Memphis Grizzlies vs Charlotte Hornets

Mike Conley leads the struggling Memphis Grizzlies into North Carolina to take on All-Star Starter Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, February 1st at 7:00 PM EST at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC. Broadcast is available on Fox Sports Southeast - Memphis and Fox Sports Southeast - Charlotte.

How to Watch

Where: Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC

When: Friday, February 1st at 7:00 PM EST

How (TV): Fox Sports Southeast - Memphis, Fox Sports Southeast - Charlotte

Memphis Grizzlies (Away)

Head Coach: JB Bickerstaff {All-Time 72-113 | HOU, MEM}

The Memphis Grizzlies are sitting in the unenviable position of being the first team above the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference standings. With a record of 20-31, the Memphis Grizzlies are fourteenth in the West and are unlikely to find their way back into the playoff race.

Over the last ten games the Memphis Grizzlies have been awful. They are 1-9 in there last ten while maintaining a point differential of -3.3. The road has not been a friend to the Grizzlies, where they are 8-17 so far this season.

When the Grizzlies take on the Charlotte Hornets they are going up against a team fighting every game for position in the East. While the Grizzlies don't have that motivation, they need to be inspired by something in order to pull off an upset over the Hornets.

Charlotte Hornets (Home)

Head Coach: James Borrego {All-Time 34-45 | ORL, CHA}

The Charlotte Hornets have been as inconsistent as ever this season. While they are led by a star in Kemba Walker, all the pieces are yet to come together. With a record of 24-25, the Hornets occupy eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Over their last ten matches, the Charlotte Hornets are 5-5. While they have a high-powered offence, they maintain defence that lets teams right back into the game. The Hornets +0.7 point differential shows just how inept they can be, despite their offensive skill.

When the Hornets take on the Grizzlies they will be facing off against a team who are at a crossroad in their franchise. Led by veteran stars surrounded by still-developing talent, the Grizzlies are clearly biding their time before they can turn their assets into prospects for the future.

What's At Stake?

The Memphis Grizzlies and the Charlotte Hornets meet again in an inter-conference matchup. In the all-time series the Charlotte Hornets lead the Memphis Grizzlies 23-17.

A win for the Memphis Grizzlies would keep them fourteenth in the Western Conference.

A win for the Charlotte Hornets would put them at .500 and tie them for seventh in the conference with the Miami Heat.

Questions to answer

Is the future for the Grizzlies already down low?

Can the Hornets bench maintain their form?

We are going to compare the Memphis Grizzlies and the Charlotte Hornets in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Is Jaren Jackson Jr Set to Overtake Gasol's Mantle?

The easy answer to the question is no. But there is more to Jaren Jackson and Marc Gasol than that. For more than a decade one of the Gasol brothers has manned the paint for the Memphis Grizzlies, but it seems that soon Jackson Jr will be taking the captains armband from him.

Jackson's ceiling is incredibly high. He has a surprisingly developed offensive game in the post, while maintaining an impressive defensive reputation. Out of all rookies to play 100 minutes, Jackson Jr leads rookies in defensive rating and blocked shots. While the Grizzlies are a young franchise, Jackson is one of the hottest prospects to come through.

The Grizzlies are certainly searching for answers at this point in the season. Jackson will be given a bigger role soon, while they've started to look at new characters such as Bruno Caboclo. Caboclo was a star for assistant coach Jerry Steakhouse when he was the head coach of Raptors 905, so his commitment to his pieces is commendable. What's clear is that the Grizzlies know they aren't winning soon, but their willingness to try different looks, starting with Jackson, is a trend in the right direction.

The Hornets Bench Was Excellent Against the Knicks

While the Knicks are not the NBA's most stouts competition, the Hornets rebounded well after losing late to the Milwaukee Bucks in a previous match. It was a sluggish start - the Knicks started the match on a 7-0 run - and the middle of the game wasn't any better. But the bench provided the spark the Hornets needed.

Every Hornet bench player to appear made a positive impact on the match. Kidd-Gilchrist was a presence on both ends of the court despite foul trouble, Malik Monk hit four three-pointers in the fourth, and Hernangomez dominated in the paint when he was on the court. That production from the Hornets bench is what they wanted from them all season.

Kemba Walker has famously carried the Hornets all season long. The Hornets reserves need to have more confidence in their ability and produce on a consistent level. They already have an excellent reserve point guard - Tony Parker - to keep them organized. It just takes focus and perseverance from the Hornets youth to maintain their form.

Memphis Grizzlies Roster Notes

G-F Dillon Brooks - 17 Jan 2019 - Out For Season (Toe) - The Grizzlies announced that Brooks had surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his right big toe. He will miss the rest of the 2018-2019 season, but is expected to be ready for training camp for the 2019-2020 season.

F Omri Casspi - 28 Jan 2019 - Day To Day (Knee) - Casspi was ruled OUT for Monday's (Jan 28) game.

F JaMychal Green - 28 Jan 2019 - Day To Day (Knee) - Green was ruled OUT for Monday's (Jan 28) game.

F Jaren Jackson - 28 Jan 2019 - Day To Day (Leg) - Jackson left Tuesday's (Jan 28) game with an apparent leg injury but returned.

G Garrett Temple - 26 Jan 2019 - Out (Shoulder) - Temple is expected to miss one-to-two weeks.

Charlotte Hornets Roster Notes

G Garrett Temple - 28 Jan 2019 - Out (Hand) - Zeller is expected to return in about a week.

Head-to-Head: Mike Conley vs Kemba Walker

Mike Conley

Point Guard | 6-1, 175lb (185cm, 79kg) | Ohio State | Exp. 12 Years

20.1 PPG | 6.3 APG | 3.3 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 1.9 TOV | .430 FG% | .355 3P%

Kemba Walker

Point Guard | 6-1, 184lb (185cm, 83kg) | UConn | Exp. 8 Years

24.4 PPG | 5.6 APG | 4.3 RPG | 1.2 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.6 TOV | .432 FG% | .356 3P%

Two of the NBA's most elite point guards face-off when the Charlotte Hornets host the Memphis Grizzlies. All-Star starter Kemba Walker will take on Mike Conley in hopes of further solidifying their spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Mike Conley has been the pinnacle of consistency at the point guard position in his 12 years in the NBA. In light of the Grizzlies' lack of talent, Conley has taken on the brunt of the scoring load for the Grizzlies, averaging a career high in field-goal attempts per game. He will be tasked with slowing down the every dangerous Kemba Walker, a task Conley is certainly up to.

Kemba Walker went down in scary fashion against the Bucks. While he was down for a while, it seems that he is fully healthy now. Walker is a high-volume scorer if the NBA has ever seen one. Now averaging a career high in points per game and voted in as a starter for the NBA All-Star Game, the Hornets rely on Walker to lead them forward. Stuck at eighth in the West, Walker needs to lead his team to a victory over the lesser Grizzlies if they want to maintain their playoff place.

Memphis Grizzlies at Charlotte Hornets Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Charlotte Hornets favoured over the Memphis Grizzlies by 4.5, with an over/under of 110.

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