Half-assed Preview: Grizzlies @ Hornets
It's that time of year when I start looking out for the results of other NBA games. Usually I don't care. There could be 15 games in a night, and I'll only know the outcome of the one our Hornets played. Tunnel vision.
But no more. With the Hornets battling for a Playoff spot down the stretch, there's going to be at least one other game each night that affects their position in the standings.
Like last night. Wins by the Clippers, Nuggets and Warriors didn't help the Hornets' cause. The T-Wolves were also playing, but they lost to the same Memphis Grizzlies that roll into the Ford Center this evening. The latest standings have the Hornets tied with Minnesota for tenth in the West.
Of course, the Hornets shouldn't be worrying about how other teams are playing. (I'll do that for them.) If they take care of business and keep winning like they've been doing recently, a Playoff spot is pretty much guaranteed.
These next two games against the Grizzlies will be big. I realize I've probably said that about every Hornets' game the past five weeks, but I figure they don't get much easier than this the rest of the way. The Hornets need to capitalize. Beat the stragglers.
As mentioned, the Grizz beat the T-Wolves in overtime last night, 105-97. Six players scored in double figures for Memphis, led by Rudy Gay's 19, seven of which came in the fifth quarter. The Grizzlies had lost four straight before that, and still have the worst record in the West at 13-38. They have yet to win a game against a Southwest Division opponent this season, and are 0-14 in the second game of back-to-backs. The Grizzlies are 3-3 in overtime games.
We've only seen Memphis once so far this season, back in December before Chris Paul busted his ankle. That game went to overtime, too, with the Hornets prevailing 100-97. Refresh. You may remember Desmond Mason immortalizing Alexander Johnson in that game.
For tonight, Chris Paul is apparently good to go after hurting his right arm against the Bucks (low here). No word of any lingering effects of that bruised hand David West suffered either. Dudes named Kyle Lowry, Tarence Kinsey and Jake Tsakalidis are on the chilling list for Memphis.
Right, gotta run. Tip tonight is at 7pm Central. Linkage below. Denver and Sacramento both have games this evening. The Nuggs are at Milwaukee and the Kings are in Seattle. Keep an eye on those. I'm out.