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Grizzlies vs. Bucks Preview: Giannis and Co. look to bounce back vs. depleted Memphis

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Two days after a dismal home showing against the Raptors, the Bucks get a golden opportunity for redemption in the form of Memphis' M*A*S*H* unit. Can Giannis post another triple-double? Will Jabari Parker crack 20 points again? Can the Grizzlies avoid another player spontaneously combusting at some point during the game?

Bucks Update

The Bucks' modest three-game winning streak was unceremoniously snapped in their blowout home loss to the Raptors on Tuesday, with Giannis Antetokounmpo admitting that they simply didn't play hard enough during a disastrous third quarter.

On the plus side, Giannis came just a single assist shy of a fifth triple-double, Jabari added 18 and John Henson saw his first action in 20 games. Moreover, the Bucks have generally been much improved since the all-star break, battling through injuries and taking advantage of a more favorable schedule to rank 10th in defensive efficiency and 17th in offensive efficiency while going 7-7. With Giannis manning the controls of the offense they've ranked first in points off turnovers and fifth in transition scoring, as compared to pre-break rankings of fourth and eleventh, respective.

In other news:

Grizzlies Update

The Grizzlies are a statistical lock to make the playoffs, but you wouldn't know it from their point differential or the team they're currently fielding. Memphis has lost three in a row, including a home loss to the Timberwolves last night, and despite entering the night 10 games above .500 they actually have the point differential of a team eight games under .500.

In that respect you could call the Grizzlies the league's luckiest team in terms of wins and losses, though it's difficult to count their luck as anything but terrible in terms of injuries. Franchise cornerstones Marc Gasol (broken foot), Mike Conley (Achilles tendinitis), and Zach Randolph (knee) are out, and they're joined by summer signing Brandan Wright (knee), Mario Chalmers (torn Achilles, since waived), trade deadline acquisition Chris Andersen (shoulder), Jordan Adams (knee) and P.J. Hariston (groin), while the ageless Vince Carter (calf strain) is questionable (and thus feeling slightly less ageless).

So who the heck is left? Well, Tony Allen is the only starter from January's 103-83 Grizzlies win in Memphis, with veteran Matt Barnes, rookie point guard Briante Weber, JaMychal Green and journeyman center Ryan Hollins expected to man the other starting positions. Our friends at 3 Shades of Blue went so far as to write a "Who are these guys" story just because, well...who are these guys? From 3SOB:

One very familiar face to Bucks fans is former Pacer, Hornet and Clipper Lance Stephenson, who is still coming off the bench but finally looking something like the guy he was in Indiana. He's averaging 19.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists over his last four games, though on his own he can only careen his way so far. Rookie Jarell Martin has also taken advantage of injuries to see his first major minutes of the season, scoring 13 points and grabbing nearly seven rebounds per game over the last three.

On the Grizzlies: Commercial Appeal | Grizzly Bear Blues3SOB

2015/16 NBA Season
Milwaukee bucks.vc6d60d4
(29-39, 20-13 home)
Memphis grizzlies.vfeab278
(39-29, 15-18 road)
March 17, 2016
BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee
7:00 CT
FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Jerryd Bayless PG Briante Weber
Khris Middleton SG Tony Allen
Jabari Parker SF Matt Barnes
Giannis Antetokounmpo PF JaMychal Green
Greg Monroe C Ryan Hollins
2015/16 Advanced Stats
94.4 (23rd) Pace 93.4 (27th)
104.6 (23rd) ORtg 105.1 (18th)
108.5 (23rd) DRtg 106.7 (18th)