Fresh off Friday night’s 103-94 victory over the Houston Rockets in which Tony Allen and the Memphis Grizzlies held James Harden to 7 points on 3-9 shooting — with nary a single free throw attempt, the Grizz visit the Wolves at Target Center. With a half game separating the 5th seeded Grizzlies from the 4th seeded Los Angeles Clippers, both teams are a middling 5-5 over their last 10 as the Denver Nuggets have leapfrogged them both to take the 3rd seed (although they were dealt a blow with Ty Lawson’s Plantar Fascia tear) — the Grizzlies would do well to take this Timberwolves squad seriously.
Grizzlies probable starting lineup:
PG Mike Conley
SG Tony Allen
SF Tayshaun Prince
PF Zach Randolph
C Marc Gasol
Randolph is only averaging 12 points and 8 rebounds over his last 5 games (mostly due to a 3 point game he suffered against New York last Wednesday), but he had a nice game against Houston, shooting 6-12 from the field, scoring 21 points, hitting 9 of 10 free throws and pulling down 12 rebounds.
Allen is averaging 2 steals over his last 5 and is on a bit of a scoring binge (for him), throwing up 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting against the Knicks and 16 points on 8 of 12 shooting against the Rockets.
Gasol has 10 rebounds in 2 games since missing 2 games with an abdomen injury. He and Z-Bo led Memphis in scoring against Houston with 21 points, Gasol’s on 12 shots — and is one of the few humans alive who can bully Pek.
Wolves probable starting lineup:
PG Ricky Rubio
SG Luke Ridnour
SF Andrei Kirilenko
PF Derrick Williams
C Nikola Pekovic
Conley ate Rubio’s lunch the last time the two faced. Before leaving the blowout with a groin injury, Ricky had 2 points on 1 of 6 shooting while Conley did what he felt and finished with 20 points while you would have had a hard time finding a Memphis player who struggled to do what they wanted against the Wolves in that game.
Rubio is shooting 46% and averaging 14 points, 8 assists and 3 steals over his last 5 games.