Merry Christmas and a Happy Game Preview

Published: December 26, 2007

I'm fat and sleepy right now, having had a very nice Christmas, but I'm still going to do my duty and produce something for you to read prior to the game tomorrow.  But ya'll owe me, alright?


Matchup: Hornets (17-10) @ Grizzlies (8-19)
Opposing Blogger(and personal favorite): 3 Shades of Blue (Their Preview)

To paraphrase Chip of 3 Shades of Blue, the Hornets face the Grizzlies tomorrow night for what seems like the 12th meeting of the year.  In reality, it's only the third, but it's no surprise we feel like we've seen enough of the Grizz for this season.  Both of the previous games were nail-biters that went to overtime.  Hopefully the Hornets can finally put these guys to bed in regulation.

The key to doing that?  Stop Rudy Freaking Gay in the final minutes.  Seriously.  The guy spends all game managing to shoot from average to mediocre(35%) from the three point line, and then in the last minute can't miss.  He's hit no less than four big three-point shots at the end of games against the Hornets.  Maybe we can call Marc Jackson's fat butt back from Europe and have him fall on Gay a couple times.  That might slow him down a little.

Positional Analysis
Damon Stoudamire vs. Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
I'm still very surprised Stoudamire has his starting job.  He came into the season with two young prospects behind him, Lowry and Conley, and has managed to hold them off by through a combination of decent basketball and going Tonya Harding on Conley.  That's right, you heard it here first.  Conley's injuries were caused by Damon Stoudamire.  All you Grizzlies reading this should therefore resent and/or fear your starting PG. 

I'd mention Chris Paul here too, but I don't want my man-crush to be too evident.

SG: Mike Miller vs. Morris Peterson
Advantage: Grizzlies
Mike Miller is a dead-eye shooter with good rebounding instincts and a solid dribble drive.  The same could be said about Morris Peterson – except he's a notch below Miller at pretty much everything except defense.

SF: Rudy Freaking Gay vs. Peja Stojakovic
Advantage: Grizzlies
Peja came back last game from his pulled groin, and didn't seem to have any problems so I expect him to be at full speed, hitting for about 15 points.  Rudy Freaking Gay is now the focal point of the helter-skelter Grizzlies offense, and has become va very impressive scorer.  He keeps his turnovers down, ballhawks and blocks shots fairly well, and his rebounds have almost reached a respectible level.  He'll be hard to handle. (Ha – I said "pulled groin", "Freaking", "Gay", and "hard to handle" in the same paragraph, and it was legitimate!  Yeah!)

PF: Pau Gasol vs David West
Advantage: Hornets
West likes to eat Grizzlies for lunch.  Gasol has started slow against the Hornets the past couple games and then picked up steam.  Unfortunately for the Grizz, Gasol's steam is only for the offensive side, leaving West to continue to do damage.

C: Darko Milicic vs. Tyson Chandler
Advantage: Hornets
Two heavyweight big men battle it out in Memphis.  In a flashback to the 80's, a Tyson will come out on top.  He's just faster, more athletic, and wants it more than Darko.

Advantage:  Memphis
My good friends at 3 Shades of Blue believe the Hornets bench is a veteran squad with a smattering of youth, built to win now.  That may be the truth, but most of that veteran bunch sucks and can't shoot to save their lives.  The only light from the bench is that Julian and Hilton are beginning to show they can contribute.  That's about it.  The Grizz roll out hot-shooting Juan Carlos Navarro, Energizer Lowry, and two solid bench players in Warrick and . . . well I was going to say Stomile Swift, but he sucks.  Anyways, Juan Carlos can outscore our bench by himself, so the Hornets 2nd unit will have to do what it specializes in – defending – if it's to keep the game warm for the starters.

Prediction:  Hornets Win  99-93


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