Nets, Grizzlies coping with point guard injuries (Nov 26, 2017)
Two teams struggling due in large part to injuries at the point guard position square off Sunday when the Brooklyn Nets visit the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Nets will once again be without D'Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin when they seek to snap a three-game losing streak in the opener of a three-game trip.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have dropped seven straight, including five in a row since Mike Conley was sidelined earlier this month.
With Russell out since Nov. 11 following arthroscopic knee surgery and Lin having missed every game since rupturing his patella tendon in the season opener, the Nets have turned to Spencer Dinwiddie at the point.
The move is working out well offensively, with Dinwiddie scoring 21 or more points in three of the Nets' last four games.
But opposing point guards have been scoring at an even higher clip, with Golden State's Stephen Curry and Portland's Damian Lillard scorching Brooklyn for 39 and 34 points, respectively, during the Nets' losing streak.
Dinwiddie had a chance to play the hero in Friday's 127-125 home loss to Portland, but misfired on a late 3-pointer.
"I felt like it was a good look," Dinwiddie said. "Down two, we wanted to shoot a 3 if I was open and it bounced on the rim a couple of times and it didn't go in."
The Nets have gone just 2-7 on the road, having allowed 120.1 points in their seven defeats.
That's good news for the Grizzlies, who have been held under 95 points in each of their last four games, all of which have been at home.
The absence of Conley has been telling.
The Grizzlies averaged 100.2 points in the first 13 games of the season, but have struggled at just a 94.8-point clip since a decision was made to rest Conley's ailing Achilles.
No timetable has been set for Conley's return, but it was estimated he'd be held out at least two weeks at the time of the decision.
It'll be two weeks since he last played on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will seek to end their losing streak in what appears to be a winnable game. That said, they lost to Dallas in their last home game by blowing an 18-point lead on Tuesday.
"Everybody is frustrated," Grizzlies forward JaMychal Green said after Friday's 104-92 loss at Denver. "The main thing coach (David Fizdale) is preaching is everybody staying together. We're still trying to gain this chemistry as a team. But at the same time, this is unacceptable."
The Grizzlies have been starting Mario Chalmers in Conley's place. The veteran has committed three or more turnovers in three of the last four games, a stretch during which he's missed 27 of his 41 shots.
Memphis has scored 100 or more points in five of its last six meetings with Brooklyn, going 5-1 over that stretch to take a 21-20 lead in the all-time series.
The Nets did snap a five-game losing streak to the Grizzlies with a 122-109 win at Memphis last March. Lin contributed 18 points to the victory.