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The Grizzlies are 12-3, first in the West and tied with Miami (who they beat head-to-head) for the best record in the NBA. The Suns, on the other hand, are just 7-11 and 13th in the West, ahead of only Sacramento and New Orleans. The Grizzlies are 8-1 at home, while the Suns are just 2-8 on the road. The Grizzlies have four players averaging over 15 points per game, while the Suns have only one.

On paper, this is a huge mismatch.

The Suns dropped two games they shouldn't have against Detroit and Toronto. That means in order to remain afloat and attempt to stay competitive, they need to make those games up against teams like the Grizzlies. That is a tall task, but the Suns put themselves in this position. Time to man up.

Ferocious Frontline

The Grizzlies have one of if not the best frontline in the entire NBA. Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol combine to average 51.1 points and 25.7 rebounds per game. Z-Bo had a down year last year after missing a lot of time and coming back from an injury, but this season he's back to his typical double-double machine form. Rudy Gay is leading the Grizz in scoring at 18.9 points per game. And the Suns are going to rely on Markieff Morris, Luis Scola and Michael Beasley to defend these guys. Scary. P.J. Tucker is going to have to make his presence known tonight.

We can't forget about Gasol either. He's the guy that makes that team go. He operates out of both the low and high posts and is incredibly effective form both areas. He can score in the post, hit the 17-footer and pass the ball very well. He also has a lot of weight on Gortat, and we know the Polish Whatever struggles against bigger guys. We're going to need him to get out of this defensive funk to have any shot in this game.

Point Guard Match-Up

We can't forget about their fourth 15-plus point per game scorer either. Mike Conley Jr. has turned himself into a very good point guard, and is off to a great start this season. Conley is averaging 15.3 points per game on nearly 50 percent shooting, and is also dropping 6.7 assists per game. In fact, his numbers are nearly identical to Goran Dragic's (and are actually a bit better across the board). Dragic is coming off of his first single-digit-scoring game of the season, and he is going to need to bounce back and win this match-up.

Injuries

Both teams could possibly be without key defensive players in this game. Memphis' starting shooting guard and lockdown defender Tony Allen is questionable with a groin injury and could miss this game. The Suns don't exactly have any star wing players that Allen would need to shut down, but you never want to be without a starter.

On the other side, Jermaine O'Neal missed Sunday's loss against the Knicks with a strained right quadriceps, and could sit this one out as well. That would be a big hit against the Suns and their defensive game plan against Randolph and Gasol.

The game tips off at 5 p.m. PST, 6 p.m. AZ time, 7 p.m. CST and 8 p.m. EST (sorry my international friends, but it's too much work to figure out tip time where you guys are). Make sure to join us in the game thread, even if you don't feel like watching the game.

**Update: Bassy Out**

According to Paul Coro's Orange Slices, back-up point guard Sebastian Telfair has left Memphis to deal with a family matter. Bassy will rejoin the team before Thursday's game against Dallas, but that doesn't do the Suns any good tonight.

With Kendall Marshall currently assigned to the Iowa Energy (and tearing it up), rookie Diante Garrett will get the call to back up Dragic. Garrett made the team after participating in Summer League, training camp and the preseason, and now he will get his first non-garbage time minutes in the NBA. Garrett, a 6-foot-5 guard out of Iowa State, is a do-it-all type of guard who can do a little of everything but isn't great at any one area.

Who's ready for Garrett Time?

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Memphis Grizzlies 108, Phoenix Suns 98 OT The first five games of the Suns’ six-game road trip have been absolutely brutal.  Thus far, they’ve dropped close games to Philadelphia and...

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Kendall Marshall fans have to be pleased with the impressive debut from their NC boy. Marshall won "player of the game" honors and put up an impressive stat line. He played 31 minutes and dropped eight assists but more importantly, was aggressive getting his shot. He pumped in 21 points on 7-18 shooting, including 6-8 from the line.

John Jenkins, a sharpshooting Atlanta Hawks rookie, had 22 points in the game. The Jam won 102-95.

I didn't get a chance to watch this game yet (you can see the replay here and download the box score here).

Marshall will get more run Tuesday night. The Jam take on the L.A. Defenders.

Here's highlights of the game via the D-league.


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Suns rookie Kendall Marshall is with the Bakersfield Jam getting some D-league run. Here's the updates.

The Great Marshall Debate of 2012 will be resolved on Monday night. Kendall will take the floor for the Jam and either prove his potential (future) greatness as an NBA point guard or he will show his detractors that the Suns screwed up by drafting him 13th overall.

Or not.

The meaning of this game is minimal but it is a good chance to see him in live action and it is important for his development to play well in the D-league. One game won't answer the questions about Marshall but at least it's actual information and not just more bias'd speculation from his lovers and haters.

Game info:

Game date/time: Monday, December 3, 8 p.m. AZT / 10 p.m. ET

Location: Jam Events Center, Bakersfield, California

Marshall joins two rookies from the Atlanta Hawks - SG John Jenkins and PF Mike Scott - who were both also sent down for some work.

Suns rookie Kendall Marshall is expected to get his first legit run since summer league as the D-league Bakersfield Jam take the floor on Monday night. We can watch the game live-streamed right here!

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