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Thunder vs Grizzlies, preview and gamethread: OKC looks to move forward as Memphis moves on

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The Thunder face a team in transition, but it’s still a game they need to compete in.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Game: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Time: 7pm CST

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

Broadcast: FSOK, FSSE-MEM

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC & 930AM (ESP)

Counterpart: Grizzly Bear Blues

***

The Thunder are back in the saddle after their winning streak hit a speedbump against the Celtics last Sunday. After a win against the Orlando Magic last Tuesday, the Thunder are 8-2 over their last 10 games.

After starting the season with the best defense in the NBA, the Thunder have been put through a grinder in their recent games. Fortunately, the Thunder’s offense has compensated for this, guiding the team to a successful stretch. The Thunder will look to match their recent elite offense with their previous elite defense as they charge into the toughest stretch of games they’ve had all season. Securing a win versus the Grizzlies tonight would be a good first step.

The Grizzlies find themselves squeezing the last ounce of Grit and Grind out of their system, as veteran big man and franchise cornerstone Marc Gasol has been traded to the Raptors:

Trade rumors surrounded Mike Conley, too, but he is remaining with the team, in part to help mentor and guide a period of full-on rebuilding, centering around promising rookie Jaren Jackson Jr.

The last time these two teams played, the Thunder beat the Grizz 137-123. The Grizz offense is last in the league, scoring just 100.4 points per game, and taking Gasol out of the lineup won’t help. Conversely, the Thunder have not held an opponent to under 100 points since January 6th.

The Thunder were quiet at the trade deadline, making no moves to shore up their weaknesses at the wing and front line. Alex Abrines, again marked as out tonight for personal reasons, remains with the team, though his status is still a mystery.

The big thing for OKC will be to maintain focus, even as the Grizz deal with the emotion of not having Marc Gasol on their sideline for the first time since 2008, as now his Grizzly watch is ended.

Poll

Who do you think will win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    Thunder
    (111 votes)
  • 2%
    Grizzles
    (3 votes)
114 votes total Vote Now