Key Matchup vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Kemba Walker vs. Mike Conley
A pair of shifty, 6-1 point guards will be front and center on Monday night when the Charlotte Hornets travel to take on the Memphis Grizzlies who have yet to lose at home this year.
Coming off the best season of his NBA career, Walker has picked up right where he left off in 2016-17 with averages of 24.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists through Charlotte’s first six games. The Hornets point guard has also connected on 40-of-44 free-throw attempts this season (90.9 percent), tying him for the fifth-most makes per game in the league (6.7)
Walker will be tasked with guarding the Grizzlies’ crafty veteran left-hander, Mike Conley, over in Memphis. Now in his 11th season, the former Ohio State Buckeye is averaging 17.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and a team-high 4.0 assists this year. Conley is also the catalyst for a Grizzlies squad that is producing the fifth-most pick-and-roll points per game this year as well (18.5).
The biggest challenge for the Hornets will be keeping Conley in front of them and not allowing easy passes to center Marc Gasol (team-high 21.8 PPG this season). Executing on defense – particularly with assignments and switches – will be crucial for Charlotte in picking up a third-straight victory at the FedExForum.