The Memphis Grizzlies travel to Indiana to take on the only undefeated team in the NBA in the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are coming off a huge win against the Brooklyn Nets, who was by far the toughest competition they have faced thus far. The Grizzlies hope to be the team to derail the Pacers’ fast start with their defense.
Last year, both teams were the top defenses in the league. The Grizzlies have struggled so far this year by giving up just under 100 points a game, but the Pacers have gotten even better by giving up 85.3 points per game. Both of these teams match up perfectly on paper, but who do we watch for?
The biggest matchup to keep your eye on is the center battle between last year’s defensive player of the year in Marc Gasol and Roy Hibbert, who has his eyes set on the award this year. Hibbert is only averaging 10.9 points on the offensive end. However, he is averaging nine rebounds per game and a league-leading 4.3 blocks per game, doubling the player behind him. Look for Hibbert to have his best game of the year and show Gasol that he means business.
The other matchup to watch for is between Pacers forward Paul George and Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince. George has had an All-Star start to the year and has made clutch shots at the end of games to keep the Pacers undefeated. Prince is built the same way as George is; both players are good on the defensive end with their tall and lanky stature, and Prince could be a problem for George. If Prince can slow down George, then Memphis has a shot in this game.
Both teams match up evenly across the board, but it will be whichever offense that can muster up the best effort in this defense-heavy matchup that will decide who prevails.
Justin Logan is an Indiana Pacers writer for Rant Sports. Add him on Facebook.