Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers Game 4 Preview & Prediction

The Memphis Grizzlies have pushed the Portland Trail Blazers to the brink of elimination as they hold a commanding 3-0 series lead. Can they finish the job with a clean sweep, or will the Blazers show signs of life?

Projected Starting Lineups

(4) Portland Trail Blazers (51-31)

G Damian Lillard – 21.0 ppg, 6.2 apg
G Arron Afflalo – 10.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg
F Nicolas Batum  – 9.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg
F LaMarcus Aldridge – 23.4 ppg, 10.2 rpg
C Robin Lopez – 9.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg

(5) Memphis Grizzlies (55-27)

G Beno Udrih – 7.7 ppg, 2.8 apg

G Courtney Lee – 10.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg

F Jeff Green – 13.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg

F Zach Randolph – 16.1 ppg, 10.5 rpg

C Marc Gasol – 17.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg

What to watch for:

How will Mike Conley's absence affect the Grizzlies?

Conley is out for the foreseeable future after undergoing surgery to repair a facial fracture, leaving the Grizzlies without their best perimeter player. Beno Udrih will take over the starting point guard duties, but he's recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of Game 3. Memphis doesn't need him to play like an All-Star, but Udrih needs to take care of the ball and have a decent game for the Grizzlies to win.

Can LaMarcus Aldridge play more efficiently?

Aldridge is shooting just 36 percent (26/72) from the floor in this series as he's obviously been bothered by Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph's defense. Portland relies on Aldridge and Damian Lillard to do a majority of their scoring, and they need him to do so much more efficiently if they're going to win.

Prediction: Grizzlies win 104-97

Even without Conley, Memphis has proven that they're the better, more well-rounded team, and their defense will continue to give Portland major problems.

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