When: 7:00 PM CT
Where: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
How to watch/listen: NBATV/FoxSportsSoutheast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Garrett Temple (Out, Ankle)
HOUSTON: Clint Capela (Questionable, Hand), Isaiah Hartenstein (Questionable, Ankle), Eric Gordon (Questionable, Achilles), Michael Carter-Williams (Questionable, Knee), Nene Hilario (Out, Calf), Zhou Qui (Out, Ankle), Brandon Knight (Out, Knee)
Tonight marks the end of the preseason for the Memphis Grizzlies, with tons of questions still seemingly in the air.
After tonight, J.B. Bickerstaff and his coaching staff will analyze the results of the preseason and come to conclusions on players roles to begin the regular season, if some of those decisions haven’t been made already. However, the players still have one more game to prove themselves to the coaching staff and front office.
What exactly do you need to look for in tonight’s game? Lets discuss.
What is Bickerstaff’s plan?
Teams treat the last preseason game differently depending on what decisions have and have not been made. Does J.B. Bickerstaff treat this game like a dress rehearsal, which would mean essentially treating it like a regular season game? Or does he sit and rest a majority of the key players in the rotation, and give more minutes to guys like Ivan Rabb, Jevon Carter, and Yuta Watanabe? The answer to this question will give Grizzlies fans a hint on whether or not the coaching staff has settled on a specific rotation or not.
What to make of D.J. Stephens
Seconds after the Grizzlies waived Kobi Simmons on August 28th, Memphis media and fans started speculating that D.J. Stephens would take Kobi Simmons’ spot as the second two-way player on the Grizzlies roster. D.J. wasn’t signed until this past Monday, though, exactly two weeks from the Grizzlies media days. Does Stephens get some run in tonight’s game? Or is the organization comfortable with letting D.J. start the season down in Southaven with the Hustle before calling him up? D.J. didn’t play in Wednesday night’s game against the Magic, but he could be used some tonight depending on how the Grizzlies approach this game.
Who solidifies their role?
The Grizzlies have quite a few question marks when it comes to the roles their players will play next season. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol have locked in the starting spots at point guard and center, but literally every other position is up for grabs. Who steps up to start at shooting guard between Garrett Temple and Dillon Brooks? What about small forward with Kyle Anderson and Chandler Parsons? JaMychal Green or Jaren Jackson Jr. at the power forward spot? It doesn’t get any clearer with the reserves, either. Who becomes the first wing off the bench? Who is going to ride the bench?
Tonight is the last night for the players to prove themselves in game action and solidify their roles before the Grizzlies regular season begins on Wednesday. Look for them, and the coaching staff, to try and answer as many questions as they can in actual game action.