New Orleans Pelicans v Memphis Grizzles

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Published: February 1, 2016

The New Orleans Pelicans (18-28) host the Memphis Grizzlies (28-20) at the Smoothie King Center tonight at 7 pm CT (UTC -6). The game is on Fox Sports New Orleans and the Pelicans Radio Network, 99.5 FM locally.

The Pelicans have been playing fairly well in their homestand even with a string of injuries that has has claimed Evans (in all likelihood according to pre-game comments) and Eric Gordon, while Quincy Pondexter of course will not see a minute all season. The Pelicans did sign Bryce Dejean-Jones to a second 10-day contract, however, to help fill the void. To use him beyond this contract, the team will need to offer a rest-of-season deal.

The likely starters are Asik, Davis, Dejean-Jones, Gee, and Cole with Holiday and Anderson coming off the bench but receiving significant minutes, as has been typical. Gasol should play for the Grizzles, but Barnes is a game-time decision.

The Pelicans notably played the Grizzlies well in their last meeting, but the game was lost late. To have success tonight, the Pelicans need to get to the line and convert . . . this is a Grizzlies weakness. On the other hand, they need to protect the ball, as generating turnovers is a Grizzlies strength to be pitted against one of the Pelicans. The real test may be keeping the Grizzlies off the line, however. The Pelicans’ defense is coming into its own, and this will be a different kind of test. Memphis’ efficiency is rooted completely in getting to the line. That is where you cut the life from them. A little rebounding will help, too.

The homestand ends tonight, but there are winnable games this week. If the Pelicans can hold it together tonight, we might have a fun week.

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