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Game Thread: New World Order- Opener vs. Detroit

Although the first four games of the season were played last night, this is the day most of us have been waiting for. A day to see all our teams play, all our fantasy players go at it for the first time, and see what our teams have in store for this season.

The Memphis Grizzlies will take on the Detroit Pistons tonight at 8:00 P.M., in what looks like it could be a solid home opener for the Grizz. Wouldn't it be nice to get off on the right foot?

Let's see the storylines of the game over the jump. (ed. note: djturtleface writes the other side.)

  • Distribution: How will the Grizzlies distribute the shots, how effectively will they distribute the ball, and most importantly how many unforced turnovers will they have? This has been the challenge of this preseason, and hopefully more consistent minutes will figure it out. On the other hand, the Pistons are going to have serious problems with minutes; how do Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva get enough run to justify their contracts when incumbents seem set to start in their positions?
  • Skinny: How well does Rudy Gay match up against Tayshaun Prince, a player who is very similar in talent and has the same skinny frame as Rudy, but has been able to accept a more focused, defense-oriented role for his team. Also Prince has an egghead -- just sayin'. Oh, and Austin Daye is watching.
  • Kung Fu: With two teams adapting and learning new schools of play, and a definite master becomes the teacher meme with the Pistons slipping from the elite, this game has a plot from Chinatown.
  • Drama Free: Without A.I. playing this game is, quite honestly, devoid of the bulk of its drama. I suspect this will benefit the Grizzlies a bit, since they'll be free to defend the home court as opposed to defending Iverson's identity, which could have resulted in a rather stagnant offense.
My Predictions: Grizzlies win 98-91 as the Pistons drop this one to a lively crowd and motivated team. Both teams will probably struggle to get their offenses running in stride, but have enough weapons to score anyhow. If Ben Gordon and Richard Hamilton happen to be lights out tonight, however, I don't see much hope for the Grizzlies. Also O.J. Mayo will need to capitalize when Gordon is on the floor guarding him, as opposed to the much larger and cagier Rip. I think he'll do that, and the Grizzlies will come away with a surprisingly decent first win on the backs of Mayo and consistent help from bigs Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.