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Preview 63 of 82: Grizzlies @ Thunder

Preview 63 of 82: Grizzlies @ Thunder

Time: 6:00 PM CST


Game Notes: Thunder / Grizzlies

The Thunder (38-24) are back in action tonight in the frozen tundra of Oklahoma City, taking on Mike Conley and the Memphis Grizzlies (25-39) at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder have lost four straight coming into tonight, including yesterday’s loss in San Antonio on the front end of this back-to-back. Though the Grizzlies have the second-worst record in the Western Conference this season, they beat the Mavericks by 30 last night in Dallas. With OKC expected to again be without Paul George (shoulder), snapping the losing streak could prove more difficult than records may indicate.

Tip-off is at 6:00 PM CST and will be televised on NBA TV and Fox Sports Oklahoma. The Thunder are 10-point home favorites according to Odds Shark.

Injury Report


  • Paul George: Out — Shoulder Soreness
  • Andre Roberson: Out — Knee


  • Kyle Anderson: Out — Shoulder
  • Dillon Brooks: Out — Toe
  • Justin Jackson Jr: Out — Thigh

Probable Starters

Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Terrance Ferguson, Dennis Schroder, Jerami Grant, Steven Adams

Grizzlies: Mike Conley, Avery Bradley, Justin Holiday, Bruno Caboclo, Jonas Valanciunus




Four Factors


What to Watch For

Paul George. Though no final determination has been made on Paul George’s availability against Memphis, ESPN’s Michael Wright reported yesterday that Billy Donovan was leaning toward another absence for the MVP candidate. The Thunder should be able to take care of the Grizzlies without PG, but…you know.

Donovan’s comments via Wright:

I don’t know. I’d say right now that until I hear something otherwise from our medical staff, I would say that he’s probably out tomorrow unless something changes from now until tomorrow. I haven’t been told he’s out. That’s just my guess.
Billy Donovan

The Brodie. Westbrook was ineffective last night in San Antonio, scoring 19 points on 7-of-17 from the field. Despite shooting relatively well, he only took four field goal attempts after halftime and committed seven turnovers on the evening. It should go without saying, but the Thunder can’t beat anyone (even the bad teams) if George is on the sideline and Westbrook fails to pick up the slack. He’ll look to find more success tonight against the Grizzlies.

Paging Dennis Schroder. The slumping Schroder is a monster issue for a Thunder team without its leading scorer, and the backup point guard struggled yet again versus the Spurs. After a 6-of-15 shooting effort last night in San Antonio, Schroder is shooting just 30 percent (20.7% 3P) from the floor in the five games since the end of the All-Star break. If he can’t pick up some scoring slack tonight against the Grizzlies, wacky things could happen.

Stopping the Grizzlies. Mike Conley leads the Grizzlies in scoring at 20 PPG, and he’ll be the focal point of everything they hope to accomplish against the Thunder. Jonas Valanciunas is averaging 18.8 points and 9.7 rebounds in the eight games since being traded to Memphis, so he’ll anchor them down low. Avery Bradley (another new face in Memphis) is scoring 16.3 PPG since being acquired by the Grizzlies at the deadline — hitting 43 percent from long range in the process.