No need to sugarcoat it, Wednesday night’s season-opener on the road was not the best the Memphis Grizzlies could have played.
The Grizzlies shot less than 30% from the field and were out-rebounded exponentially. In no way was this the game everyone thought it would be. With a healthy Mike Conley, three-time All-Star Marc Gasol, and a mix of new veterans in the lineup, many people thought they would see a glimpse of the historic “Grit-‘n’-Grind” era.
Unfortunately, Grizz Nation did not witness that particular outcome. It was from from it, actually. The Grizzlies put up well-executed shots for the most part, but none would seem to go in the hoop.
For every shot that the Indiana Pacers missed, it was a second-chance shot Indy easily had because the Memphis Grizzlies’ rebounding effort was so poor.
There is still hope, though. Keep in mind that the Philadelphia 76ers were defeated by almost 20 points as well in their season-opener (while also on the road), but their loss seemingly did not affect their overall hype for the new season. Grizz Nation should remain upbeat for 2018-19.
On Friday night, the Memphis Grizzlies host the Atlanta Hawks, a team they played really well against in the preseason. The Grizzlies have always proved to be a true Western Conference competitor in the FedEx Forum (also known as “The Grindhouse”), largely in part to the supportive fan base.
The fans, the court, and the atmosphere of the Grindhouse is what this team needs to turn around such a devastating.
As mentioned before, even the best teams can lose their NBA season-opener, and by much more than a few points. It happens. Even considering Wednesday’s disappointing loss, the Grizzlies have the same record as six other Western Conference teams, and the Los Angeles Lakers or Portland Trail Blazers will join them at 0-1 after Thursday’s games reach completion.
Yes, it is one game into the regular season, and this is the time to stop it from being a trend. This game Friday versus Atlanta can either push this team ahead or pull them back. There is no need to overreact just yet.
There will be aspects that need to be worked on, such as how to rotate on defense, who to rotate, and when to rotate them. The shots will eventually fall on the offensive end as long as open looks continue to be found.
I think with the Grizzlies having so much talent on their roster this year, it makes it difficult for Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff to rotate players. It is just one game. Finding Memphis’ groove is what they need. Join the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night and expect to see what the difference being at HOME can do for a team.