Where: Spectrum Center
When: 7:00 pm EST
How to Watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Hopefully the Charlotte Hornets have been able to lick their wounds and are prepared, because they are in for a slugfest Monday night.
The streaking Memphis Grizzlies come into town sporting a 8-5 record, tied for fourth in the West, and winners of four straight. Memphis is once again sporting their suffocating defense, having allowed an average of 84.5 points per game during their winning streak. In their last two games (a back-to-back against the Mavericks and the Timberwolves, respectively), the Grizzlies allowed 64 and 71 points.
What is even more impressive is what they have done to some of the better players the Association has to offer. Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins: 2-for-11 from the floor. Dallas' Harrison Barnes: 5-for-17. Utah's Gordon Hayward: 4-for-14. Los Angeles' Chris Paul: 3-for-11.
Long story short: Kemba Walker will have his work out for him.
The other side of the ball has been a different story for the Grizzlies - they are scoring 96.8 points per game, which is the fifth-lowest in the NBA, and only have three players averaging more than 10.0 points per game (Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph). Speaking of Conley, the point guard has been having a solid season, averaging 18.3 points and 5.9 assists per game while making 2.4 3s per game (for comparison's sake, Walker is making 3.3 per game).
Also of note, Chandler Parsons will miss the game tonight, thanks to a bruised left knee, and Tony Allen is questionable because of a right groin injury.
Memphis' bench is quite a solid one as well, including the likes of Randolph and Vince Carter, who is still in the NBA and playing well - he is averaging 9.9 points per game, the fourth-best on the team. This will likely present a challenge for the short-handed Hornets, who will be without both Jeremy Lamb and Cody Zeller tonight. On top of that, the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell reported earlier that Roy Hibbert will be limited to around 18 minutes tonight.
This game will be a tough one for Charlotte, but there is reason for hope. The Hornets won both games against Memphis last season, which included a 98-92 win at the Hive. These are the types of games doubters will say the Hornets need to win before they believe the team is for real. It's time for Charlotte to prove them wrong.