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Preview: Grizzlies @ Hornets

Tonight, the NBA-leading Memphis Grizzlies travel down to the Big Easy to take on divisional rivals the New Orleans PelicanHornets.


One Grizzlies player who knows a lot about the Hornets is Quincy Pondexter, who was drafted by New Orleans and played his rookie season there. Earlier this season I got a chance to chat with Quincy for a little bit. I asked him whether he liked Memphis better than New Orleans, and he said, "Definitely. I can’t argue that one. I love Memphis. It’s a basketball town. Everyone knows you, and they love the game, and they’re great people."

There was a lot of talk in the locker room after the Grizzlies overtime victory over the Suns on Tuesday of one off-the-court story that broke late Tuesday: that the New Orleans Hornets were considering changing their name to the Pelicans.

When asked about the "Pelicans" name after the Suns game, Pondexter said, "That's a great name. If they picked it, then it’s a great name." Other Grizzlies players didn’t seem as enthused. It seems like it’s going to take some time for the new name to feel normal. That said, it makes a lot more sense than the Utah Jazz or the Memphis Grizzlies. If there were a way to pull off some sort of four-team swap where Utah became the Grizzlies, New Orleans became the Jazz, Charlotte got back their Hornets, and Memphis got some awesome new name (or went back to an awesome old ABA name and color scheme[1]), the NBA name landscape would make a lot more sense.

Can you tell I haven’t watched the Hornets much this year? At 5–12, they’re at the bottom of the Southwest division. They’re 15th in offensive rating with 104.2 and they’re 30th (out of 30, mind you) in defensive rating at 110.6. Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon are both listed as "out indefinitely." One hopes that the Grizzlies can stick to their tried-and-true formula of pounding the ball inside to Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, and as long as Greivis Vasquez doesn’t turn into an all-time Griz Killer (which he might; we all know how much Vasquez loves big games, and we all know how hard he plays), the Grizzlies will come back home in the wee hours of tomorrow morning having stomped the Hornets without expending too much effort.

Of course, I said that about the Detroit Pistons game last week, and the Pistons didn’t go quietly. I don’t expect New Orleans to roll over for the Grizzlies. It’s a division game, and those are always intense. I do expect the Hornets to simply be outmatched by a Grizzlies team that’s still way better than anyone expected.

Get the Pelicans Hornets side of the story At The Hive.

Get Memphis Grizzlies tickets here.

  1. I don’t care what you say. Those Sounds uniforms are awesome. Totally awesome. I can’t want until there’s a Grizzlies throwback version of them. Then you’ll believe me.