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Nets visit the Grizzlies

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Back-to-back, except not in the good way. The Brooklyn Nets were on the second leg of a b2b Saturday night in Portland. They fought like they usually do and lost like they usually do, this time by 14 to the Trailblazers. Only a few more games to go before they return home.

Waiting for the Nets will be the Memphis Grizzlies. They've continued to play tough under new head coach David Fitzdale and have an outside shot of getting the fourth seed and homecourt advantage in the first round. They've been in a mini slump as they're on a two game losing streak after losing to the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 8.

Injuries

Joe Harris is out. Everyone else is healthy. The Nets remain at 14 roster spots. No word on when —or if— they will fill the 15th spot.

Brandan Wright has been out due to a personal issue and his availability for this game is unknown.

The game

Memphis won the first game in February.

It hasn't been going well for Chandler Parsons. Their big free agent acquisition has struggled as he's working his way back from knee surgery. He's at career lows in virtually every statistical category and doesn't appear to be getting better. From McCarty Maxwell of Grizzly Bear Blues:

I am not questioning his work ethic or his desire to get better. I think more than anyone in Memphis, Chandler Parsons wants to play better for this team. He just can’t find the rhythm in each game.

Memphis is in with Parsons for the long haul so they’re going to have to be patient with him as he works his way back to the form we expect from him.

Zach Randolph is coming off the bench for the first time since the Jailblazers days, and has been fantastic in his role. Z-Bo is averaging 14 points and eight rebounds on 46 percent from the field in 24.5 minutes a night. Having Z-Bo off the bench helps solidify Memphis’ second unit and ensures that the team has a reliable scorer on the court at all time. Trevor Booker will come off the bench and be responsible for keeping Z-Bo off the boards. Book will be with the second unit for the foreseeable future now that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is starting at power forward. Memphis is ninth in rebounding, so Brooklyn is going to need a great game out of Booker.

The Nets have been having trouble guarding point guards and will have to match up with one of the best PGs in the league. Mike Conley has been having the best season of his career and is at career highs in field goal percentage and three point percentage. He makes great use of pick and rolls and is a good spot up shooter as well. Jeremy Lin is still on a minutes restriction and it’s tough to develop a rhythm when: you’re just returning from injury, playing short stretches, and having to match up against elite players.

Player to watch: Marc Gasol

Big Spain continues to be the focal point of Memphis' strategy. He's been able to add the three into his arsenal and when you add that to his post play and passing skills, it'll add some more years to his career. Having a center who can do all of those things along with playing great defense is incredibly important and will help Memphis remain a playoff contender for the foreseeable future.

This is the start of a busy week for Brook Lopez. He'll be matched up with Gasol, Dwight Howard, and Nerlens Noel to close out the road trip. The strategy as usual should be to get Lopez involved early and if he's able to win his matchup, the Nets will have a great chance of stealing a victory.

From the Vault

Vince went to work against Mike Fratello's Grizzlies and set the (then) franchise record for threes made in a single game along the way.

More reading: Grizzly Bear Blues