Game: New Orleans Pelicans @ Memphis Grizzlies
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Odds: Pelicans +2.5, Grizzlies -2.5
Zion Williamson and Ja Morant were the first two picks at the 2019 NBA Draft. The New Orleans Pelicans chose Duke’s Williamson first, and the Memphis Grizzlies chose Murray State’s Morant second. The dynamic young stars have only ever played in the same NBA game four times combined due to injuries, but both are expected to play when the Pelicans travel to the Grizzlies on Friday.
Williamson played in the Pelicans’ last two games after recovering from a bruised foot. On Wednesday, he had a season-high 32 points and 11 rebounds in a 129-110 victory at San Antonio. On November 15, Williamson was absent from a 113-102 victory over the Grizzlies at home. New Orleans’ victory over San Antonio was its fifth in its previous six contests. That came after the Pelicans’ 45-point thrashing of the undermanned Golden State Warriors two nights prior.
Without starting point guard CJ McCollum (non-COVID illness) for the game against San Antonio, reserve Devonte’ Graham scored 21 points with six 3-pointers, and center Jonas Valanciunas added 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Tuesday night, Sacramento defeated Memphis 113-109. Morant made a comeback following a one-game absence due to a sprained ankle. Despite losing to New Orleans back on November 15, Morant scored 36 points. Memphis was within one point of the Pelicans with 5.3 seconds remaining in that game thanks to a three-point play by Morant, who scored 20 of his points in the fourth quarter.
When he was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer against Sacramento with 1.7 seconds remaining in the game, Morant had a chance to tie the game. He missed two of his three free throw attempts, causing the Grizzlies to lose for the fourth time in as many games.
Jaren Jackson Jr. made his season debut against the Pelicans in the opening game after having foot surgery in the offseason. Desmond Bane remains out of the New Orleans lineup because of a sprained big toe.
The Pelicans have won all four games that Williamson and Morant have both played in. The most recent one took place in Memphis on February 16, 2021. New Orleans won 144–113. In the games in which both players have appeared, Williamson has averaged 26.8 points and six rebounds, while Morant has averaged 17.8 points and 7.0 assists.
Williamson missed the most recent game with Memphis. McCollum scored 30 points to lead six Pelicans in double figures while New Orleans made 18 of its 38 three-point attempts. In their last 11 games against Memphis, the Pelicans have an 8-3 ATS record. In their last 15 visits to Memphis, New Orleans is just 4-11 SU.
The Grizzlies are now 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five games. The Under is the trend for Memphis. Eight of their last 12 games have gone Under the posted game total. That includes four of their last five home games. Two of the last three head-to-head games have gone Over. Those three games have averaged 237.7 points.
Join Oskeim Sports today and save 20% on your first purchase at the online store!