Grizzlies vs. Cavaliers Preview: Start Time, TV Schedule, Injury Report

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (32-19, 11-15 street) at Cleveland Cavaliers (31-22, 21-6 home)

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. CT

WHERE: FedEx Forum

HOW TO SEE/LISTEN: TNT/Bally Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis


MEMPHIS: Desmond Bane (doubtful, knee), Danny Green (doubtable, knee), Steven Adams (off, knee), John Konchar (doubtable, concussion log) — SUBJECT TO CHANGE

CLEVELAND: Isaiah Mobley (Off, two-way), Dylan Windler (Off, ankle)


MEMPHIS: Yes Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke

CLEVELAND: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen

The Memphis Grizzlies clinched a win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, which exemplifies the energy and pride we’ve come to expect from this team. Then the losers returned when they lost at home to the Portland Trail Blazers last night. The shooting was once again cold, and the offensive was stagnant and one-dimensional across the range.

Now to another game.

On road.


The Grizzlies and Cavaliers met just a few weeks ago, midway through the Memphis’ 11-game winning streak. It was a thrilling duel that looked like the championship preview that basketball pundits want and TV execs fear.

The Grizzlies need to rekindle their swagger and get out of this mess. How can they defeat the Cavaliers?

signature villain

Dillon Brooks has struggled mightily on offense since the turn of the calendar year – averaging 11.5 points on 35.2% shots from the field and 21.5% from 3. One element that stands out here is that he doesn’t have any unpredictable shots shots forced. He lacks open ones that he usually meets.

One downside that I’m really observing is how those issues have outweighed its defensive impact. Since the Kings game on De’Aaron Fox, he hasn’t really had a signature “bad guy” game, forcing another team’s star player on an evening off. Often his defensive brilliance can outshine any type of fights he has offensively. Since 2023 this is no longer the case.

His final signature villain moment: the game-sealing block on Darius Garland.

Tonight offers him an opportunity to recharge his swagger and get back to what he does best: being a threat to another team’s star player. He can do so on either Garland or Donovan Mitchell, who didn’t play in the last meeting between the two teams. Brooks can bother Mitchell or Garland with his height and physicality, but — as will be evident at their 2021 playoff meet — Mitchell’s speed and fickleness can be difficult for Brooks to navigate.

At one point, Boast and Mojo are forced to turn to their “spiritual guide,” “Head of the Serpent” Dillon Brooks.

Win the bank fight

The Memphis Grizzlies have a chance to win the bank duel. Things get tough with Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio’s offensive skills, but they can capitalize on them defensively.

Starting with the ground general, Tyus Jones has cooled off, averaging 5.8 points on 30.8% shooting over the last 4 games. Fresh from an ACL return, Rubio is a defensive matchup that Jones can target with his 3-level scoring and drive-and-kick attack. His offensive pop off the bench could also help the Grizzlies put together a good night of shooting amid this slump.

As great as Kevin Love is offensively, the Grizzlies have the rocks to attack his patchy defense. Brandon Clarke seems like a likely candidate, coming off the bench (inexplicably) so they could use his rolling skills to get Love through pick-and-roll cycles. Santi Aldama can use his driven and slashing from the perimeter to initiate downhill advantages.

The Grizzlies need an attack spark. It all starts with their best players but they need a lift off the bench from a back to back and at the worst part of the season.

Prediction: It’s a back-to-back, on the road, against a playoff team. I don’t see it tonight Cleveland 108, Grizzlies 100.

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