Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Grizzlies - March 12, 2014

Pelicans vs. Grizzlies Game Preview

Sometimes an NBA team just matches up well against a specific opponent, regardless of how talented and powerful that foe may be. That clearly seems to be the case so far in 2013-14 for the New Orleans Pelicans in their head-to-head meetings with the Memphis Grizzlies.

When the Pelicans host the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, New Orleans will be seeking an unlikely 4-0 series sweep of their Southwest Division counterparts, as well as its fourth straight win overall. Two of the Pelicans’ finest road wins all season were in Memphis, including a 99-84 early-season victory on Nov. 6 and a 95-92 triumph on Martin Luther King Day. New Orleans also bested Memphis on Dec. 13 by a 104-98 margin here in the Smoothie King Center.

Although many Western Conference teams capitalized on an extended injury absence by Memphis’ Marc Gasol during the middle chunk of this season, the Grizzlies’ standout center has played in two of his team’s three losses to the Pelicans. In the game Gasol missed against New Orleans, the Pelicans did not have Anthony Davis due to a broken left hand, but still prevailed behind a combined 45 points from starting guards Eric Gordon (25 points) and Jrue Holiday (20).

In the two Grizzlies games Davis has played, he’s spearheaded the Pelicans by averaging 22.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks. He shot a below-average 38.9 percent from the field over the pair of games, but has more than made up for it by going 17-for-19 from the foul line. Gordon has also been particularly effective against Memphis, averaging 18.7 points while shooting 55.6 percent from both the field and three-point range. He’s only misfired on one of his dozen foul shots while facing Tennessee’s NBA franchise this season.

Pelicans Anthony Davis
Power forward
Anthony Davis vs. Zach Randolph
New Orleans caught a break in a most unusual fashion during the Nov. 6 matchup at Memphis, when Randolph had to leave the arena during the first half to be there for the birth of his son at a nearby hospital. The crafty left-hander has registered a double-double in both of his other games against New Orleans this season, including a monster 23-point, 20-rebound performance on Jan. 20. Davis and the Pelicans will try to keep Randolph off the glass, where he had a whopping 10 offensive rebounds in that Jan. 20 contest.
Grizzlies Zach Randolph