New Orleans Hornets vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Full Preview, Spread Info and More

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterDecember 15, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 15:  (L-R) Marc Gasol #33, Zach Randolph #50, O.J. Mayo #32 and Tony Allen #9 of the Memphis Grizzlies before play against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at Oklahoma City Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The New Orleans Hornets take their first act on the road to meet the Memphis Grizzlies in one of the more memorable preseason games in Hornets' history. 

The elephant in the room is there is one less superstar in the Hornets' locker room. Chris Paul has finally been granted his one wish in being traded from New Orleans. 

The Hornets got back a great wealth of young talent and draft picks. So there is no way you can judge their strength in the first exhibition since that fateful night. 

Here is the information you need on the first preseason game in what will be a shorter, albeit wilder, season. 

Where: FedExForum, Memphis, TN

When: Friday, December 16th, 8:00 EST

Listen: Louisiana KMEZ 106.7 FM in New Orleans and MAX 94.1 FM in Baton Rouge; Memphis 92.9 FM ESPN/680 AM ESPN

Betting Line: according to Grizzlies -11.5 

Key Injuries: No injures to report. The Grizzlies' Rudy Gay's shoulder should be back to full health. 

What's At Stake?: Not much. The fact that it won't be on TV should tell you how much importance the league holds on this game. 

This will be an exercise in getting the guys back on the floor to work out some chemistry issues. This game should get ugly at times, especially for the any new Hornets present getting to learn a new system. 

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26:  The New Orleans Hornets huddle in the third quarter while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif
Harry How/Getty Images

What They're Saying: 

Brett Martel writes for The San Francisco Chronicle that the Hornets could very well be depleted this Friday, " The three former Clippers are expected to report over the weekend, after the Hornets' first preseason game at Memphis on Friday night. Demps says he thought he might have to try to sell Gordon, Kaman and Aminu on coming to New Orleans, but says all three sounded excited about the move and are eager to get a new start.

Marc Gasol sounds quite pleased to be back with the Grizzlies, "I didn't see myself other than with this team, whether it was going to be for the long term or one year. I definitely thought I would be here this year."

Hornets Player to Watch: It sounds likely that the Hornets will be very thin on talent on Friday. That means the leadership and scoring will come from Trevor Ariza. 

Grizzlies Player to Watch: I am interested to see how Marc Gasol does after being rewarded with a shiny new deal. The Grizzlies will coast to a preseason victory in what should be a comfortable start at home. 

Key Matchup: I just hope no Hornets players get hurt. This team has been depleted of star power and is in a state of flux. They are also playing a team on the rise. Forget matchups, this is all about safety and getting into game shape. 

Prediction: Grizzlies 97, Hornets 85