New Orleans Pelicans vs. Memphis Grizzlies Game Preview 11/25/2022

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Memphis Grizzlies Game Preview 11/25/2022

Basketball

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Memphis Grizzlies Game Preview 11/25/2022

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Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

There is a battle set at FedExForum tonight between two Southwest Division rivals as the Memphis Grizzlies welcome the New Orleans Pelicans. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. EST.

The Pelicans are at the top of the Southwest Division with their 11-7 record after winning five of their last six games. Their most recent win came against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are rolling at the moment respectively, scoring 23.1 and 21.7 points per game. Williamson missed the last game against Memphis, but Ingram pitched in with 19 points, two assists, and four rebounds. The major contributor was C.J. McCollum, who scored 30 points, had nine assists, and three rebounds. McCollum will be out for this game, though.

The Grizzlies have hit a bit of a rough patch, losing four of their last five games, and come into this matchup after just dropping back-to-back games. Despite the loss to the Sacramento Kings, they did get a small victory in that one with the return of Ja Morant. In his return he put up 34 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Still, without Desmond Bane, the offense, and defense has struggled during this stretch. They are still right in the battle though with a 10-8 record right behind the Pelicans in the division.

 

How New Orleans Can Win:  The Pelicans have had one of the top defenses in the NBA and have improved even more over the last six games. During that span, they have the best defensive rating of 103.5, which compliments their second-best offensive rating of 119.3. With putting together great play on both sides of the ball, it has led to great play, and they will need to continue that without McCollum on the court. Williamson and Ingram are big contributors, but they also got excellent play from Devonte’ Graham who put up 21 points and Jonas Valanciunas with 22 points against the Spurs. Having a well-rounded attack continue will help the Pelicans come away with the win.

 

How Memphis Can Win: Memphis needs to find a way to score on offense and get some type of offensive production going without Bane. In the five games Bane has missed, Memphis is averaging only 107.8 points per game and have the second-lowest field goal percentage with 42.3%. Having Morant back will still help with improving this, but he also needs to be careful with the ball. On the season Morant trails only Joel Embiid with the most turnovers in the league, averaging 3.9 per game, and the Pelicans excel in this area, forcing 16.1 turnovers per game. Scoring and not turning it over, giving the Pelicans more opportunities will need to be the plan. 

 

Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans 115, Memphis Grizzlies 106

The Grizzlies still haven’t been able to fully put things together without Bane on the court, and against the Pelicans defense, things won’t get quite easier. The Pelicans have everything to outmatch Memphis in this one.

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