Getting Back to the Grind

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Today marks the beginning of the Memphis Grizzlies’ preseason for the 2015-16 season.  This is an exciting time for the franchise as it also marks the franchise’s 15th year in the city of Memphis.  The team held training camp at the University of California, Santa Barbara from September 29-October 3.  What do the fans have to look forward to this preseason?

Familiar Faces

There is one word that best describes the franchise for the last few seasons:  consistent.  For the Grizzlies, consistency has generated success.  The cohesive bond of the Core Four (Tony Allen, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph) has helped to breed a genuine cohesiveness amongst the entire roster.  Throughout Media Day, it was obvious that they all agree that the consistency and cohesiveness has helped to shape the culture of the franchise and the team.  Joining the Core Four, fans will see the return of Jordan Adams, Vince Carter, JaMychal Green, Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, Russ Smith, Jarnell Stokes, and Beno Udrih.  You will notice that some names are missing from this list.  While consistency has brought this team success, some additions and subtractions were made to hopefully push this team to another realm of success.

New Faces

The Grizzlies drafted Jarell Martin this summer as a promising athletic addition to the four spot.  However, he suffered an injury prior to training camp that will have him sidelined for part, maybe all, of his rookie season.  Additionally, as they’ve done in years past, the Grizzlies have added some veteran power to the roster as well with Matt Barnes and Brandan Wright.  Both of these players add to the athleticism of this Memphis team, as well as, help to solidify the team as one the best defensive forces in this league.

Looking to Earn a Spot

Although JaMychal Green is a familiar face, his spot hasn’t quite been secured.  He’s the favorite amongst some others looking to garner a spot on the Grizzlies’ roster.  Grizzlies’ fans will get the opportunity to see a few more players looking to perhaps earn a spot on this year’s roster, as well.  These players include Yakhouba Diawara (G/F), Ryan Hollins (C), Michael Holyfield (C), and Lazeric Jones (G).  Diawara has 4 years of experience in the league.  He last played for the Miami Heat during the 2009-10 season, averaging 3.2 points per game.  Hollins has 9 years of experience in the league.  He last played for the Sacramento Kings this past season, averaging 3 points, 2 rebounds per game.  Michael Holyfield played with the team during Summer League this year.  He started in the final 2 games, and he had 13 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes of play during the Grizzlies’ Summer League championship game.  This would be his rookie year; he played for Sam Houston State.  Lazeric Jones came out of UCLA in 2012 as a point guard.  This would be his rookie year as well.  Certainly fans will want to watch and see which of these players should garner the coveted Beale Street Blue.

Tonight’s Game

Tonight fans will watch the team face the 2014-15 Southwest Division champs, the Houston Rockets.  The Grizzlies finished 2nd in the division this past season.  The Rockets have made a few changes as well.  Familiar faces Pablo Prigioni, Josh Smith, Tarik Black and Joey Dorsey are no longer with the team.  They have, however, picked up Ty Lawson and Marcus Thornton, who are familiar faces in the Western Conference.  Without a doubt, the Southwest Division remains perhaps the most competitive division in the league.  Every team in the division made the playoffs last season.  Tonight fans can watch the top two teams in the division last season face off and get a feel for what to look forward to in the coming months.  Tip-off is at 7 p.m at FedEx Forum.  It’s officially time to get back into Grit and Grind mode Memphis!

Carmen Patton
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