Top Home Games of 2013-14: No. 16 vs. MEM

Friday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m.

Other 2013-14 games between these two teams
Wednesday, Nov. 6, New Orleans at Memphis
Monday, Jan. 20, New Orleans at Memphis
Wednesday, March 12, Memphis at New Orleans

Why it’s on the list
On Friday the 13th in December, a visit by the Grizzlies will mark the end of a key four-game homestand for the Pelicans that will also include Dallas, Oklahoma City and Detroit. It’s an important stretch for New Orleans, because immediately following the Memphis game, the Pelicans embark on their longest road trip of the season. In a pre-Christmas five-game trek, New Orleans will visit Denver, Golden State, the L.A. Clippers, Portland and Sacramento from Dec. 15-23.

Roughly 400 miles north of New Orleans by car, Memphis is one of the Pelicans’ four Southwest Division rivals. New Orleans actually had some surprising success against the Grizzlies in 2012-13, despite often being shorthanded due to injuries. The then-Hornets prevailed twice vs. Memphis last season, including winning relatively comfortably 91-83 in Tennessee. However, the Grizzlies posted a franchise-best 56 victories in the regular season and advanced to the conference finals for the first time. They’ve increased their winning percentage every season since 2008-09.

What’s new in Memphis
A team that achieved many franchise firsts in 2012-13 decided not to make many player changes this summer, but has a new coach in former assistant Dave Joerger (replacing the extremely successful Lionel Hollins). The Grizzlies landed center Kosta Koufos from the Nuggets in a deal that sent Darrell Arthur to Denver. Memphis also picked up veteran sharpshooter Mike Miller, after two-time defending NBA champion Miami used the amnesty provision to waive Miller.