1. The Pelicans hand the Grizzlies loss number one on the year
Even with the predicted outing from Desmond Bane, the Grizzlies will likely be in for a rough opener.
While Memphis finds itself coming in with a slew of its top players out of the rotation, the Pelicans are seemingly coming in with their stars at full strength.
After an injury-riddled 2022-23 season, New Orleans finds itself preparing to enter with CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram, and their biggest x-factor in Zion Williamson all in the starting lineup.
This could prove to be a real problem for a far-from-fully intact Grizzlies team, particularly on the defensive side of the floor.
Without Adams in the mix, it’s already been proven that Memphis’ efficiency on the less glamorous side of the ball regresses quite considerably.
Sure, they’ll still have the two reigning Defensive Player of the Year recipients Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marcus Smart, but with the latter’s limited run during the preseason with an abdominal injury coupled with depleted depth coming into the contest, limited chemistry to this point along with the fatigue factor will surely play a major role in the team’s overall defensive output.
Going up against fast-paced players like McCollum, Ingram, and Williamson in game one could be a recipe for disaster or, at the very least, a rough way to start out the season.
Though fans should be confident that 2023-24 can still be a successful season for the Grizzlies, this opener against NOLA will likely end in an L.