the two youngsters can be rotation players with the club. Williams averaged 16.5 points on 15-of-22 shooting in the two games and contributed a career-best 17 points while matching his career high of 15 rebounds in Sunday's 100-96 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, while Ulis averaged four points and three assists in the two contests.
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (35-25): Twelve players have started at least one game for Memphis this season with the inability of small forward Chandler Parsons (29 starts) to stay healthy being a prime reason. Parsons has been unable to fully recover from a knee injury and averages just 19.4 minutes when he plays while his production has been subpar -- averaging 6.2 points and shooting 34.4 percent from the field and 25.6 percent from 3-point range. "We'll see as we move forward going down the stretch," Fizdale told reporters about the fifth starting position. "My agenda will always stay the same. How do I put the best players and the best team on the floor that I can?"
1. The Grizzlies won 10 of their past 13 home games against the Suns, including a 110-91 victory on Feb. 8.
2. Memphis PG Mike Conley scored 31 points versus Denver to top 30 for the second time in four games.
3. Phoenix SF T.J. Warren averaged 20 points on 19-of-28 shooting over the past two games.
PREDICTION: Grizzlies 101, Suns 94
Stats and Records
Memphis Off vs
100.8 Points For
112.5 Points Against