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Pelicans vs Grizzlies preview: New Orleans seeks to end slide back down the standings

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The Pelicans have lost 4 of 5 games and Anthony Davis appears physically hobbled.

New Orleans Pelicans v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans (7-14) host the Memphis Grizzlies (13-8) tonight at 7pm CST in the Smoothie King Center. The game will broadcast live on Fox Sports New Orleans as well as Fox Sports South East, or one can tune to 99.5FM and have Sean Kelley describe all the action.

Don’t look now but the Pelicans are in another tailspin, and things could get worse before they get better. New Orleans has lost 4 of their last 5 games, and following last night’s loss in Oklahoma City, Anthony Davis doesn’t seem anywhere near feeling 100% physically.

According to Justin Verrier of ESPN, Davis had an X-ray taken and was seen getting treatment on his right foot in the Thunder’s visiting locker room. This, after missing part of the game Friday against the Clippers when he felt discomfort in a muscle around his right shoulder.

Davis is banged up and in need of probably a week off, but a reprieve isn’t on the horizon. After playing 40 minutes for the fourth time since Thanksgiving, he’ll need to play a full allotment of minutes again if the Pelicans have any hope of knocking off the Grizzlies on a rest disadvantage. Memphis will be without Mike Conley Jr., but they’ve won 2 of 3 in his absence.

What to watch

Teammates rising to the occasion. In the last 2 games, Anthony Davis has been his usual self, averaging 29.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.5 blocks and 1.5 steals, but the surrounding cast has been incredibly meek. E’Twaun Moore has been the second highest scorer, averaging 12.5 points, and Terrence Jones third at 11.5. The only other Pelicans member in double figures? Buddy Hield, who has played a grand total of 18 minutes. Guys, you gotta step up and give the big guy some help!

Offensive efficiency of starting lineup. The team is having trouble scoring the basketball again; in the last 2 games, the offensive rating sits at a woeful 93.3. I’ll likely take a deeper look soon, but it seems a lock that the Solomon Hill-Omer Asik duo in the starting lineup is part of the problem. The Pelicans have just won once in nine games they’ve started together on the season.