WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT
HOW TO WATCH: Fox Sports Southeast/ 92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS- Mike Conley (Out, Left Heel), Chandler Parsons (Out, Right Knee Soreness)
NEW ORLEANS- Anthony Davis (Doubtful, Ankle), Alexis Ajinca (Out, Knee), Tony Allen (Out, Left Fibula Fracture), Solomon Hill (Out, Left Hamstring Tear), Frank Jackson (Out, Right Foot Fracture)
MEMPHIS- Tyreke Evans, Andrew Harrison/Wayne Selden Jr., Dillon Brooks, JaMychal Green, Marc Gasol
NEW ORLEANS- Rajon Rondo, Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore, Dante Cunningham, DeMarcus Cousins
The Memphis Grizzlies are back in action with a match-up against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night. These two teams faced off in the first game of the season where the Grizzlies won 103-91. Since then, things have turned for the worst for the Grizzlies as they are still trying to knock their losing habits.
There will be major differences between the two teams since the last time these two teams faced off. It seems that All-Star Anthony Davis will not be playing in this game. That will be a huge burden lifted for Marc Gasol and JaMychal Green down low. Speaking of JaMychal, he also was not a factor in the last matchup as he went out about a minute into the season opener against the Pelicans with an ankle injury.
The Grizzlies are coming off a home loss to the Wizards, but they have had a few nights off as the schedule eases up a bit for them in this stretch. The Pelicans are coming off a win of their own from two nights ago. In this game is where Anthony Davis injured his ankle which ended up being a bigger problem than expected. However, the Forum crowd will be important for the Grizzlies to try and knock off an ailing Pelicans team.
These are the two things to note going into Tuesday night:
Tyreke Revenge Tour
With fewer games this week, it means more rumors and talks about non-basketball topics. This is exactly what we saw these past few days. A Woj article and the media asking Tyreke about trade rumors made for fun few off days. Everyone knew it should happen, but it seems to now be a subject open enough to ask Tyreke himself about.
What does this mean? It means that Evans will have to show out more than ever under a national spotlight to get that big contract this summer. It would be nice if he can do this early so the Grizzlies can benefit, but that is still yet to be determined. For Wednesday’s game, it could be a revenge game for Tyreke’s former team.
Players seem to play just a bit better than normal against old teams. Tyreke may try to stick it to his old team especially with questionable backcourt defense from the Pelicans. Tyreke Evans has taken his game to another level, but he has feasted against suspect guard defense who can’t match his wingspan and length.
Jrue Holiday plays much better defense than Rajon Rondo, so it will be interesting how Coach Alvin Gentry plays Evans being one of the only iso scorers on the Memphis roster. He will want to score and score in bunches, so this will be the first step to a Grizz victory.
The way to beat the Pelicans is to control the duo of Ant Davis and Boogie Cousins. E’twaun Moore and Jrue Holiday are not beating you single-handily. The Grizzlies are very fortunate to likely only have to face half of that one-two punch. Marc Gasol has always struggled against this duo in the past two years of them being together. It is one of the most talented frontcourts in the league so that is not a knock on Marc. However, Wednesday it will be all about controlling only Boogie.
The Grizzlies can not let him have a patented Sacramento Kings Boogie game. When he has the paint to himself, he dominates games which is what the NBA saw in his tenure with the Kings. Anything Marc can do to limit that will be crucial for this one. It will be tough, but Marc can luckily focus all his attention on him and not split it between the duo.
Another help Marc will get back is a healthy JaMychal Green. As stated earlier, he went down in the season opener in the first minute of the game. He will need to have a big game disrupting Boogie while also having his 12 and 8 game himself. He will be going against a guy who doesn’t see many minutes for the Pelicans, so he could be a scoring option for the Grizzlies.
My prediction for the game is that it will be similar to many Grizzlies games before. Tyreke goes off, keeps them in it, and they lose in a close one. I hope to see a lot of the younger guys (Kobi minutes > Chalmers minutes) and to have some positive outlooks from that.
As I said on GBB Live, these games are more important for youth development than wins or losses. If the young guys look good in a loss, that’s a win for the future.
I see Boogie going off with Marc’s defensive game fading as of late. Maybe JaMychal can go off against a bench big, but I see more impact from Boogie that will control the game from the start.
Spread: Pelicans -1.0. That said, the game from a betting stance is a toss-up. I see it being close without Ant Davis and the Forum crowd being a factor. I would go with the Pelicans just cause it is only a 1-point spread. I don’t see the Grizzlies winning.
Pelicans- 109, Grizzlies- 105