Jan 21, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) passes while defended by Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) at the FedEx Forum. Indiana defeated Memphis 82-81. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana vs Memphis: NBA Finals Preview?


 

In SCIC’s Game of the Week, the Indiana Pacers (7-0) look to stay perfect against the gritty Memphis Grizzlies (3-3) later tonight. There are always plenty of storyline’s heading into each game, but could this one be an NBA Finals preview? Maybe…

Regardless, here are a few key narratives to keep an eye on:

 

CAN THE PACERS CONTINUE TO IMPRESS?

Specifically, Paul George. Yes, we know that Indiana has raced off to their best start in franchise history (7-0), but it’s really behind the excellent play of George. The fourth-year forward has transformed himself into a legitimate MVP candidate. He is averaging 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game. Not too shabby. Can he sustain this for the entire season? I think we are already expecting him too. He gets his next shot at proving us right tonight against Grizzlies defense that is uncharacteristically struggling so far this season. 

 

GASOL/RANDOLPH VS HIBBERT/WEST

I think we can all agree that these four players are two of the best frontcourt duos in the league, if not the best. Whoever gets the best of the other two could end up deciding this ball game. The Grizzlies duo (Gasol and Randolph) are averaging a combined 29 points and 14 rebounds per game. Indiana’s (Hibbert and West) is averaging 23 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks per game. It’ll be interesting to see how the Grizzlies go about the whole taking Hibbert out of the lane thing — they have the guys who can do it. Hibbert is insanely averaging four blocks and it’ll be imperative to keep him from disruptive guard penetration, Gasol and Randolph both have the ability to do that.

 

WHO ARE THE GRIZZLIES? 

Memphis is hovering around mediocrity at 3-3. A six-game sample size is nothing to put much stock into though. However, it’ll be interesting to see how Memphis plays against another quality opponent. Against San Antonio (opening night), the Grizzlies were outclassed. They recovered to knock-off the Golden State Warriors a couple days ago though. Right now, the Grizzlies are 1-1 against “playoff” teams. Their next test is tonight against, what some may argue is, the best team in the league. 

Tags: David West Indiana Pacers Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies NBA Paul George Roy Hibbert Zach Randolph