I'm courtside at FedExForum where the Grizzlies will host the Atlanta Hawks in their last game before the All-Star break. With the Houston Rockets likely an underdog at Miami and with the Blazers and Thunder playing each other (meaning one has to lose), the Grizzlies could pick up some ground in the Western Conference playoff race with a win tonight — and also stabilize themselves after a rough stretch of three straight losses and five losses in their past six games.
I wouldn't be too optimistic, though. The Hawks are a terrific team and present some match-up problems with their frontcourt athleticism and backcourt size. The combat the latter, the Grizzlies should thinking about giving that O.J. Mayo/Sam Young backcourt a look, as the Hawks have a two-guard (Joe Johnson) who can post Mayo but a starting point-guard (Mike Bibby) who isn't much of a threat on penetration. But I don't expect this to happen.
On the latter, hopefully the return tonight of Darrell Arthur, who will play his first game of the season, will add a bit of speed and activity to the Grizzlies' frontcourt, though it's unfair to expect too much of Arthur after not playing in six months.
Check back later for a post-game report and follow along with my occasional Twitter commentary during the game.
Let's do this.
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