The Grizzlies have gotten the better of the Celtics in every game after the shortened 2011-2012 season. The combination of tough defense and the big men duo Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph has overpowered Boston in those five games, and with Jared Sullinger out for the season, it’s hard to see how they will stop Memphis this time.
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The Celtics are home after a bizzaro three-game road trip – losing the game in which they were favored and winning the two games in which they were not. They were without shooting guard Avery Bradley for that trip, but he should be able to return for this game. And that might be a much needed relief after Isaiah Thomas got a bruised back and elbow in Monday night’s game against the Miami Heat. Thomas is a game-time-decision for the Memphis game.
The Memphis Grizzlies have won three of their last four and are coming off a solid 101-91 win over the Bulls thanks to another big night from their talented big man. Marc Gasol made the most of open looks to lead the team with 23 points on 10 of 16 shooting, Jeff Green added 19 points while Zach Randolph had 16 as the Grizzlies improved to 45-18 on the season. To be fair, the Grizzlies did get the Bulls at an opportune time because they were playing their fourth game in five nights and are missing Derrick Rose, but it was still a solid win from a consistent team. With the win, Memphis keeps a two-game cushion from the third-placed Houston who have been in great form themselves.
Head to head, the Grizzlies are 19-8-1 ATS in the last 28 meetings overall and 13-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings in Boston.
Boston has the tools to make this game interesting by going small. Most of their roster is able to shoot the three-ball and stretch the defense, and they have had some success with this against bigger teams this season. It remains to be seen, whether they can rattle the Grizzlies, who are usually elite on defense, no matter what the opponent brings.
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