3-on-3: Previewing Grizzlies @ Hornets

Published: January 18, 2012

Our writers answer three key questions about tonight’s matchup between the Hornets and the Grizzlies.

Monty is hopeful on Ariza returning– “We’re just going to play it by ear and see what happens tonight. We’ll see how he feels.”

Squeaky and company will look to take one at home against the Grizzlies

1. Which matchup most favors the Grizzlies?

Jake Madison: The small-forward spot. If Trevor Ariza is out for the game, the Hornets don’t have anyone who can cover him. I expect he’ll have a big game.

Mason Ginsberg: There’s only one obvious answer here, and it’s the small forward position with Rudy Gay. The Grizzlies also hold edges at PG, SG, and C, but SF has to be the biggest disparity between the two teams talent-wise. Should Ariza return, his minutes will likely be limited and he may not completely be back at 100%, so my answer remains unchanged.

Joe Gerrity: I’ll also say Gay over Summers and Aminu as the biggest edge. If Ariza plays, the advantage goes to the Grizz in the late game, where they are used to closing games and the Hornets are not.

2. Which matchup most favors the Hornets?

Jake: The Hornets’ bench. Other than O.J. Mayo, no one scares me coming off the pine for Memphis. Depending on Monty’s starting lineup the Hornets could have Landry, Ayon, Vasquez and Aminu in their second unit. It’s not frightening, but it I have confidence in them.

Mason: Courtesy of Z-Bo’s knee injury, the Hornets are able to boast their lone matchup advantage at his position of power forward. Whether the Hornets start Kaman, Landry, or Ayon (I can’t imagine Smith gets another chance to start after his ineffective performance on Monday), I’ll take any of those three over Speights right now.

Joe: Second big man/power forward will go the Hornets way, but with how Landry and Kaman have been playing, we might wind up seeing more of Aminu and Smith and less of the Hornets more talented front court players.

3. Care to make some predictions about the game?

Jake: As long as the Hornets don’t have a disastrous game shooting from deep, they pull out a 5 point win. Optimism!

Mason: This team and this city are both absolutely desperate for a win right now. By staying out of foul trouble this time around, the Hornets’ big men are able to stay on the court and limit the production from both Gasol and Speights, fueling a much-needed 97-93 New Orleans win.

Joe: I’ll stay out of this one since I’m not as optimistic as my fellow Hornets247ers.


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