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Utah Jazz: Memphis frontline creates problems for Jazz

Published March 16, 2013 2:18 pm

Utah Jazz • Memphis is 2-0 against the Jazz this season.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Few teams have the front-court depth to match the Jazz. Not even the Memphis Grizzlies, who come into Saturday's game at EnergySolutions Arena winners of 14 of their last 16 games.

"I don't think it's the same as ours," Paul Millsap said. "They've got three guys maybe. We've got four, actually five with Jeremy [Evans]. It just doesn't compare really."

But what the Grizzlies do have is a winning combination that has made them one of the most feared teams in the Western Conference. Zach Randolph averages a double-double, while Marc Gasol widely is considered the best passing big man in the game. He is second among centers with 3.9 assists per game.

"He's a guy that get the ball and looks to pass before he look to score," Al Jefferson said. "Playing with them type of guys makes everybody's job easy."

Except the defense, of course.

The Jazz have lost twice to the Grizzlies and have been unable to contain Gasol and Randolph in both games. Gasol led the Grizzlies with 22 points, while Randolph added 16 points and 18 rebounds Nov. 5 in Memphis. Randolph finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds Dec. 15.

"We know they're going to bang boards," Millsap said. "They're good passers. They play within each other. They play team basketball."

The Jazz will play their first game against Memphis since the Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay to Toronto before February's deadline.

"Anytime you have a trade like that happen, I think teams are going to play a little bit differently," Gordon Hayward said. "But it seems like they've done a nice job just incorporating the guys they've got, and they haven't stopped. They've been rolling."


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