Anyone Want a Bearskin Rug?

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Published: February 9, 2008

Matchup: Grizzlies(13-36) @ Hornets(33-15)
Off Efficiency: Grizzlies 102.8(16th), Hornets 107.4(8th)
Def Efficiency: Grizzlies 108.0(29th), Hornets 101.3(6th)
Relevant Bloggers: 3 Shades of Blue(Their Preview – And the Format I Stole)

The Hornets have taken out Memphis three times this year, but the Grizzlies made two of them overtime games behind some amazing long distance shooting by Rudy Gay and Juan Carlos Navarro.  They still have the ability to get hot, even without Pau Gasol, who is off in Laker land.  Their top rookie, Mike Conley has overcome his second injury of the year, and should provide them a nice lift.

Tyson should be back for the game, and our team will be hammering away at full strength. Hopefully, their intensity from the Phoenix game will carry over.  The thing to focus on, however, is defense.  Our defense has been bad enough over the last couple weeks that we've slipped from top 2 in the league to the 6th best.  We need to stop that slide and get another win streak going. After these next three games comes a marathon of tough matchups.  Easy teams sparked the confidence for the last run – maybe they can do it again this time. 

For the Grizzlies lineup I'm going off what they rolled out in their last game – with a replacement of Conley for Lowry, who played twice as long in the game at the point.  There's no guarantee this is the actual starting line up – they have been shifting it quite a bit.

Positional Analysis
PG:
Mike Conley v Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Two short point guards who went 4th in their drafts.  Paul is an MVP monster, Conley a promising young point who keeps having his solid play interrupted by injuries.  Conley plays under control and can penetrate well.  He's not a great shooter though.  He's got potential.  Paul's brutal.

SG: Juan Carlos Navarro v Morris Peterson
Advantage: Hornets
Both can go smoking hot in a game and hit lots of shot.  Both are three-point specialists.  Both are on a cold streak.  Mo Pete is a good defender, so can still contribute when his shots aren't falling.  I'm not sure Navarro can say that.

SF: Mike Miller v Peja Stojakovic
Advantage: Hornets
Peja has been on fire, and not just from the 3-point line.  He's been cutting, running the break, and hitting post up fade aways like they are layups!  Actually, he sucks at layups, so that's probably not the best analogy.  He's hitting fade aways like they are 3-pointers!  Mike is a complete offensive player as well, but Peja's been smoking, so I'll give him the advantage.

PF: Rudy Gay v David West
Advantage: Hornets
I would actually be a little surprised if the Grizz ran Gay out against West.  Neither guy will be able to guard the other, but West has Chandler behind him.  Gay's got Darko.  West wins the matchup.

C: Darko Milicic v Tyson Chandler
Advantage: Hornets
Darko is still trying to get past serviceable to good.  He's shown a few flashes, but he's got a long way to go.  I resist comparing him to Chandler, because in Chicago Chandler's per minute numbers were very good.  Darko's – not so much.  Chandler will dominate here, and probably won't need to injure Milicic's hand like the last time to do it.

Hornets win 109-94.

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