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NBA Preview: Pelicans seek to halt losing streak versus Grizzlies

Jonas Valanciunas vs. Steven Adams!

New Orleans Pelicans v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans responded well to head coach Willie Green’s pointed criticism with a solid but ultimately losing effort against the Brooklyn Nets.

Now, the Pelicans have to see if that level of competitive fire and execution can be at the very least matched as they host the Memphis Grizzlies on the second game of a back-to-back.

New Orleans has had plenty of success against the Grizzlies as of late, winning five of six, and seven in a row at the Smoothie King Center.

Brandon Ingram could return as well, giving a major boost for the Pelicans, who sit on the verge of a 10-game losing streak. During this current, nine-game slide, the Pelicans (1-12) are 0-6 at home.

And those losses have been frustratingly close. A three-point loss to the Hawks, followed by a four-point defeat at the hands of the Sacramento Kings. This week, the Pelicans had their chances to take down both Oklahoma City and Brooklyn, but offensive ineffectiveness has kept the Pels outside of the win column.

Adding 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, along with BI’s 45 percent shooting from deep might be the difference in this game between Southwest Division foes.

The Grizzlies (6-6) come to the Crescent City with consecutive losses, including their 119-94 loss at home on Friday night.

Led by Ja Morant and his 26.5 points and 7.2 assists, Memphis averages 108.4 points per game, more than the Clippers, Bulls, and Nets. Will Herbert Jones draw the defensive assignment of guarding the dynamic point guard more times than not?

The Grizzlies offense got a shot in the arm of its own with the return of Dillon Brooks. Brooks scored 20 points in 26 minutes in his first game of the season.

Both teams will have the opportunity to put up points, as the Pelicans and Grizzlies rank last, and next to last, in defensive rating.

Lastly, who else is going to tune into the battle at center, featuring players traded for each other during the offseason? Jonas Valanciunas vs. Steven Adams should be a lot of fun.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (1-12) vs Memphis Grizzlies (6-6)

When: November 13, 2021, 6:00 pm

Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans

Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @DMGrubb.