Open Game Thread #3: Pacers at Grizzlies

Time to get jacked up for a little back-to-back action from the Pacers, as they head to Memphis to try to build on Friday night's great home W against the Heat.

After watching the Heat bog down the pace last night, we can expect a much more fan-friendly pace tonight with the Grizz. Both teams should be quite familiar with each other after playing two preseason games that kept the scorers busy, including a 140 point effort for the Pacers at Memphis.

But, these were preseason games and Pau Gasol didn't play in the last game and left early in the first game. On the flip side, Jermaine O'Neal was not available for the last game either. Both figure to be heavily involved tonight.

In their opener, the Grizz gave the San Antonio Spurs all they could handle. Rudy Gay missed a long three attempt at the buzzer that would've put the game in OT.

The Pacers should feel good about themselves after two solid wins at home. But, there are plenty of challenges within the Pacers locker room that have nothing to do with the Grizz. The back-to-back game on the road presents a mental and physical challenge, especially since the Grizz should be rested. Mike Dunleavy took 8 stiches in his lip last night. He should play but probably had a rough night sleep. Jamaal Tinsley sprained his thumb early in the game. He taped it up and played, but soreness and discomfort won't be gone tonight. J.O. had his first significant minutes, so hopefully his knee doesn't give him any problems.

Those are all concerns, but not excuses. O'B preaches mental toughness and dealing with the dings that come along with regular season play is part of the gig. I can't wait for the tip, this should  be fun!

3 Shades of Blue is an outstanding blog covering the Grizz. Check out their breakdown of the game tonight.

Also, check out Bruno's preview of Pacers vs. Grizzlies.

Projected Starters

PACERS pos. GRIZZLIES
Jermaine O'Neal F Pau Gasol
Danny Granger F Rudy Gay
Jeff Foster C Darko Milicic
Mike Dunleavy G Mike Miller
Jamaal Tinsley G Damon Stoudamire

Troy Murphy is still doubtful and not expected to play. Shawne Williams will miss the final game of his 3 game suspension. Lawrence North's Michael Conley, Jr. is still easing his way into the league so don't expect to see him playing tonight. He didn't play in the opener against the Spurs.

I have some family activities this evening so I'll be catching up late through DVR. Leave your thoughts on the action in the comments.
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