The struggling New Orleans Pelicans take on the resurgent Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum. This is their second meeting this month as Ja Morant looks to settle scores with Zion Williamson after falling to a defeat in their last face-off.
The New Orleans Pelicans have been in dismal form as they have slipped to 12th in the West after failing to win any of their last three games. Their latest loss came against last week's worst squad, the Detroit Pistons, by a margin of 123-112.
The Memphis Grizzlies, on the other hand, got back to winning ways against the Sacramento Kings, whom they beat 124-110. Before that, they had lost to the LA Lakers on the road after blowing a 20-point lead.
Fixture: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Memphis Grizzlies - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Tuesday, February 16th, 2021, 7:30 PM ET (Wednesday 6:00 AM IST).
Venue: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
The New Orleans Pelicans will be hoping to take some inspiration from their win against the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this month. They are in dire need of a win if they are to secure a playoff berth this season. The Pelicans' overall record stands at 11-15 as of now and the quality of the other teams in the West is a worrying factor for them. It seems as if the race for securing the last playoff spot may even go down to the wire.
Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram were once again the star performers for the New Orleans Pelicans in the last game, scoring 26 points each. The Pelicans, however, suffered once again because of their inability to defend 3-point shots. Head coach Van Gundy seemed visibly distraught after the game as he called out his players for not putting up a good defense. He said:
"We did not defend well enough or play hard enough at the defensive end to deserve to win."
Key Player - Brandon Ingram
The NBA's Most Improved Player of the Year from last season has been phenomenal for the New Orleans Pelicans. While Brandon Ingram's efficiency as a scorer is well known this season, it's his defensive skills that the New Orleans Pelicans will be in desperate need of. The former Lakers man has a team-high average of 1.0 block(s) per game this term.
Van Gundy might ask his second-highest scorer of the season to sharpen up his defense when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies, who are known to be a decent offensive unit. After the Pistons game, Brandon Ingram conceded that the New Orleans Pelicans didn't make shots when needed and were shaky on the defensive end as well. He said:
"Offensively, we weren't making shots, and I think it trickled down to the defense a little bit," Ingram said.
G - Lonzo Ball, G - Eric Bledsoe, F - Zion Williamson, F - Brandon Ingram, C - Steven Adams
The Memphis Grizzlies have been inconsistent in their last ten outings, having registered 5 wins and 5 losses. The Grizzlies put in a complete performance against the Kings in their last outing.
Ja Morant finished the night with 16 points and 10 assists, but his shooting was quite disappointing as he shot just 7-18 from the field. Jonas Valanciunas was the top scorer for the Memphis Grizzlies with 25 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds.
Key Player - Jonas Valanciunas
The Memphis Grizzlies big man has been in scintillating form in the last 5 games. Jonas Valanciunas is averaging a whopping 21 PPG shooting at 65.3% FG and also 12.5 RPG in that period. He is getting better with every game and has provided great support on both ends of the court.
Valanciunas' performance will be vital to the Memphis Grizzlies' hopes of securing a win over the struggling New Orleans Pelicans.
G - Ja Morant, G - Grayson Allen, F - Kyle Anderson, F - Dillon Brooks, C - Jonas Valanciunas
Pelicans vs Grizzlies Match Prediction
The Memphis Grizzlies have been better in terms of defense, which tilts the balance in their favor for this matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans have the exact opposite problem and with the Grizzlies' potential to score big, they might endure a fourth consecutive defeat.
Where to watch Pelicans vs Grizzlies?
The game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies will be telecast on Fox Sports New Orleans. Fans can also live-stream the game on the NBA League Pass.