There’s a prize out there for the taking when the Memphis Grizzlies and host Charlotte Hornets meet for the first time this season Saturday night.
The Grizzlies have lost seven games in a row, most recently a 118-110 home loss to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.
The Hornets are on a 10-game skid after Friday night’s 120-84 setback at Milwaukee.
“They went after us early in the game,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. “We struggled to run offense. We had some really poor decision-making in the first half. Hopefully, something we can learn from.”
Memphis and Charlotte could have new-look rosters and lineups by Saturday night after both teams were active in trades during the week.
Clifford said he focused on the Milwaukee game, but he might have up to five newcomers in uniform against Memphis.
“We’ll worry about that now,” Clifford said.
For newly acquired guard Seth Curry and forward Grant Williams, the game Saturday night should feel like a different kind of homecoming. They’re both from Charlotte and played high school basketball for schools in the city.
Unlike when they played past NBA games in Charlotte, they’ll be on the home team this time.
The Hornets also acquired Tre Mann, Vasilije Micic and Davis Bertans before Thursday’s trade deadline.
The Hornets’ roster overhaul included trading away injured Gordon Hayward along with the waiving of guards James Bouknight, Frank Ntilikina and Ish Smith. Because of injuries, Smith was in the starting lineup recently.
The Grizzlies have had an array of moves, adding Yuta Watanabe, Chimezie Metu and Lamar Stevens in deals that sent David Roddy to the Phoenix Suns and Xavier Tillman Sr. to the Boston Celtics. Memphis waived Victor Oladipo, who was acquired last week.
“It’s a tough part of this business,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said of losing veteran players.
The Grizzlies have some encouraging developments. Rookie forward GG Jackson, who turned 19 years old in December, became the youngest player in NBA history to score 25 or more points off the bench when he scored 27 points Thursday.
“Embracing his role coming off the bench,” Jenkins said. “Offensively, it’s diversified scoring attacks. When he gets his feet set, knocks down 3s. He understands where he can get better, that’s impressive. He comes in with a confidence and aggressiveness. He’s learning on the fly and wants to help us win.”
Jackson has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games.
Vince Williams Jr. was close to a triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the loss to the Bulls.
“It was decent, but we still lost,” said Williams, who has scored in double figures in 12 consecutive games.
After Saturday night’s game, Memphis will have five consecutive home games.
Charlotte will begin a three-game homestand, but that might not mean much. The Hornets have lost their last eight home games.
In the two most recent home games, Miles Bridges had 41 and 45 points, but he’s coming off a 2-for-16 shooting performance from the floor, scoring 11 points in Milwaukee.
–Field Level Media
Nobody saw it coming, but the Pac-12 game of the year is set to take place when No. 4 Arizona hosts No. 21 Washington State on Thursday night in Tucson,…
Beating No. 3 Purdue requires following a straightforward formula, but only three teams have been able to pull it off this season. None of those teams who succeeded were playing…
Steven Ashworth scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half and added seven rebounds as No. 15 Creighton thumped No. 1 UConn 85-66 in Omaha, Neb., on Tuesday…
Rutgers faces tall order in visit to No. 3 Purdue
Top 25 roundup: No. 15 Creighton thrashes No. 1 UConn
No. 18 Saint Mary’s shakes off San Francisco, wins 14th straight
No. 23 Texas Tech escapes upset bid by TCU