Exactly a week since they last met, the Memphis Grizzlies and the New Orleans Pelicans will share the floor anew this Wednesday. Will Ja Morant and the Grizzlies victimize the Pels again? Or, will New Orleans hand Morant his first loss of the season?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, December 27, 2023 at 9 AM, Manila time
Away: Memphis Grizzlies (9-19/7-8 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- Ja Morant
- Desmond Bane
- Vince Williams Jr.
- Jaren Jackson Jr.
- Bismack Biyombo
The Grizzlies are better than what their record suggests. Forget about the fact that they have already 19 losses this season. Those all happened when Ja Morant was still serving his 25-game suspension. Since getting the go signal to play, Morant has led the Grizzlies to three consecutive wins a stretch that began in Memphis’ 115-113 road win against the Pelicans on Dec. 20.
Well, Morant is back at Smoothie King Center, looking to double his mastery of Zion Williamson and company. In the previous meeting with the Pels, Morant dropped 34 points with eight assists and six rebounds, while shooting 12/24 from the floor. Over their last three games with Morant back in the fold, the Grizzlies have averaged 118.7 points on 51.0 FG%. The Grizzlies, who are coming off a 125-119 road win against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, are also 5-2 against the spread in their last seven road games.
Home: New Orleans Pelicans (17-13/9-6 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- CJ McCollum
- Brandon Ingram
- Herbert Jones
- Zion Williamson
- Jonas Valanciunas
It has been an up-and-down adventure for the Pels of late. After winning four games in a row in mid-December, they have gone just 1-2 straight-up, a stretch including their 106-104 home loss to the Houston Rockets last Sunday. New Orleans is still in good shape, though, as it is several games above .500.
The Pelicans were outdone in the Rockets game by self-inflicted wounds, as they committed 16 turnovers – more than their season average of 13.5 TOs per contest. They also went just 20/29 from the free-throw line. Those are correctable issues the Pelicans will look to fix right away in time for the rematch versus the Grizzlies. They shot better in the last showdown against Memphis from the charity stripe at 22/24, with Brandon Ingram going 11/12 from the foul line and finishing with 34 points. The Pelicans have covered the spread in eight of their last 10 games as the home team.
Spread: The Pelicans (-5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (229.0) hits the Over.