Game Analysis

The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the NBA’s youngest teams and they’re also one of the fastest improving. The Grizzlies have won three straight and have surged to within a half game of the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference (trailing San Antonio) as they travel to Detroit to face the Pistons Friday. Two 20-year-olds -- rookie guard Ja Morant and second-year big man Jaren Jackson -- lead the team in scoring and give the Grizzlies a dynamic 1-2 punch. Morant is the leading contender for Rookie of the Year, averaging 17.5 points and 7 assists per game while making 40 percent of his 3-pointers. Jackson is averaging 17.8 points per game and also shoots above 40 percent from three-point range. Expect to see a lot of threes in the game, in fact. The Pistons are the fourth best three-point shooting team in the league, despite dealing with several key injuries. The team is without sharpshooting guard Luke Kennard, star forward Blake Griffin is out indefinitely, and star center Andre Drummond is day-to-day and missed last night’s game after having a tooth knocked out during a game earlier this week. But young players on the team have stepped up, including backup guards Langston Galloway and Svi Mykhailiuk and backup big man Christian Wood, who is sixth in the NBA in dunks despite only playing less than 17 minutes per game. Wood also has 3-point range, so even if Drummond plays, Wood can share the court with him. The Pistons have won three of their last five and are just 2.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons are 17-27-1 against the Grizzlies are 22-21-1.

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