Well, that did not go as expected.
Everything was seemingly in the Grizzlies favor: The Cavaliers were on the second night of a back-to-back where they played a competitive game on opening night against the Bulls, and in theory, would be sluggish after flying into Memphis late Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.
They were up against a rested Grizzlies team that has trademarked grind you down basketball.
Additionally, the Grizzlies are, for the most part, entirely healthy, or at the very least, they had their full accompaniment of players available. While the Cavs were without guards Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert.
The Grizz weren't having to integrate a bunch of new faces into their rotation. It's been the same starting lineup for the better part of two seasons.
Except it wasn't.
Dave Joerger decided to go with Jeff Green in place of Tony Allen in the starting lineup, like he did during the preseason.
Why? You ask. I don't know. There's been no evidence to suggest that Jeff Green is anything except abysmal with starters. Your eyes tell you that. The numbers tell you that. And he just looks so much more comfortable playing with the bench unit.
But, hey, I guess it's worth one more shot to start him on opening night.
It went about as well as every other game Jeff Green has started with the Grizz. He finished with eight points on three of nine shooting and posted a -21 plus/minus - worst among the starters. Tony Allen, for comparison, was -6 plus/minus in two more minutes of action. While neither posted a good plus/minus, Tony, who finished with six points, seven rebounds, and two steals, was 15 points better.
However, to Joerger's credit, he sat Green for the entire second quarter and didn't start him to begin the second half.
Joerger went back to the Allen-Courtney Lee wing combo that most have become accustom to, and that's won the Grizz many a basketball games.
And then, when Jeff Green was insert back into the game after sitting for roughly 22 minutes of game time, he was subbed in for Mike Conley - leaving Green as the guy bring the ball up the floor and initiating the offense, which is a position commonly referred to as point guard.
Yes, Jeff Green was playing point guard.
"I liked it," Joerger said when asked about the lineup that featured Jeff Green as the point guard. "I think it is going to give us an opportunity to put more play-making on the floor with more shooting. It gives us more size."
I'll offer no further comment on that subject other than it's strange that we can get Jeff Green point guard minutes, but, for whatever reason, we can't get Russ Smith and Jordan Adams minutes, at all.
The rotation was completely out of sorts the whole game. It seems like most of that was rooted in the fact that Jeff Green starting didn't work, and the Grizz fell behind by so much so early. So it left Joerger searching the rest of the game for some type of spark.
It appeared as though the Grizz had found that spark with Conley, Lee, Allen, Z-Bo, and Gasol in the third quarter and that's when Jeff Green was subbed in at point guard.
The Cavs lead, which had been cut to 18, quickly jumped up into the mid-20s, and the Grizz, who struggled to find their rhythm all night, were, once again, completely out of sync on offense.
Green had his moments against the Cavs. There was a sequence late in the third when he drilled a three from the wing and on the next possession drew a foul while attacking the rim, resulting in a pair of made free throws. That sequence came when Green was on the floor with bench players.
It's been clear for some time: Jeff Green is most effective and comfortable coming off the bench.
Sure, it's just game one. It's easy to overreact. They'll play 81 more of these, and, presumably, a few playoff games, too.
But it's been clear for some time: The most effective version of Jeff Green is him coming off the bench and being 'the guy' with the second unit.
As for the game itself, Tony Allen summed it up pretty well.
"I ain't got no excuse," he said. "They came in and kicked our behind. They hit us in the mouth."