Shootaround: vs. Grizzlies (12/7/12)

by Jim Eichenhofer

Greivis Vasquez and Mike ConleyShootaround: vs. Grizzlies

By: Jim Eichenhofer,, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Updates from shootaround heading into Friday night’s Southwest Division home game against the Memphis Grizzlies:

• Jason Smith’s playing status vs. Memphis (13-3) is uncertain, after he has experienced some knee soreness following a fall in Wednesday’s game. “I’m going to try to go tonight,” Smith said. “I’m going to see how it feels in warmups. If not, I’ll just try to play (Saturday at Miami). There’s no damage or anything like that, but I just have to take care of it and make sure it’s 100 percent.”

• Smith on facing the Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph: “It’s a tough matchup. He’s a high-caliber player. It’s going to be (based on) team defense. It’s not just going to be on Ryan (Anderson to defend Randolph individually).”

• Monty Williams, on the Hornets’ recent stretch of a one-sided win over Milwaukee, followed by a defeat to the Lakers after leading at halftime: “The NBA is a cruel league. You have to be able to play at a high level. That’s a term that we use a lot, but it makes sense. We didn’t play with a high level in the second half (against the Lakers). We kind of waited to get hit, and that doesn’t serve us well.”

• Williams on the Grizzlies: “The one thing they have that most teams don’t have is continuity. Their core has been together for three or four years, and they’ve added guys who fit their team, like (Jerryd) Bayless, Quincy (Pondexter) and (Marreese) Speights. Tony Allen brings juice and championship experience. Rudy Gay is playing like an All-Star. Marc Gasol is a really underrated passing big who plays well in the post. And they don’t get enough credit for the kind of defense they play.”