Grizzlies season debut: it’s finally here!

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Tomorrow at 19:00 CT, all the offseason overreaction, all the rational/irrational speculation, all the over/under debate, all the endless waiting will surely hit a rest stop for any Grizz lover out there, as Grizzlies basketball finally returns to our lives when the Grizzlies host the young and talented Timberwolves in the season opener. The game is important in its own way but nothing is more exciting (maybe not for older/veteran Grizz fans) than seeing Grizzlies playing in a real game for the first time in nearly 6 months. I know I will shout at my screen and let my excitement heard by neighbours before I eventually remind myself that it’s just the first game.

Projected starting 5:

Grizzlies: Mike Conley, Courtney Lee, Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol

Timberwolves: Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins, Corey Brewer, Thaddeus Young, Nikola Pekovic


Injury list:

Grizzlies: blissfully none

Timberwolves: none


Key of the game: Containing Minny’s tall and athletic wings. First task for Grizzlies’ veteran-heavy obviously-short wings rotation won’t come as easy and the hardest of all is that this won’t be the hardest matchup they’ll face. So consider this a test run for the expected rotation of Allen, Lee, Pondexter and Carter, because it’s going to be the same problem for them night in and night out. Hopefully Grizzlies’ elite defensive system will help the cause as the presence of Marc and Koufos shields some penetration and the capability to make a game slow and ugly diminishes a young team’s advantage. Still, an elite passer like Rubio will surely help Brewer, Wiggins and Budinger breaks through defense quickly and Kevin Martin has always been a nightmare for Grizzlies.


Matchup to watch: Marc Gasol vs Nikola Pekovic. I’ll be honest, I only care about the Marc Gasol part of the matchup. But Pekovic has made his name the past two seasons and what better way for Marc to start potentially his best season than beating someone who is quite overrated right now. Pekovic isn’t a good defender but Marc is, adding the fact that Marc also seems to be more aggressive on offensive end, the acceptable result of this matchup should be complete dominance from Big Spain.


X-Factor: Dave Joerger. Yep, that’s unusual. But Dave’s determination to impose his new offense last season was a big part of the reason why Grizzlies struggled to start. What kind of game would Joerger play to start this season? How has he been doing in terms of adjusting offensive/defensive execution of the team? Will he experiment in terms of offensive sets and/or rotation? Not that conservative is always the way to go, although the approach Joerger takes to start off his first will be a meaningful indicator for at least the beginning of 14-15 campaign.

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