Cavaliers vs. Grizzlies: Lineups, Preview, Odds, Prediction
The Cavaliers host Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies for the lone time this season on Friday. Here are some quick notes:
TIPOFF: 7 p.m.
ARENA: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
TV/RADIO: FOX Sports Ohio; WTAM 1100-AM, Cavs Radio Network.
RECORDS: Cavaliers 7-21; Grizzlies 10-18
PROBABLE STARTERS: Cavs - Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, Cedi Osman, Darius Garland, Collin Sexton. Grizzlies - Jonas Valanciunas, Jaren Jackson Jr, Jae Crowder, Dillon Brooks, Ja Morant.
NOTES: This is the Cavaliers' first look at No. 2 overall pick and Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant. ... He is fast, dynamic and can make defenders look stupid. ... I am guessing Collin Sexton starts off trying to defend him. ... Along with that, center Jonas Valanciunas is having an All-Star type of season. ... The Grizzlies lead the league in points in the paint. The Cavs are next-to-last (29th) in defending the paint. ... Both Cavs' John Beilein and Grizzlies' Taylor Jenkins are in their first season as NBA head coaches. ... Beilein is 66 years old; Taylor is 35. ... Old friend Jae Crowder is doing a nice job as the Grizzlies' utility man. ... Four of the five Grizzlies starters have first names that start with the letter J. That may not be an NBA first, but I bet it's up there.
KEY INJURIES: Cavs - Nothing new to report. Grizzlies - Grayson Allen (ankle) questionable.
ODDS: Cavaliers are 2-point underdogs. The over/under is 222 points.
PREDICTION: This is considered part of the "softer" portion of the schedule. The Cavs started it by beating Charlotte on Wednesday. For the first time this season, I'm picking them to win two in a row. Pick: Cavs 103, Grizzlies 97. My record is 22-6 this season. I am playoff-bound.