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The Memphis Grizzlies enter this game with a number of injuries to key players. While they're sure to put up a fight, the Pelicans won't be merciful to the shorthanded Grizzlies. New Orleans' three-point defence and interior attack could be too much for Memphis to handle.
New Orleans Pelicans def. Memphis Grizzlies
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|Memphis Grizzlies||Head-to-Head||New Orleans Pelicans|
|Memphis Grizzlies||Head Coach||Willie Green|
|9-5 (5th in West)||Standing||7-6 (7th in West)|
|114.1 (11th of 30)||Off Rtg||114.9 (8th of 30)|
|112.7 (20th of 30)||Def Rtg||111.5 (15th of 30)|
|99.2 (18th of 30)||Pace||99.0 (15th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|J. Morant (28.8)||PPG||Z. Williamson (23.5)|
|S. Adams (11.4)||RPG||J. Valanciunas (10.1)|
|J. Morant (7.0)||APG||C. McCollum (6.3)|
|J. Morant (1.0)||SPG||C. McCollum (1.4)|
|S. Aldana (1.2)||BPG||B. Ingram (0.9)|
|B. Clarke (.635)/J. Morant (10.1)||FG%/FGM||L. Nance Jr. (.667)/Z. Williamson (9.0)|
|D. Bane (.451)/D. Bane (3.8)||3P%/3PM||Z. Williamson (.500)/T. Murphy III (2.2)|
|Danny Green||Memphis Grizzlies||28 Jun 2022||Out (Knee)||There is no timetable for Green's return to play.|
|Ziaire Williams||Memphis Grizzlies||26 Oct 2022||Out (Knee)||Williams is expected to return in 4-6 weeks.|
|Desmond Bane||Memphis Grizzlies||13 Nov 2022||Out (Toe)||Bane was OUT for Memphis' Sunday (Nov 13) game.|
|Jaren Jackson Jr.||Memphis Grizzlies||13 Nov 2022||Out (Foot)||Jackson Jr. was OUT for Memphis' Sunday (Nov 13) game.|
|Ja Morant||Memphis Grizzlies||13 Nov 2022||Out (Ankle)||Morant was OUT for Memphis' Sunday (Nov 13) game.|
|Kira Lewis Jr.||New Orleans Pelicans||18 Oct 2022||Out (Knee)||There is no timetable for Lewis Jr.'s return.|
|E.J. Liddell||New Orleans Pelicans||9 Dec 2022||Out (Knee)||There is no timetable for Liddell's return.|
The Grizzlies were shorthanded in their last game, a loss to the Washington Wizards, and the weight of those missing players' contributions was felt greatly. While not dominated on the court, the Grizzlies' usual standards on both ends were far from present.
On the season, Memphis are allowing their opponents to shoot just 45.9% from the field - good enough for 11th in the association. However in their last game, the Grizzlies allowed their opponents to shoot 41.9% from the field and 47.5% from three - including 19 made three-point field goals.
The Pelicans are relatively consistent on the offensive end, but shoot 45.4% in losses versus 50.2% in victories. If Memphis can stave off the Pelicans in the paint, it'll do wonders for their chances despite their injuries.
The Memphis Grizzlies are coming off of a loss to the Washington Wizards in their last game. With key players unavailable due to injury, much of the offensive burden fell to sharpshooter Dillon Brooks. While he put up decent numbers, his efficiency left much to be desired.
Brooks posted a line of 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists in his last game. Unfortunately, his production came on 7 of 22 shooting from the field and 2 of 9 shooting from three-point range. His 3 turnovers on exacerbated the inefficiency of his evening.
With the likes of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane likely out for another game, the offence will fall to Brooks again. If he can't improve on his scoring efficiency, the Grizzlies don't have much of a chance.
The New Orleans Pelicans are coming off of a win in their last game, but it could've been a different result had they not turned up their effort late. Even though the Grizzlies are undermanned, the Pelicans need to put in a focused 48-minute effort.
Through the first half of their last game, a win over the Rockets, the Pelicans shot 51.2% from the field and scored 63 points. However they gave up an 18-point lead which almost ruined their effort, had they not gone on a 13-0 run to save the game.
Eyes will be on Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, who combine to shoot just 5 of 19 in the second half of their last game. To beat a hungry Memphis Grizzlies team, New Orleans' stars must remain engaged in the game.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson continues to be a near-unstoppable force in the paint. Although undersized, his ability to finish at the rim and run in transition has turned him into an ultra-efficient scorer.
In his last game, a win over the Houston Rockets, Williamson posted 26 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds in 35 minutes of play. He was 8 of 9 from the field and his physicality earned him 12 free throw attempts, where he converted on 10.
If there's one thing that the Memphis Grizzlies have even without their star players, it's grit and toughness on the defensive side of the ball. Williamson will be put to the test by Memphis' shorthanded but tough paint defence.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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