Paul George (IND) — 12 pts, 10 rebs, 9 assts
Wayne Ellington (MEM) — 17 pts, 7/9 FGs
Indiana Pacers (25-16) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (26-13)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is always special for the NBA, and in particularly the city of Memphis. There is so much meaning behind the day that many of us who did not live through it cannot even imagine.
We are seeing the fruits of Dr. King's sacrifice everywhere today — from the players on the basketball court in nine NBA games today to today's Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Basketball obviously does not encapsulate the full meaning of this day and serves only as a welcome distraction on a federal holiday.
The city of Memphis though always has a special place on this day. Dr. King, among the many places he lived and worked, was active in Memphis. And it is, unfortunately, the location of his assasination. The game every year in Memphis reminds us of the work that Martin Luther King did for this country. The Grizzlies do a great job every honoring Dr. King in the way they can.
This game will help us remember what Dr. King fought for through the programming and ceremonies that will occur before the game, at halftime and afterwards. It will also serve as a communal form of entertainment. Where everyone can enjoy a great game.
And this will be a great game with the Pacers and Grizzlies both nearing the top of their conferences. It will be a great way to enjoy a game with our American brothers — and in some small way live out Dr. King's dream.
Other Storylines to Watch
-The Grizzlies have been at the center of several trade rumors — as we awkwardly transition back to basketball. Rudy Gay has been at the center of a trade storm. Zach Randolph has entered the trade rumor swirl as he was reportedly linked to a deal with the Rockets. Something a Grizzlies source called "hilarious." Still the whispers remain with a month to go before the trade deadline.
-Indiana may be wheeling and dealing too. Danny Granger is set to return in early February and it seems his absence has made him expendable. Paul George seems set to make the All-Star team this year and has filled the role Granger had as the team's "Alpha Dog" and main perimeter scorer. What could Indiana get for Granger? That is as unknown as his return date for the moment.
Tonight's Other Games
|New Orleans||114||Pace: 93.2||122.3||55.1||45.5||13.2||23.6|
DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) — 29 pts, 13 rebs, 11/16 FGs
Ryan Anderson (NOH) — 27 pts, 7/14 3FGs
Sacramento Kings (16-25) vs. New Orleans Hornets (13-27)
It appears the fight in Sacramento is coming to an end… and it is not good for the passionate fans of Northern California. The Maloofs announced they have agreed in principal to sell their majority share in the Kings to Chris Hansen of Seattle. It is expected that Hansen will use that majority share to move the Kings to Seattle next season and rename them the Supersonics. While it is great to see the fans of Seattle get their team back, it is painful to see another passionate fan base lose theirs.
James Harden (HOU) — 29 pts, 19/21 FTs, 7 rebs, 7 assts
Kemba Walker (CHA) — 35 pts, 6/7 3FGs
Houston Rockets (21-21) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (10-30)
The Rockets own the NBA's longest losing streak at seven games. A trip to Charlotte would typically be a good cure for those ails. The Bobcats have struggled mightily these last few months. But there are signs that Charlotte is getting better and improving. The Bobcats snapped a long lsoing streak against the Magic on Friday and had a strong showing at home against the Kings on Saturday. This would obviously be a big step up for Charlotte though.
J.J. Barea (MIN) — 14 pts, 7 assts
Al Horford (ATL) — 28 pts, 12/20 FGs, 10 rebs
Minnesota Timberwolves (17-20) vs. Atlanta Hawks (22-18)
The hits keep coming for Minnesota. Nikola Pekovic and Alexey Shved left the Timberwolves last game with various injuries. They will probably not be out long, but they will miss some time. that could make things difficult for players having to step into new roles. The good news is Mikale Gelabale will make his debut for Minnesota.
Joe Johnson (BKN) — 25 pts, 5 assts
Carmelo Anthony (NYK) — 29 pts, 7 assts
Brooklyn Nets (24-16) vs. New York Knicks (25-13)
Iman Shumpert is back on the floor for the Knicks, but all anyone can talk about is the high top fade Shumpert has been sporting. Shumpert explained that everyone in his neighborhood growing up had one. Now only he and Norris Cole do. and J.R. Smith does not approve of Shumpert keeping the haircut. Oh well.
|Golden State||106||Pace: 93.9||112.9||60.0||17.1||17.0||24.0|
Blake Griffin (LAC) — 26 pts, 13 rebs, 8 assts
Stephen Curry (GSW) — 28 pts, 9/14 FGs, 6 assts
Los Angeles Clippers (32-9) vs. Golden State Warriors (24-15)
Unfortunately, this is the last time the Clippers and Warriors will play each other. The top two teams in the Pacific Division have played three fantastic games so far this season. Surprisingly Golden State has won two of those three. The Playoffs are a long way away, but you would think the Warriors would receive a big boost from winning this season serie sand keep that in their back pocket come April and May.
|San Antonio||90||Pace: 97.4||92.4||43.8||20.5||13.2||32.1|
Tim Duncan (SAS) — 24 pts, 17 rebs, 5 assts
Evan Turner (PHI) — 18 pts, 12 rebs, 7 assts
San Antonio Spurs (32-11) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (17-23)
The Spurs did not get in trouble for resting Tim Duncan on Saturday night. It is becoming normal for San Antonio to rest Duncan on the second night of back to backs. And with Manu Ginobili out that left only Tony Parker in as the member of the Big Three. Expect Duncan to be rested and ready to go in this game against Philadelphia.
Pau Gasol (LAL) — 15 pts, 12 rebs
Kirk Hinrich (CHI) — 22 pts, 7 rebs, 8 assts
Los Angeles Lakers (17-23) vs. Chicago Bulls (23-16)
The Lakers have reached the midpoint of their season and nobody expected this to happen. Los Angeles has lost eight of the last 10 games and things looked even worse after Dwight Howard was ejected from yesterday's game against Toronto. Kobe Bryant put the loss on him for his poor shooting. That probably will not change as the Lakers might become desperate.
Nene (WAS) — 24 pts, 9 rebs, 5 assts
Nicolas Batum (POR) — 12 pts, 10 rebs, 11 assts
Washington Wizards (8-30) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (20-20)
The Wizards are playing much better basketball right now. Do not let their record fool you. The Wizards pushed the Clippers to the edge Saturday and they are playing with a lot of confidence. Portland is too. The Blazers are surprisingly .500 and looking to make the Playoffs. And so this will be a big battle for them to make the postseason.