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Danny

HEAT at Grizzlies Official Game Thread and Preview

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(Photo Credit: Joe Murphy)

The Miami HEAT continue their six-game road trip in Memphis, where they'll take on Rudy Gay and the Memphis Grizzlies. The HEAT started the road trip with a 95-89 victory over the Atlanta Hawks without Dwyane Wade. With the win the HEAT improved to 5-1. The Grizzlies are 4-1, with a 2-0 home record.

1. Another "test" for Miami's frontline tonight in the form of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. How does this matchup play out?

Couper Moorhead: The HEAT have already had a little trouble with guys like Kenneth Faried and Kris Humphries -- excellent per-minute offensive rebounders -- and Zach Randolph gives them, and specifically Shane Battier, another test on that end. The way things likely play out during the regular season is that the HEAT give up offensive rebounds early on to guys like Randolph and continue on with their usual lineups, simply because it's a tradeoff they are willing to make.

It's always possible that those second-chance possessions could cost Miami a game here or there -- and Randolph is such a good offensive rebounder that it could theoretically happen tonight -- but in the big picture, it shouldn't matter all that much.

Danny Martinez: Against the Hawks on Friday, the HEAT frontline held it’s own against an Atlanta frontcourt that presents athletic challenges. Memphis’ duo of Randolph and Gasol is different. Neither are high flyers like Josh Smith, but both are tenacious on the glass.

For the HEAT frontline to have a successful night they’ll need to limit the Grizzlies’ offensive rebounds. It doesn’t have to be Chris Bosh or Shane Battier grabbing the rebound, they just need to make sure Gasol and Randolph don’t have clear paths to the ball. Offensively, the HEAT should be fine.

2. What do the Grizzlies have to do to win?

Couper: The aforementioned offensive rebounds are a must, but with as much talent as the Grizzlies have, they don't always work together in a way that maximizes that talent -- similar to the early 2010 iteration of the HEAT. If the Grizzlies are moving with and without the ball and piling up the assists at a reasonable rate, this will be close until the final minutes. But the more the HEAT are defending slower, half-court possessions featuring a ton of dribbling, the easier that defense is going to be.

Danny: The Grizzlies need to do what they do, and that’s dominate on the boards and force turnovers. No team last season force turnovers at a higher rate than the Grizzlies. The HEAT at times struggle maintaining possession. A year ago, Memphis had the fourth best transition offense and 25th best halfcourt offense according to Synergy Sports. For Memphis to win, they need to create easy baskets for themselves, and those will be found in transition off of steals.

3. If either Wade or LeBron can't play, who needs to step up in the context of this game?

Couper: Even though Miami can slot in plenty of shooters in the absence of LeBron or Wade, none of those shooters draws as much defensive attention in all aspects of the game -- they might space the floor in a vacuum, but defenses aren't going to seek them out in transition or be as wary of them off the ball. That means Mario Chalmers has to consistently manipulate the defense to create shots for others, the ball can't stick with anyone and there's a much smaller margin for error on the typically volatile perimeter shooting percentages.

Danny: When Wade and James are out, the offense will rely on Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen to create opportunities for others. The HEAT offense functions best when the ball is finding open shooters, attacking in quick pick-and-roll situations and in early post actions. Most often, it’s Wade and James doing the heavy lifting in that regard.

Chalmers has shown this season that he’s capable of creating off the dribble and finding big men as they roll to the basket. Allen hasn’t had to do it as much, but he’s made plays this season and throughout his career that indicate he can handle the role.

4. On road trips, with a back to back in play, are you concerned at all about minutes being logged?

Couper: Not particularly, at least this early in the year, which is why the team is likely on the fortunate side to be getting a trip of this length out of the way already.

Danny: Yes, but that’s because I’m always concerned with minutes played. But really, after this road trip, the HEAT schedule lightens up a bit. Should the HEAT need a few extra minutes from their starters, they’d probably be OK. The HEAT are operating with long-term goals in mind and the coaching staff would never do anything to jeopardize any players. And who knows, a few extra wins in November may mean a few extra maintenance days at the end of the season.

5. Ray Allen has been doing a lot of playmaking with the ball so far. Will this continue?

Couper: He's running more pick-and-rolls than I ever expected him to with Miami, but admittedly much of what I expected was based off his role in a Boston offense that was more often than not bogged down in the half-court without much spacing to speak off. There is a bit of concern about his ankles over the course of the season, but with the freedom Erik Spoelstra has given his players to read and react in this offense, in addition to the success Allen's playmaking has created thus far, means things won't and shouldn't be changing anytime soon.

Danny: It might have to. Any time the HEAT lose a primary ballhandler, Allen will see a significant uptick in his on-ball responsibilities. As I said earlier, if Wade and/or James are out, Allen will be one of the players who has to step up. He’s shown playmaking skills running the pick-and-roll and has found shooters open in the corner a few times this season. If he can continue to do that in spot duty, the HEAT will be happy.

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Battier and Bosh are going to have to step up if they're going to keep the rebound margin respectable.

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Gonna be a dogfight on the inside.MIAMI will have to be extra sharp from the perimeter in order to take pressure from the interior,allowing the bigs to operate.A win against the Grizzs will be hard fought one,can't wait...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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get ready to be raped on the boards

Pretty much. It's a trade off that we will have to live with though. Overall, the only way Memphis beats us are if we turn the ball over a lot. On the boards, we are going to lose pretty badly, and expect a number of offensive rebounds from them, but our offense should be able to really outscore Memphis by quite a bit.

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Looks like the Memphis Grizzlies arrived about twelve years too early in Vancouver. A team would probably do alright there these days with the changing demographics.

If Miller plays will he out rebound Bosh again? Looking for allot of secondary assistance tonight. Boxing guys out so OTHERS can pick up an R. Secondary assistance. Making that long breakout pass for a tick tack toe play. SECONDARY ASSISTANCE. And shooting above 53% please! Can't win without shooting! Honestly, looking for James to step it up tonight, and I'd like to see some efficiency out of Rashard, with his limitied minutes. Who knows what coach SPO has lined up for us tonight on the rotation. Diddo on Pitt and Joel (avatar)

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This game has a lost written all over it. Memphis is gonna expose our small team, and the fact that we're number 26 in rebounding. Unless the Heat and SPO try something different or REBOUND.....Miami is gonna lose this game.

I would be shocked in the Heat won this game.

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UD should be getting some significant minutes in this one, Harrelson could also perhaps bang a little bit with Gasol in the paint.

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This game has a lost written all over it. Memphis is gonna expose our small team, and the fact that we're number 26 in rebounding. Unless the Heat and SPO try something different or REBOUND.....Miami is gonna lose this game.

I would be shocked in the Heat won this game.

How about posting that look of shock on your face after the game...TEAM HEAT since '88!
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I doubt UD can make a difference, he is too small. Heat need someone behind Bosh who can protect the basket from second chance tip in baskets. Heat are allowing wayy too much put backs. Primary defender holds his man(ie Bosh), but no Heat players around to box the second opponent bigs, thus giving up second point shots to other teams.

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This game has a lost written all over it. Memphis is gonna expose our small team, and the fact that we're number 26 in rebounding. Unless the Heat and SPO try something different or REBOUND.....Miami is gonna lose this game.

I would be shocked in the Heat won this game.

It isn't that bad. As long as we don't give them many easy buckets we should outscore them and our overall team defense is still better than theirs. The only advantage they have on us is rebounding, and without us beating ourselves with turnovers and poor execution that shouldn't be enough to grant Memphis a win.

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How about posting that look of shock on your face after the game...TEAM HEAT since '88!

I'd like nothing more than to be wrong. Just being objective that's all. Don't get mad at me.

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Best fundamentally Offensive Rebounder Zach Randolph , our small lineup will get destroyed and even Haslem aint going to do much

They still have Marc Gasol as their another monster rebounder,

one tough road game indeed

I Just hope Hamed Haddadi will play and showcase his skills so you guys will turn to believers on this big guy

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Rebounding is all due to pace, too early to tell in the season how bad/good we are in the rebounding department compared to the rest of the league.

We're playing fantastic basketball, I'm thinking win. Rudy can go cold as hell on offense if bothered appropriately. Bosh can equal out Z-Bo on offense, Lebron will play better than Rudy overall. Our bench has been ridiculously helpful this season. I'm really thinking Heat win, but we'll see how it plays out. Still gotta face them again.

And I agree with Couper, thank goodness we're getting this road trip out of the way early. If we win these games with heavy logged minutes we can rest our guys during home game blow outs/big leads.

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