When: 6:00 PM CT
Where: Amway Center in Orlando, Florida
How to watch/listen: NBA League Pass/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Garrett Temple (Ankle, OUT), Kyle Anderson (Heel, Questionable), Markel Crawford (Knee, Questionable)
ORLANDO: Terrence Ross (Foot, Questionable), Timofey Mozgov (Finger, Questionable), Jonathan Issac (Ankle, Questionable)
As we approach the end of the preseason, it would seem like there are still pretty massive questions that need to be answered for Memphis.
Of course, some of these questions will be impossible to come to conclusions on as long as players like Kyle Anderson are unable to play. Of course J.B. Bickerstaff and his coaches have an idea where they want to go in terms of rotation once everyone is healthy, but seeing it play out in game action is obviously not possible at the moment. While the Grizzlies are wise to not rush anyone back to play in a preseason game, every opportunity for minutes together in game-like situations is valuable for the new-look Memphis roster. Due to injury, right now it is opportunity lost.
Ignore the shiver that just went down your spine. Let’s talk tonight.
Let’s Get Marc Gasol Going
In two games so far this preseason, Marc has looked like he is ready for a return to form and force on the defensive end of the floor. Offensively? He has struggled, shooting a combined 6-20 from the field, including a miserable 1-8 from beyond the arc. Other areas of his game - facilitation, rebounding, etc. - look pretty solid at this stage, but considering the likelihood of Memphis struggling to score this season they need Gasol to be at worst a 2nd scorer for them to compete. Shots not falling in preseason isn’t a cause for concern. It would be nice, though, to see some shots fall for Big Spain in the penultimate preseason showing for the Grizzlies.
Let’s Try to Find the Real MarShon Brooks
Again, preseason games are risky places to reach any full-on conclusions on a player. But for players like MarShon Brooks, these exhibitions are his chance to show beyond practice that he is capable of being more than even a microwave scorer. The main questions for MarShon is where is his value when his shot isn’t falling - against the Pacers, Brooks was a paltry 3-10 from the floor and did not make a single three. He rebounded and created for others to the tune of 2 boards and 2 assists in 22 minutes of play, but the fact remains that MarShon is in Memphis to get buckets. If he isn’t doing that on a pretty regular basis, he won’t stick in this rotations.
For his sake, buckets will hopefully be had tonight.
Let’s Hope for the Best with Ivan Rabb
Ivan, do us all a favor.
Show the ability to play for extended stretches, please.
Yes, even in a meaningless preseason game. Just do us a solid. You’re the next man up, especially at center, and a lot of potential pressure is on you to be the guy as that 4th traditional big man. Will the Grizzlies go “small” more this season? Probably. Depending on match-up, will JaMychal Green or even Kyle Anderson play more center than you? Very much a possibility. The outside shot still exists, though, that you could be called in to action as a key rotation cog. If you could be closer to that 12 rebound, 3 steal, 3 block player that you were against the Pacers across multiple showings, that’d be terrific.
No pressure, but we’re counting on you. Another night, another shot to show your capabilities.