New Orleans Hornets vs. Memphis Grizzlies Preview and Pick

New Orleans Hornets -5.5 (13-7) at Memphis Grizzlies +5.5 (9-15) O/U 192 8 PM ET Tuesday December 16, 2008
By Jason Green at

Tonight the New Orleans Hornets travel to Memphis to play the Grizzlies. Many though the Grizzlies were making a bad move when they traded away leading scorer Jason Richardson, but maybe Larry Brown knows what he is doing, as the Grizzlies have won 4 games in a row. The Hornets are also hot, as they are 8-2 in their last 10 games and are in 2nd place in the Southwest Division .5 games back of the Spurs. While the Grizzlies are in last place in the Southwest Division, they are showing signs of life during their impressive winning streak.

This season the Grizzlies are a respectable 7-5 at home and the Hornets are 6-4 away from the Big Easy.

Online Sportsbooks have the Hornets as 5.5 point favorites with a total around 192. The Hornets are posted as -300 as away favorites and the Grizzlies are posted at +230 as home dogs.

The Hornets come into this game after beating the Toronto Raptors 99-91 on Sunday night. The high scorer for that game for the Hornets was David West going for 29 points on 10/16 shooting. For the game the Hornets shot 36/75 from the field for a FG% of 48%. On defense the Hornets held the Raptors to 31/77 from the floor for a FG% of 40.3%.

The Grizzlies come into this game after an impressive 102-86 win over the Miami Heat on Sunday night. The high scorer for the Grizzlies in that game was O.J. Mayo going for 28 points on 8/17 shooting. For the game the Grizzlies shot 34/73 from the field for a FG% of 46.6. The Grizzlies D with the horrid shooting of the Heat made is so Miami only shot 32/88 from the field for a horrid FG% of only 36.4%.

The Hornets rank 18th in the league in scoring (97 ppg) and the Grizzlies rank 25th (95.3 ppg). The Hornets are one of the better defensive teams in the league, as they rank 3rd in points allowed (92.4 ppg) and the Grizzlies rank 17th (99 ppg). The Hornets are a better rebounding team, as they have a rebounding differential of +1.3 rpg and the Grizzlies are at -1.7 rpg.

This season the Hornets are 9-10-1 ATS and the Grizzlies are 11-13. In terms of Over/under games the Hornets are 9-12 this season and the Grizzlies are 16-11.

On the injury front C Tyson Chandler is day-to-day for the Hornets and SF Darius Miles is Out for the Grizzlies.

Since the scoring reigns were handed over to rookie O.J. Mayo the Griz have won 5 of 6 games, including their last 4, by an average of 10.2 ppg.

The Hornets have won 4 of their last 5 games and the only one they lost was to the Celtics and who beats them?

The Hornets are one of the better shooting teams in the league and the Grizzlies will have to play good perimeter D in order to win this game.

Marc Gasol has to play good defense on Tyson Chandler, who is banged up, and keep him from scoring a ton and controlling the boards.

The Griz also have to play good D on Chris Paul, who is on fire lately, as if they allow him to penetrate he can either score or dish out the rock to the long-range gunners of the Hornets.

Both Rudy Gay (20 ppg) and Mayo (20.8 ppg) have to shoot the rock well tonight and attack the rim and get to the line. If they do not the Hornets should win this game easily, as the Griz do not have many scoring options.

Grizzlies PF Darrell Arthur is 6’9″ and he can’t let David West have another big game like he did against the Raptors. If he does the Griz will be cooked, as their D will have to drop down and that will open up the outside J for the Hornets. That is not a good thing with shooters like Paul, Morris Peterson, and Peja Stojakovic.

The Griz have won 4 games in a row, but they can really prove they are legit if they win this home against a solid Hornets team.

Jason’s Pick: I’m sticking with the hot hand and taking the Grizz and the points.