WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (11-6, 5-3 home) vs. Charlotte Hornets (9-7, 4-3 away)
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT
WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Fox Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS- Chandler Parsons (Out, Knee), Brandan Wright (Out, Ankle), James Ennis (Out, Calf), Zach Randolph (Out, Personal)
CHARLOTTE: Nicolas Batum (Probable, Eye), Marco Belinelli (Questionable, Hamstring)
MEMPHIS- Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Troy Williams, JaMychal Green, Marc Gasol
CHARLOTTE- Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Frank Kaminsky III, Cody Zeller
Coming off a win on the road — in a back-to-back — against the Heat, the Grizzlies look to get back on track at home against a Charlotte Hornet team that has surprised the NBA spectrum this season, holding the sixth seed at 9-7 in the Eastern Conference after losing several key pieces from last season (Jeremy Lin, Courtney Lee, Al Jefferson and Troy Daniels).
The Hornets have some momentum on their side coming into Monday night.
Charlotte topped the New York Knicks behind a strong showing from the backcourt duo of Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb, combining for 46 points.
After missing 10 games this season due to injuries, Lamb came back strong by adding 18 points and grabbing a career-high 17 rebounds, helping the Hornets snap a four-game losing streak with a 107-102 victory over the Knicks on Saturday night. Lamb is only the second guard this season to record at least 15 rebounds in a game this season. That other guard is a pretty good player, Russell Westbrook.
Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford was impressed, to say the least.
"He literally hasn't done anything with contact for close to a month," Clifford said to the media after the game. "His game is based on skill. He's a skill-based player and he showed that tonight. He's always been a good offensive rebounder. Tonight he was both."
With a chip on his shoulder, Walker is enjoying another successful season.
With his 28 points against the Knicks — and through 16 games so far this year — he has recorded 13 games in which he has had at least 20 or more points. For the season, the former UConn Huskie is averaging 24.5 per contest with a 26.8 PER (Player efficiency rating), which is the highest in his seven-year career.
In order to come out of FedExForum with a win, the Grizzlies must continue to play solid defense for 48 minutes.
The Hornets are fifth in the league in the assists category, averaging over 24 per game. Most of those assists come off three-point attempts, knocking down 10 per contest — which is good for eighth in the league.
But Charlotte will be without a key player in their rotation on Monday.
Forward Marvin Williams is expected to miss about a week after an MRI revealed a bone bruise in his left knee.
Although one player named Williams won’t have an impact, the other one should.
Troy Williams is coming off an 18-point effort against Miami. With two small forwards battling injuries (James Ennis and Chandler Parsons), Memphis will need the Rookie from Indiana to step once again.
Williams is earning the trust of head coach David Fizdale and his veteran teammates.
“He is another kid that stays ready. He is not afraid of the moment,” Fizdale said after the game to the media. “He works really hard. He had a great summer. He really took his spot on this team. We are so decimated now at the wing position. I threw him in there and he took advantage of the situation. We couldn’t have won without him.”