3 keys in the Milwaukee Bucks interesting matchup vs Memphis Grizzlies

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 19: (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 19: (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Wesley Matthews, Pat Connaughton. Memphis Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jan 19, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

We’re now into single-digits for games remaining in the Milwaukee Bucks‘ regular season! As it winds down, the schedule does not for the Bucks as they start a three-game road trip by playing the Memphis Grizzlies, one of the best teams in the NBA.

There is some shine taken off this matchup with Ja Morant out for tonight but that won’t stop me from being excited to see how these two teams match up. They’ve played once already (a Bucks win at home in January) and both teams come in on a roll.

The Grizzlies have won seven of their last eight while the Bucks have won 10 of their last 12. Memphis is still very good without Morant, so although they won’t have their All-NBA point guard, it will not be an easy game by any stretch for the defending champs.

The Milwaukee Bucks can’t take the Memphis Grizzlies’ “other guys” lightly

One of the more surprising stats from this season is that the Grizzlies are 16-2 without Morant in the lineup this season. They’re more than just one superstar and they’ve proven that this season. The biggest reason for that is they have a bunch of really good players who know their roles, know what they do best, and play to those strengths.

In the last five games (four of them without Morant), the Grizzlies have five players averaging double-digit points per game and one at 9.6. They’re just really solid.

One of my favorite players in the entire league is Jaren Jackson Jr. Before the last game against Memphis, I wrote about Jackson Jr.’s improved defense and it has continued since then and he deserves to be named to an All-Defense team this season.

However, he hasn’t shot the 3 as well as he has in the past at only 32.5 percent on around five attempts per game, but that has changed in the last few games. Jackson Jr. is shooting nearly 48 percent from deep on nearly five attempts and over 41 percent in his last 10 games.

Memphis actually has four players shooting better than 45 percent from 3 in their last five games, with four of them over 50 percent (all on at least three attempts or more per game). So that’s concerning for a Bucks team that is content giving up above-the-break triples.

Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, De’Anthony Melton, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, and Tyus Jones may not all be household names (though Jackson Jr. and Bane are rising), but they absolutely are capable of beating any team.