Miami Heat (5-1) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (4-1)
When the Miami Heat first came together, one of the memorable moments of their failure -- or at least not the immediate success they seemed to claim was possible -- was Rudy Gay sinking the Heat with a baseline jumper at Memphis. Two years later, things are very different for Miami. The Heat are a championship team and seemed locked in for another.
The Grizzlies are a great team with solid point guard play from Mike Conley and great post play from Zach Randolph along with Rudy Gay's all around play. This is a matchup of two great teams -- two of the best in the NBA. That is reason enough to watch.
The other reason would be the Heat's resplendent offensive display so far this season. Miami is averaging 107.5 points per game, posting a 115.5 offensive rating and a league-best 57.5 percent effective field goal percentage. The Heat are an offensive juggernaut. We knew that because of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to the equation. Things just seem so easy for Miami.
The Grizzlies will be a difficult matchup for the Heat because they are a good defensive team and have the burly front line in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph that usually can give the Heat problems. But this team's offense is pretty unstoppable. How will the Grizzlies try and contain them?
Other Storylines to Watch
-The Grizzlies are sitting at one loss and are fulfilling all the expectations everyone had for them entering the season. The big test remains this matchup with the Heat however. The Grizzlies four wins are against Golden State, Utah, Milwaukee and Houston. Only the Bucks are above .500 in that group. Memphis is on a four-game win streak however.
-The Heat should have Dwyane Wade back tonight after he sat out Friday's win over Atlanta with an illness.
Tonight's Other Games
Orlando Magic (2-3) vs. Brooklyn Nets (2-2)
Gerald Wallace should remain out for Brooklyn in this game with a sprained ankle. Hopefully this early part of the seaosn has shown now sprained pride. Wallace admitted that he knew he was brought in to Brooklyn to try and persuade Deron Williams to stay should Dwight Howard not come. Seeing as that did not quite work, the Nets went after Joe Johnson. All is well that ends well as Wallace got a rich new four-year deal.
Atlanta Hawks (2-2) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (4-2)
The Hawks played a tight game with the Heat on Friday before heading out West. As the broadcasters of that game pointed out, Atlanta is learning to live without Joe Johnson, particularly at the end of games. The question for the Hawks as they make this West Coast trip is who steps up and becomes the team's leader. Al Horford and Josh Smith are both incredibly talented, but one likely will become that guy. Or maybe it will be Jeff Teague.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2-4) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (4-2)
How do the Cavaliers respond from losing a 26-point lead against the Suns? That is the question for this young team. Perhaps the Thunder are not the confidence-building team you want to face after that. This could get ugly. The question the Cavaliers have to answer is how they respond. Do they respond to adversity and play harder or do they fold and lick their wounds?
Sacramento Kings (2-4) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (2-4)
The Phil Jackson courtship continues for Los Angeles. The rumor is now that Jackson is seeking a similar arrangement involving Scottie Pippen that he was rumored to want to go coach the Magic -- or that Pippen brought to the Magic and neither party seemed very interested in. Either way, the season moves on and Bernie Bickerstaff remains the interim coach for the Lakers.
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