Preview: Grizzlies at Bucks
Injuries are decimating the Memphis Grizzlies and the team will try to fight out of a slump when they visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.
Memphis suffered a 114-108 home loss to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday for its third consecutive defeat and fifth in seven games.
Among the injured Grizzlies are point guard Mike Conley (Achilles), power forward Zach Randolph (knee) and swingman Vince Carter (calf), and the casualties are taking its toll on a team that previously lost center Marc Gasol (foot) for the season.
Shooting guard Tony Allen is the only original starter who was in the lineup against the Timberwolves and Memphis has signed four players to 10-day contracts during the past six days so it can field a viable roster.
The Bucks had a three-game winning streak halted when it was routed 107-89 by the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo continued his superb all-around play with 18 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists to narrowly miss his fifth triple-double in 12 games.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Memphis), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (39-29): One of the recent 10-day signees was point guard Briante Weber and he has played an average of 35.3 minutes during his first four NBA games. Weber was a standout college point guard at Virginia Commonwealth before tearing the ACL, MCL and meniscus cartilage in his right knee during last season and he went undrafted. “I don’t even think there is a word in the dictionary or a phrase in a book that can explain the way I feel just getting the opportunity,” Weber told reporters. “I can’t even tell you how it feels.”
ABOUT THE BUCKS (29-39): Milwaukee had a chance at making it four straight wins before falling apart in the third quarter against the Raptors, being outscored 29-17 while making just 6-of-22 shots. “They beat us. We didn’t play hard,” Antetokounmpo told reporters. “We are supposed to come in the third quarter and play hard so we can win the game because that’s really important for us right now. We just didn’t play hard. That’s it.” Antetokounmpo is averaging 21.9 points, 8.5 assists, 8.4 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.9 blocked shots in March.
1. The Grizzlies posted a 103-83 home victory over the Bucks on Jan. 28 in this season’s first meeting.
2. Milwaukee F Jabari Parker has scored in double digits in 16 straight games, topping 20 points on seven occasions.
3. Memphis SF Lance Stephenson is averaging 25 points and 8.7 rebounds during his last three games.
PREDICTION: Bucks 109, Grizzlies 105