The Memphis Grizzlies improved to 28-14 with their 101-77 rout of the Brooklyn Nets Friday night. The Grizzlies finish up a 4 game homestand Sunday evening against the New Orleans Hornets who are 14-29. (5:00 pm Central, CSS, Sports South, NBA LP) The Grizzlies have won 2 straight games and the Hornets have lost two straight. New Orleans lost at home Friday night 100-82 to the Houston Rockets.
Memphis has won 4 of their last 5 games. The Grizzlies are 5 games behind the San Antonio Spurs in the Southwest Division. Memphis is off to their best start in franchise history at the midway point of the season. New Orleans has the worst record in the Western Conference.
New Orleans has lost 6 of their last 7 games to Memphis, including 3 straight in Memphis. The Southwest Division rivals have only played once so far this season a 96-89 Grizzlies win in New Orleans December 7. They will play twice more after this game, March 9 in New Orleans and March 22 in Memphis.
New Orleans is being outscored 97-93 this season. The Hornets are #27 in scoring. New Orleans is shooting 44.8% from the field and 37% from 3 point range. They are in the top 14 in the league in both categories. The Hornets are #10 in free throw shooting at 77.1% from the line. New Orleans averages 41.7 rebounds per game. The Hornets give up 40.2 per game, and are #5 in that category. New Orleans opponents are shooting 46.4% from the field and 36.8% from 3 point range. The Hornets are #21 or worse in both categories. New Orleans averages 21.3 assists, 6.4 steals, 5.3 blocks, and 14.6 turnovers per game.
The Hornets are coached by Monty Williams. Guard Eric Gordon averages 17.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Ryan Anderson averages 16.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Point guard Greivis Vasquez averages 14 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 9.1 assists per game. Forward Anthony Davis averages 12.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game. Center Robin Lopez averages 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks. Forward Al-Farouq Aminu averages 8.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.Forward Jason Smith averages 7.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Guards Brian Roberts, Austin Rivers, and Roger Mason, Jr. make up the rest of the rotation.
The Grizzlies are coached by Lionel Hollins. Memphis is outscoring teams 93-89 this season. They are first in the league in points allowed and are #25 in scoring. The Grizzlies are shooting 43.7% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies are #24 in field goal percentage and #23 in three point shooting. Memphis is #4 in the league in free throw shooting at 78.8% from the line. The Grizzlies average 43 rebounds per game and give up 39. Memphis is #1 in rebounds allowed and #12 in rebounding. Grizzlies’ opponents are shooting 43.4% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. Memphis is #5 in opponents’ field goal percentage and #14 in 3 point defense. The Grizzlies average 20.5 assists, 9.1 steals, 5.3 blocks and 14.7 turnovers a game.
Small forward Rudy Gay averages 17.2 points per game, 5.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals a game. Forward Zach Randolph averages 16 points, 11.5 rebounds to lead the team, and 1.4 assists per game. Randolph is second in the league in rebounding, and was chosen a a reserve for the Western Conference All-Star team. He leads the league in double doubles with 27. Both Gay and Randolph have been the subject of trade rumors despite the great start of the Grizzlies. That probably won’t happen with the cost saving trade involving 3 reserves the Grizzlies made with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this week. Center Marc Gasol averages 13.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, a steal, and 1.8 blocks per game. Point Guard Mike Conley, Jr. averages 13.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.3 steals a game to lead the team in the latter two categories. Tony Allen starts at shooting guard and is one of the best defenders in the league. Allen averages 8.3 points, 4 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Point guard Jerryd Bayless, forward Quincy Pondexter, forward Darrell Arthur, guard Tony Wroten and center Hamed Haddadi make up the rest of the rotation. Forward Jon Leuer was acquired in the trade Tuesday with the Cavaliers. He made his debut Friday night. Pondexter is out indefinitely with a grade 2 MCL sprain. The Grizzlies also called up forward Chris Johnson from the D-League to fill out the roster.
New Orleans has allowed at least 100 points to 8 straight opponents. After scoring over 100 only twice in the previous 24 games, The Grizzlies have scored over 100 points in two straight games. They improved to 13-0 when scoring over 100 points with their win Friday against Brooklyn. I like the Grizzlies to win, before going on the road to the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night.