Pelicans Don’t Deserve Playoff Spot if They Lose at Home to Grizzlies

grizzlies pelicans

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 5:17 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2018 5:17 PM GMT

The New Orleans Pelicans are on a season-high four-game losing streak, but the schedule-makers have gifted them a visit from tanking Memphis on Wednesday night (8 ET).

Memphis (21-56, 33-42-2 ATS) at New Orleans (43-34, 40-36-1 ATS)Free NBA Pick: GrizzliesBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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A total of 26 of the league’s 30 teams were in action Tuesday following Monday’s dark NBA schedule opposite the NCAA title game. I mention this because there are six games on Wednesday’s slate and thus most of those teams are playing the second of a back-to-back. The only game where neither team is would be Memphis at New Orleans, which looks like the mismatch of the night with an 8 p.m. ET tip from the Big Easy.

The Grizzlies are putrid this season but are 2-1 vs. the Pelicans; both of those wins were in Memphis, 103-91 way back on Oct. 18 and 105-102 on Jan. 10. The teams last met on Jan. 20 in New Orleans, and the Pelicans won 111-104. Jrue Holiday scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Anthony Davis had 21 points and 12 rebounds. Of course, Cousins is now out for the season. The Grizzlies were led by a career-high 31 points from second-year Wayne Selden, who spent three games last season with New Orleans.

Davis is averaging 27.0 points and 15.0 rebounds in his two games vs. Memphis this year. Holiday has played all three and is averaging 14.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds. Former Pelican Tyreke Evans is averaging 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds vs. New Orleans, and Marc Gasol is putting up 17.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists.

The Grizzlies are 7-2 ATS in the past nine meetings.

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The duck likes being back in Oregon! #TrophyGame tonight goes to @dillonbrooks24 pic.twitter.com/UCrRUJp3KZ

— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) April 2, 2018
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Grizzlies Don’t Care … Pels Definitely Do

Memphis continues to be in full-blown tank mode as it attempts to get the most ping-pong balls possible in next month’s draft lottery. If the Grizzlies lose out, which they probably will, they should finish with the second-worst record in the NBA behind god-awful Phoenix. The Grizz haven’t had a Top-10 pick since taking bust Hasheem Thabeet No. 2 overall in 2009 out of UConn.

Because the Grizzlies don’t give two s***s about winning, you never know which guys will sit on a given night. It seems like Evans, Chandler Parsons and Andrew Harrison all likely will at a minimum Wednesday. Only Harrison has a legitimate injury. Also in question are JaMychal Green (knee) and MarShon Brooks (ankle), who both missed Sunday’s 113-98 loss in Portland. Gasol has a left groin injury but played through it Sunday, albeit in only 20 minutes. The Grizz are more interested in getting a look at young guys like Dillon Brooks (appears to be a second-round steal from the 2017 draft), Kobi Simmons and Jarell Martin to name a few.

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Anthony Davis for MVP: Yearbook style!

📕: https://t.co/1zogjjPrt9#AD4MVP #DoItBig #KiaMVP pic.twitter.com/BBITYfbsei

— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) April 3, 2018
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New Orleans absolutely needs this one as it battles for one of the final playoff spots in the West – and could miss out entirely. The Pelicans are on a season-high four-game losing streak following a 109-104 home setback vs. Oklahoma City on Sunday. The offense has gone into hibernation a bit with the team averaging 100.0 ppg in the skid. Davis is playing through an ankle injury and Rajon Rondo a wrist problem. Nikola Mirotic, who cost the Pelicans their 2018 first-round pick, is in a major slump in averaging 7.8 ppg over the past five a he deals with a hip issue.

The Pelicans better win this game and then Friday at Phoenix because the rest of the schedule is much tougher: Saturday at Golden State, Monday at the Clippers and April 11 vs. the Spurs. FiveThirtyEight gives New Orleans a 63 percent chance of making the playoffs. The team loses a tiebreaker to Denver, which is right behind at No. 9.

There’s no question that the Pels win here as Memphis has lost 30 of its past 33 road games, but the Grizzlies are still playing hard and have covered four straight games. They can manage to lose by high single digits. New Orleans has covered only four of its past 15 at home vs. teams with a losing road record. Take the points for a Wednesday NBA pick.

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