Z-Bo Out, Allen In, Conley In For Grizz
Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger told reporters a few minutes ago Tony Allen will be able to play tonight despite being poked in the eye during Game 6. "He'll give us all he can tonight," Joerger said. However, he will not alter his starting lineup and put Allen in to try to slow down any possible hot start from Thunder superstar Kevin Durant.
Allen's right eye was swollen and sore when he woke up this morning and he was not able to participate in the Grizzlies shootaround. He saw an eye doctor and was out on the floor shooting during warmups.
Mike Conley will also play tonight. Conley strained his right hamstring during Game 6 and he's not sure how long he'll be able to go. "I just wanna go out there and give what I've got for my team, whatever that is," he said today at shootaround.
And of course Zach Randolph, the Grizzlies leading scorer, is suspended and won't play.
Joerger said center Marc Gasol, "will have to shoulder a heavy load." Joerger said Randolph's replacement at power forward will be a gametime decision but speculation centered on Ed Davis who has played only a handful of minutes in the series.
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said much the same as Durant did at shootaround, that the Thunder can't go to sleep on the Grizzlies, "we understand they still have a very good team, it (the Randolph suspension) doesn't change our mindset."
Brooks said the key for the Thunder tonight will be how they play on the defensive end.
"We have to have all five guys committed to defense. We have to go out there and compete, we can't take anything for granted."