The Memphis Grizzlies face a stern test as they take on the Western Conference leaders Utah Jazz at Vivint Arena next. This will be the first meeting between the two sides this season, as they prepare to face each other thrice in the next four days.
The Memphis Grizzlies are on a roll and have won their last three consecutive games heading into this tie. They beat the OKC Thunder 116-107 in their last outing, thanks to Dillon Brooks' season-high-tying 25-point game.
The Utah Jazz, meanwhile, are on a three-game winning run as well and beat the short-handed Brooklyn Nets 118-88 in their previous outing. Donovan Mitchell was the top performer of the night as he finished the match with 27 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Utah Jazz - Prediction
The Memphis Grizzlies have found their groove at a crucial time as the race to the playoffs heats up from here on. They are ranked ninth in the West with a 21-20 season record.
That said, the Memphis Grizzlies have struggled against top teams recently. They will need to produce a season-best performance if they are to have a chance of toppling the Utah Jazz, who have the best record in the league in this campaign.
After enduring a tough couple of weeks from the start of March, the Utah Jazz seem to have rediscovered their mojo of late. They still have the best record in the league at 32-11 and are untouchable at the top of the West standings, with the Phoenix Suns now three games behind after their recent loss. The Jazz have the best home record this season at 17-2 and will look to gain from their home-court advantage against the unpredictable Memphis Grizzlies.
The Utah Jazz could prove too strong for the young Memphis Grizzlies team to beat as Donovan Mitchell and Co. have been a much better side throughout the season. Even though the Grizzlies beat the likes of OKC Thunder, the Celtics, and the Warriors in their three-game winning run, they are no match for the dominant Utah. However, the Grizzlies are still a gritty side and will likely put in everything they can to upset the Utah Jazz in this difficult away fixture.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Utah Jazz - Combined 5
Point Guard - Ja Morant | Shooting Guard - Donovan Mitchell | Small Forward - Bojan Bogdanovic | Power Forward - Dillon Brooks | Center - Rudy Gobert
Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies gets the nod ahead of Mike Conley in our combined five for this matchup. Both players have been in decent form, but Morant has been a tad bit better than Conley and also has better season averages than him. The 2020 Rookie of the Year award recipient is scoring 19.1 points and providing 7.5 assists, compared to Conley's 17.2 points and 5.4 assists per game. Besides, he is also more influential in his team's performances.
Donovan Mitchell has been picked as his partner due to his career-high season so far. He has managed to score 25.4 points, provide 5.5 assists and claim 4.6 rebounds per game in this campaign. Mitchell has also been a key component of the Utah Jazz's successful run so far.
Bogdanovic is averaging 15 points per game this season, with Brooks edging him out by a marginal difference, scoring 16 points per game so far. The two players have been key to their respective teams' offensive play and are excellent at stretching the floor due to the shooting threat they possess.
The center position was a tough choice to make between Rudy Gobert and Jonas Valanciunas. But the former's ability to be highly effective on both ends of the floor gets him the nod ahead of his counterpart for the matchup.
Valanciunas (15.9 points per game) has been leading Gobert (14.4 points per game) in scoring averages by a mere difference of 1.9 points. But the latter is way better in terms of rebounding and blocking this season. Gobert is averaging 13.4 rebounds and three blocks compared to Valanciunas' 12.4 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game.