New Orleans Pelicans vs Memphis Grizzlies

Anthony Davis returns with the New Orleans Pelicans to face off against newly acquired Jonas Valanciunas and the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, February 9th at 8:00 PM EST at FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN. Broadcast is available on Fox Sports New Orleans and Fox Sports Southeast - Memphis; radio available via WRNO 99.5FM.

How to Watch

Where: FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN

When: Saturday, February 9th at 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports Southeast - Memphis | WRNO 99.5FM

New Orleans Pelicans (Away)

Head Coach: Alvin Gentry {All-Time 471-535 | MIA, DET, LAC, PHX, NOP}

The New Orleans Pelicans have survived NBA Trade Deadline Day and still sit thirteenth in the Western Conference. With a record of 24-31 it is a long shot for them to make the playoffs.

The Pelicans have kept Davis inactive for the tenure of his trade saga and will now reintroduce him into the lineup. Over the span of time he was not with the team, the Pelicans were 3-6.

When Davis returns to face the Grizzlies he will be facing off against a rather revamped version of the Grizzlies. In particular the Pelicans will be facing off against new centre Jonas Valanciunas, who has had a history of success against the Pels. We'll see how the rotation changes with Davis back in the lineup.

Memphis Grizzlies (Home)

Head Coach: J.B. Bickerstaff {All-Time 74-115 | HOU, MEM}

The Memphis Grizzlies are in the midst of quite the rebuilding process. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies they still maintain the second-worst record in the Western Conference and are a unlikely to make any noise going into the end of the season.

Over the last ten games the Memphis Grizzlies have been dreadful. They accumulated a record of 3-7 with a point differential of -3.3. In that time they only won against the Pacers, Knicks and Timberwolves.

The Grizzlies square off against a Pelicans team who are reintroducing All-Star Anthony Davis into their lineup. It will be a feeling out period for the Grizzlies as they introduce four new players of their own.

What's At Stake?

The New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies meet again in this rivalry in the Southwest Division. In the all-time series the Pelicans lead the Grizzlies 34-29.

Regardless of the result the New Orleans Pelicans would stay thirteenth in the Western Conference.

The same is true for the Grizzlies. Win or lose, they would stay fourteenth in the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

What will be the mission for the Pelicans?

What are the Grizzlies trying to implement with their new acquisitions?

We are going to compare the New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Anthony Davis Is Still Here

The New Orleans Pelicans held a kings ransom for Anthony Davis up until the trade deadline and no offers seemed to fit their interest. While they still own his contract going into the future, the Pelicans are clearly moving into another direction.

Thirteenth in the West and sure to lose Davis in the summer, the New Orleans Pelicans are in a rut at this point in the season. While they want to accumulate assets until they eventually lose Davis, his presence on the court hinders their ability to get higher in the draft.

They will certainly be a lottery team, but working in plans for the future with a player that is sure to go is difficult. Center Jahlil Okafor really came on for the Pelicans in the absence of Davis. We'll see if they relegate the young player back to the bench, or look to invest in him and other prospects more.

Grind City 2.0

The Memphis Grizzlies for the first time since 2000 no longer sport a player on their roster with the last name Gasol adorned to the back of their jersey. They now boast Lithuanian centre Jonas Valanciunas to lead them into the future of Grind City.

This is not to say that Valanciunas is the player or ever will be the player that Memphis need to lead them forward. But between him, Bradley, and Wright, the Grizzlies have acquired capable defensive players who can all manufacture their own shot. Grind City may be back on the way up, but implementing the new scheme will take more than the remainder of the season.

An interesting thing to note for the Grizzlies is that they've now acquired four former Toronto Raptors and two former Raptors 905 players. All of whom are very familiar with assistant coach Jerry Stackhouse. Coach JB Bickerstaff and his methods have been criticized in the past and Stackhouse seemed lined up for a head coaching job before taking the assistant position with Memphis. It'll be interesting to see if the chemistry of the Memphis roster can be helped along by coach Stackhouse.

New Orleans Pelicans Roster Notes

G Trevon Bluiett - 1 Feb 2019 - Out (Thumb) - The Pelicans announced that Bluiett had surgery to repair a ligament in his right thumb. There is no timetable for his return.

G E'Twaun Moore - 6 Feb 2019 - Day To Day (Left Quadriceps Contusion) - Moore did not play in Wednesday's game (Feb. 6) against the Bulls.

F Markieff Morris - 3 Jan 2019 - Out (Neck stiffness) - The Wizards announced that Morris will miss at least the next six weeks of action as he recovers from a neck injury.

G Elfrid Payton - 6 Feb 2019 - Day To Day (Right Ankle Sprain) - Payton did not play in Wednesday's game (Feb. 6) against the Bulls.

Memphis Grizzlies Roster Notes

F Kyle Anderson - 5 Feb 2019 - Day To Day (Right shoulder soreness) - The Grizzlies have listed Anderson as OUT for Tuesday's game (Feb. 5) against the Timberwolves.

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.

C Joakim Noah - 5 Feb 2019 - Day To Day (Heel) - The Grizzlies have listed Noah as OUT for Tuesday's game (Feb. 5) against the Timberwolves.

Head-to-Head: Anthony Davis vs Jonas Valanciunas

Anthony Davis

Center | 6-10, 253lb (208cm, 114kg) | Kentucky | Exp. 6 Years

29.3 PPG | 4.4 APG | 13.3 RPG | 1.7 SPG | 2.6 BPG | 2.0 TOV | .508 FG% | .325 3P%

Jonas Valanciunas

Center | 7-0, 265lb (213cm, 120kg) | Lietuvos Rytas/Lithuania | Exp. 6 Years

12.8 PPG | 1.0 APG | 7.2 RPG | 0.4 SPG | 0.8 BPG | 1.3 TOV | .575 FG% | .300 3P%

Two of the NBA's dangerous centres face off after an eventful trade deadline. Anthony Davis returns in a Pelicans uniform after the line of NBA suitors failed to impress GM Dell Demps. Jonas Valanciunas looks for a fresh start with the Memphis Grizzlies, hoping to use his old-school game to usher in a new era of "Grit 'n' Grind".

With Anthony Davis back in the lineup the Pelicans are a much more formidable force. Unfortunately they lost Nikola Mitotic at the deadline, but replaced him with gritty veteran Markieff Morris. Now that Davis can play the season worry free, expect him to put up some impressive numbers as he no longer has any worry regarding the standing of the Pelicans. Losing Mitotic is big, so expect Davis to pick up the slack on the offensive end.

Early in the season Jonas Valanciunas was a force for the Toronto Raptors. He was putting up one of his most efficient seasons ever until a dangerous thumb dislocation forced him out of the lineup. Now that Valanciunas is back and healthy, he offers a low-post presence similar to Gasol for the Grizzlies. While his defensive acumen and shooting ability aren't as refined, Valanciunas will always provide a presence in the post.

New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the New Orleans Pelicans favoured over the Memphis Grizzlies by 2.5, with an over/under of 107.

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