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Pregame: Grizzlies (40-19) at Cavs (21-40)

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 8, 2013
Grizzlies Gasol
The Memphis Grizzlies have won 10 of their last 11 and are one of the league's best defensive teams entering tonight's game at the Q. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)


Time: 7:30 p.m.; Place: The Q; TV/Radio: ESPN, FS Ohio/WTAM, WLEC, WAKR

Injury report: Cavs: Kyrie Irving (flu) doubtful; Anderson Varejao (knee, lung) out, Dion Waiters (flu) probable, Daniel Gibson (flu) probable, Omri Casspi (appendectomy) out. Grizzlies: Darrell Arthur (neck) out; Zach Randolph (ankle) questionable

Officials: Rodney Motte, Eric Lewis, Olandis Poole

Series: Grizzlies lead 1-0

Cavs probables

Name Ht, Wt Pts Rebs Asts
PG Shaun Livingston 6-7, 175 5.1 2.2 3.0
SG Dion Waiters 6-4, 221 14.8 2.4 3.2
SF Alonzo Gee 6-6, 219 10.3 3.8 1.8
PF Tristan Thompson 6-9, 227 11.4 9.3 1.3
C Tyler Zeller 7-0, 250 8.0 5.9 1.3



Grizzlies probables

Name Ht, Wt Pts Rebs Asts
PG Mike Conley 6-1, 185 13.4 2.5 5.9
SG Tony Allen 6-4, 213 8.9 4.5 1.1
SF Tayshaun Prince 6-9, 215 11.0 4.4 2.5
PF Ed Davis 6-10, 225 8.5 5.7 1.0
C  Marc Gasol 7-1, 265 14.1 7.9 3.9


* Kyrie Irving missed shootaround this morning and is doubtful tonight because of the same flu-like symptoms ripping through the rest of the team. Irving was expected to be re-evaluated this afternoon, but given the timeline of the guys who were ill previously, he's probably going to be knocked out for a couple of days. 

* As for the confusion surrounding the severity of Irving's knee injury, Scott said he spoke to trainer Max Benton this morning and now believes Irving's knee is fine and a non-issue. Asked why Irving seemed to make it an issue after the game on Wednesday, Scott said "you'll have to ask him that."

* Dion Waiters and Daniel Gibson both participated in shootaround and both will be available tonight. Waiters is the primary backup point guard when Irving is out, but with Waiters just coming back from an illness, coach Byron Scott isn't sure if his legs will hold up under heavy minutes. Scott said Wayne Ellington is the emergency point guard, not Daniel Gibson. 

* Grizzlies star Zach Randolph will be a game-time decision with a sprained ankle. He has missed the last couple of games and did not participate in the Grizzlies' shootaround this morning, according to Memphis reports. Reserve Darrell Arthur is dealing with neck and back problems and is not with the team. 

* The Grizzlies look much different than they did when the Cavs played them in November. Rudy Gay is gone and Wayne Ellington and Mo Speights are now on the Cavs. Byron Scott said the Grizzlies are a little less explosive offensively, but they're an even better defensive team with Tayshaun Prince now on board and the numbers back it up. 

* The Grizzlies are 11-3 since they replaced Gay with Prince and they're allowing 88.1 points per game -- the lowest mark in the league since Feb. 1 (Prince's first game). Conversely, the Cavs are regressing defensively. They're last in the league in defensive field-goal percentage, allowing teams to shoot better than 47 percent. Since Feb. 1, that figure is 49 percent. The Cavs are simply trying to outscore teams right now.

* Scott said today the Grizzlies aren't necessarily great individual defenders, but they're tremendous team defenders. That's part of the reason he has been pleased with the play of Ellington since the trade. He likes the fact Ellington came from a system that emphasizes defense. 

* Scott isn't worried about Ellington's demeanor against his old team tonight. Ellington is typically pretty even-keeled and Scott doesn't expect tonight to be any different, even though he said most guys struggle the first time they play against an old team. 

* "Wayne, I think he'll be fine. Mo? I don't have a clue," Scott said. "Mo's a different story. It could be one of those 18 and 12 boards, or it could be a 7 and 3 night. It could be interesting."

* Scott joked Speights arrived at the facility earlier than he's ever been there this morning and was doing some strange stretches in anticipation. Speights said the other day he would be excited to face his old team, but said this morning it hadn't really kicked in yet. 

" But Speights indicated he wasn't very happy with the front office's decision to slash payroll and tear the team apart in the middle of the season. "It wasn't the team, it was all the front office. It was a money move," Speights said. "That's why I still have love for the Grizzlies fans and the Grizzlies organization. It was the front office, so you can't fault the whole team for that, the coaches, none of that."




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