The Memphis Grizzlies opened up their preseason home debut against the Atlanta Hawks. After falling to the Rockets in the preseason opener, the Grizz looked to iron out some wrinkles and find a new identity moving forward.
Memphis started Marc Gasol, JaMychal Green, Chandler Parsons, Dillon Brooks, and Mike Conley, but used a number of rotations throughout the game. The Hawks were showcasing the highly intriguing Trey Young and even gave the Memphis faithful a healthy look at Vince Carter.
The first quarter started slow for both teams, the first bucket coming after two minutes had gone by in the period. Marc Gasol flew out of the gates, scoring 10 of the team’s first 13, controlling the flow on both ends of the floor. Memphis also played top notch defense, keeping the Hawks off the free throw line and causing tough shots. On the offensive end, its safe to say the Grizz are still finding their rhythm. One improvement was getting to the free throw line, Memphis was 11-15 from the line in the quarter, with Andrew Harrison 4-8 on his own.
The Grizzlies would lead the Hawks 34-26 at the end of the first quarter.
Memphis struggled to start the second quarter. The Hawks quickly regained the lead, but would not hold it for long. As Memphis worked through turnover struggles, Atlanta gave Memphis a few favors as well. Conley finally came alive in the second quarter, ending with 11 points for the half. MarShon Brooks grabbed some quality minutes, contributing a quick seven points on 3-3 shooting.
The most exciting part of the quarter came from Chandler Parsons who decided to not immediately pass the ball every time he touched it. He tallied nine points in the quarter on 3-3 shooting, including a four-point play. He looked confident in his jumper and looked to be the playmaker he needs to be.
Due to an 11-2 run to end the 2nd quarter, Memphis would lead 63-54 at half.
After starting the half with a shot clock violation, Memphis settled into the second half. The starters fell into a groove that Atlanta couldn’t stop. MarShon Brooks caught fire again, finishing the game with 7-7 from the field for 18 points, including three 3-pointers. There were a ton of new faces on the floor in the second half, rookies and new signees littered the floor with Bickerstaff emptying the bench when the lead was sufficient.
The Grizzlies would build as much as a 26 point lead in the quarter, ending the period up 98-74.
As expected, the rookies trying to land a spot on the roster were given their shot for much of the fourth quarter. Turnovers mounted, at one point Memphis suffered through four straight possessions with a turnover, but the young guys are learning. Yuta Watanabe was postered by Miles Plumlee on his first play of the game, others like Markel Crawford and Doral Moore were thrown into the mix as well.
Memphis would win the game 120-110 with four of five starters scoring in double figures. Marc Gasol led the team with 21 points and MarShon Brooks contributed 18 points off the bench. Memphis outshot Atlanta 47% to 43%, winning the turnover battle 24-20 as well.
Memphis will face the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night at FedExForum.