The last time the Miami Heat faced Western Conference title hopefuls the Memphis Grizzlies, six games into the regular season, it wasn’t pretty. The boys in red lost 86-104. Unfortunately, the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol and Zach “Z-Bo” Randolph are the kind of players the Heat just can’t handle — skilled, big men. Coach Erik Spoelstra’s vision of small ball has obvious flaws, and the Grizzlies sit right in the middle of it.
But don’t lose hope for Friday’s rematch. Things have changed. Rudy Gay, a key center point to the Grizzlies’ past success, was traded earlier this year for a broken-down Tayshaun Prince. And then there’s LeBron James, who’s since decided he wants to go down in history as the best basketball player ever, achieving otherworldly feats such as breaking the streak for most games with 30 points at a field goal percentage of 60.
It’s still quite possible this game will be an NBA Finals matchup.
Sat., March 2, 8 p.m., 2013