Memphis Grizzlies Week 1 Preview

Check in with The Barn weekly to get a feel for the Grizzlies upcoming schedule. We will preview opponents, key match ups, and trends to help you get in the zone and provide you with water cooler conversations.

Wednesday, October 17th  @ Indiana Pacers 6:00 PM (cst)

In the preseason, the Pacers went 2-2 with wins over the Rockets and Cavs, while taking L’s versus the Grizzlies and Bulls. Last season Indiana finished with 48 wins, which was good enough for the 5th seed in the East. They fell in the first round to the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-3. They are returning their top scorer and first time All-Star SG, Victor Oladipo, who averaged nearly 20 points per game last season.  He will provide the biggest mismatch on defense for Memphis and shutting him down will be key if the Grizz hope to start off the season 1-0. It is still very unclear who will start at SG for Memphis as they trotted out several different players for tip-offs off during preseason. I think that you will see a strong dose of Garrett Temple and Dillon Brooks against Oladipo with possibly some Andrew Harrison since he is a plus defender with length.

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Another player to be concerned with is Domantas Sabonis, who could present a match up problem for Memphis in the second unit. Sabonis is a solid physical player who loves to crash the boards and was third overall in individual rebounding during the preseason with nearly 12 per game. During the preseason, Memphis averaged only 40 rebounds per game, 12 less than Indiana as a team. If the Pacers continue their dominance on the boards, it could be a long night for Memphis as they can not afford to give opponents additional opportunities.

This off-season, Indiana added some guards to their team in former Grizz Tyreke Evans, and also their first round draft pick, Aaron Holiday. Holiday is a point guard out of UCLA who shot over 40% from three and averaged half a dozen assists while repping the Bruins. They lost Lance Stephenson, who is now a member of the LeBron cast of characters out in Los Angeles.

Friday, October 19th vs Atlanta Hawks 7:00 (cst)

The Atlanta Hawks had a rough preseason, finishing up at 2-3. They lost all three of their road games and were victorious in the pair of home matchups. This plays nicely for Memphis since the Hawks will serve as the home opener on Friday.

During the offseason, the Hawks traded leading scorer PG Dennis Schroder to the OKC Thunder as part of a three team deal that also involved the buyout of Carmelo Anthony. They are returning wings Kent Bazemore and Taureen Prince, each of who shot close to 40% from three and average over a dozen points per game last season.  They also added big man Alex Len, who in 15 career matchups against Memphis is averaging 9.8p/8r/1.4a. I don’t anticipate him moving the needle much as Memphis should have the advantage down low (something that I might not say much this year). 

Atlanta did an excellent job in the race to the bottom last year, finishing with the worst record in the East at 23-58. With their highest draft pick (they had 4 total), they added Oklahoma Sooner Trae Young by way of trade with the Dallas Mavericks. Young will undoubtedly lead this Hawks team in shots and threes. If he catches fire there could be problems, but otherwise this roster seems to be destined for the basement again. Unfortunately for Atlanta, this self deprecating video from media day is all too accurate.


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[Featured Image: Getty images]


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