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Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Grizzlies

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Fortune or not, if there is one team the Pelicans have owned this season, it's been the Grizzlies. The Pelicans are 3 for 3 against them and wrap up the season series tonight. It won't be easy though as Memphis has gone 17-6 since we last beat them on January 20th.

Everything starts with their man in the middle, Marc Gasol. An MCL knee sprain cost him 23 games earlier in the season, but nearly 2 months since his return, it's safe to say he's back in top form. Through 6 games in March, he is averaging 16.8 points, 8.3 points, 4.3 assists, 1.8 blocks and .8 steals. Not surprisingly, the Grizzlies have gone 5-1.

Although the Pelicans will have their hands full with the current 7th seed in the West, they will go into the game with at least a little momentum of their own. New Orleans has won 3 straight and Anthony Davis has been a monster. Check out his averages during our win streak: 29.7 points, 15.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.0 blocks. 2K14 has nothing on the real Unibrow!

3 things to watch for:

  • Can Tyreke Evans Maintain the Streak? 5 games as a starter and all 5 have witnessed him eclipse the 20 point barrier. More impressive, his full stat line: 23.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.2 three's (!) and some gaudy percentages (51.9 FG%, 88.9 FT%).
  • Can Anthony Morrow Hit 2 or More 3's? When Morrow makes 2 or more three's in a game, the Pelicans record is 8-9. No, that's not impressive, but it is important. Without Ryan Anderson and since Babbitt's benching, the responsibility of floor spacing rests significantly on Morrow.
  • To Develop or Not. Outside of the five starters, Greg Stiemsma has been averaging the most minutes in March. Considering the Grizzlies size, one shouldn't expect anything different tonight, but if it continues, it's troubling. Remember, Monty was going to commit a good deal of playing time to the youth, but thus far, it hasn't really transpired.