Grizziles at Wolves
2:30 pm CST
Good afternoon. A day game for the Wolves today as they face the Grizzlies in the midst of an NFL Sunday. My guess is there will be a sparse crowd and a minimal television audience, which might be all the better. We'll see.
The Grizzlies come in at 4-6, with a win against Portland Friday breaking a four game losing streak. It's been a disappointing start for the Grizz, who not only have one of the league's worst offenses so far, but their vaunted defense is also struggling to 21st in the league.
Their shooting, never a strength, has completely collapsed this season. They are last in the league in efg% and are shooting 27% from beyond the arc. It's a team wide slump, as only three of the eight players who have appeared in all of their games are even over 40% from the field, and that includes Marc Gasol who is struggling at 44%.
The one advantage they have established so far this season is turnover differential, as they are 5th in the league in TO% on offense, and third best at forcing opponent turnovers. It will be vital for the Wolves to hold their own in turnovers this afternoon if they want a win, which might be difficult if Ricky Rubio is no available.
The Grizzlies recently made a trade with the Heat and acquired Mario Chalmers, who stepped in and played 20 effective minutes in their win over the Blazers.
At some point even a poor shooting team like this is going to regress toward the mean. Hopefully that doesn't start happening today.
The Wolves are of course on a three game losing streak that has dropped their record to 4-5. Obviously the missing Ricky Rubio has been a big part of the problem, and he was listed as questionable for today's game as of yesterday. Frankly I'm doubtful he'll play. It's become clear how much the Wolves rely on him at both ends of the court, but in particular their defense has fallen apart in his absence.
Meanwhile, it's the first regular season opportunity for Karl-Anthony Towns to match up with Marc Gasol, someone to whom he has been compared, and Andrew Wiggins will likely get to try his hand against defensive terror Tony Allen.
It could be fun.
A win would get the Wolves back to .500 before they head to Florida for a two game road trip.
Our blogging buddies are over at Grizzly Bear Blues. Be excellent.
No no no.
Enjoy. Chat. Go.