The New Orleans Pelicans are the top dogs right now in the Western Conference and they have no plans of ceding their position. Will the Pelicans win their first game of 2023 (Manila) this Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies? The Grizzlies are not far behind New Orleans in the standings. Will they trim the gap between them and the No. 1 slot in the West with a win?
Catch this game live on Sunday, January 1, at 9 AM, Manila time
Away: New Orleans Pelicans (23-12/7-8 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: CJ McCollum
- SG: Herbert Jones
- SF: Trey Murphy III
- PF: Zion Williamson
- C: Jonas Valanciunas
It’s still the holiday season, but the Pelicans are not in the mood to give away victories. They have been so tough to crack lately, with New Orleans now on a five-game win streak after beating the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday, 127-116.
Coming up next for New Orleans is a chance at beating the Grizzlies for the second time this season. With Zion Williamson not around, CJ McCollum starred for the Pelicans when they beat Memphis at home back on Nov. 16, as he scored a team-high 30 points on 11/23 shooting with seven 3-pointers. New Orleans’ outside shooting was crucial to the success of the Pels in that game in which they finished with 18 deep bombs.
Williamson played in the rematch on Nov. 26 in Memphis, though that was a 132-111 New Orleans loss, with McCollum sidelined. This time around, both Williamson and McCollum will be out there to test the Grizzlies’ defense which hasn’t been consistent in the past few outings, allowing 111.8 points in the last five Memphis games – bottom 10 in the NBA in that stretch.
The Pelicans are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
Home: Memphis Grizzlies (21-13/13-3 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Ja Morant
- SG: Desmond Bane
- SF: Dillon Brooks
- PF: Jaren Jackson Jr.
- C: Steven Adams
The Grizzlies prevented a three-game skid by taking care of business north of the border, as they defeated the Toronto Raptors on the road last Friday, 119-106. Ja Morant scored only 19 points on 9/19 shooting from the field but he dished out a total of 17 assists – a career-high for the Grizzlies star. Overall, Memphis had 37 assists and also hit 13 3-pointers on 29 shots from deep.
When the Grizzlies beat New Orleans in November, Morant scattered 23 points with 11 assists, with Memphis shooting 51.6 FG%. The key for the Grizzlies Sunday is to limit the touches of Williamson because when he gets the ball, he can be pretty disrespectful to opposing defenses. The Grizzlies aren’t too shabby defensively, though. They are inconsistent of late on that end of the floor, but they might have just recaptured their moxie after they held Toronto to only 40.6 FG%.
The Grizzlies are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games at home.
Spread: The Grizzlies (-6.0) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (233.5) hits the Over.