Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Grizzlies - December 13, 2013

Pelicans vs. Grizzlies Game Preview

When the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies drew up plans for how they wanted to see their 2013-14 seasons unfold, the names Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol figured prominently. Unfortunately for the Southwest Division clubs – who go head-to-head Friday night in New Orleans – injuries have forced both to come up with ways to make up for the loss of an excellent frontcourt contributor.

Davis broke his left hand on Dec. 1 in New York, while Gasol has been out of action since Nov. 22 due to an MCL sprain in his left knee. The Pelicans are 2-2 in full games without Davis’ services, while the Grizzlies are 3-5 since their starting center went down.

Prior to the key injuries, New Orleans put together one of its best victories of the season Nov. 6 at Memphis, notching a 99-84 win at FedEx Forum in Tennessee. The Pelicans led by as many as 29 points in the surprisingly one-sided game. New Orleans was paced by Eric Gordon’s 19 points, followed by Davis’ 18.

Friday’s matchup is the second of four contests between the Pelicans and Grizzlies this season. They will also meet on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Memphis on Jan. 20, followed by a March 12 tilt back here in the Crescent City.

With Davis out of the mix, the Pelicans’ leading scorers are Ryan Anderson, Gordon and Jrue Holiday. Anderson is off to the best start of his NBA career, averaging a New Orleans-best 21.7 points per game. Reserve guard Anthony Morrow and Holiday also are shooting above 40 percent from the three-point stripe.

Pelicans Ryan Anderson
Intriguing matchup:Power Forward
Ryan Anderson vs. Zach Randolph
Anderson-Randolph is a study in contrasts, with Anderson dangerous on the perimeter despite his 6-foot-10 frame (he’s also an underrated rebounder). Randolph is a more traditional big man, a crafty southpaw who scores the majority of his baskets on post-ups around the rim. The Michigan State product also has a knack for coming up with offensive rebounds and quickly putting the ball back for easy scores.
Grizzlies Zach Randolph