What: Charlotte Hornets (22-24) at Memphis Grizzlies (19-28)
When: 8:00 p.m. EST
Where: FedEx Forum; Memphis, TN
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Earlier this season, the Grizzlies were doing Grizzly things. Unassuming stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley led their band of wily vets to a record incommensurate with their perceived talent level. A win over the San Antonio Spurs on November 21st gave the team a 12-5 record, largely thanks to their third ranked defense up to that point. That was probably the high point of their season.
Since then, the Grizzlies have gone 7-23. They’ve lost 12 of their last 13 games, and it’s led to the Grizzlies entertaining the idea of moving their big stars. Since that win over the Spurs, Memphis ranks just 12th in defense and 29th in offense. It’s all falling apart.
That doesn’t mean this will be a walk in the park for the Hornets; really no road game is for them at this point. The Grizzlies still possess the ‘grind’ from their old grit ‘n’ grind mantra- they play at the league’s slowest pace and take more shots in the final seven seconds of the shot clock than any other team in the league. They can still defend reasonably well. If the Hornets bring their typical road shooting, we could be looking at a 1990s style 85-80 barn burner.
The Hornets may catch a break on the injury front. Marc Gasol is listed as questionable as he’s been dealing with back soreness.