WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT
MEMPHIS- Kyle Anderson (Out, Left Heel Soreness)
INDIANA- Tyreke Evans (Questionable, Sprained Left Ankle), Thaddeus Young (Out, Bruised Left Foot), C.J. Wilcox (Out, Torn Right Achilles)
MEMPHIS- Mike Conley, Garrett Temple, Dillon Brooks, JaMychal Green, Marc Gasol
INDIANA- Darren Collison, Victor Oladipo, Bojan Bogdanovic, T.J. Leaf, Myles Turner
The Memphis Grizzlies are back in action Saturday night with their third preseason game. The Indiana Pacers come to town on the tail end of a back to back for the Grizzlies. It will be an early preview of the regular season opener on October 17th. These two teams will be feeling each other out trying to spot some possible weaknesses on both sides to take advantage of.
The Grizzlies come into this game after winning their preseason home opener last night against the Atlanta Hawks 120-110. Marc Gasol led the scoring in that one with 21 points in 24 minutes. Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons both had 11 points with Conley playing 27 minutes and Parsons playing 24. Look for that workload to decrease significantly tonight as Bickerstaff will be aware of minutes logged early in the preseason, especially on the second night of a back to back.
Both teams will be emptying their benches early on as the teams let everyone get solid minutes. The main goal with both team is to avoid senseless injuries. You really cant take a lot away from preseason games except if someone gets hurt. That will have a long term effect.
These are the two things to note going into Tuesday night:
Key Minutes For Jaren Jackson Jr.
As noted, the preseason is always hard to judge on how teams and players look for the season. The competitiveness is at an all-time low, and there are players who do not deserve NBA jobs playing minutes.
However, the one thing about preseason is that the rookies can benefit from going against competition they will face later on in the season. In Summer League, the rookies and younger players do not get that as they face weaker players, some that will never see in the league. This is great for Jaren Jackson.
He will be able to face off against Myles Turner or Thad Young battling in the post at the highest level. Even if these guys take a little off, their tendencies are still the same as the regular season. It is the time for Jackson to grow and learn how to face his competition at this level.
Jackson looked great in his first game in Houston, putting up 15 points, but last night he only scored 6 points for his first night in the Forum. These are still just the early steps. It is why it is so important for him to get some tread on those tires in these preseason games.
The Battle For the Final Spots
Another interesting subplot about preseason is while the stars and NBA veterans are playing at a more casual level, the fringe guys are out here busting their butts trying to make the starting roster. For the Grizzlies, they have about five guys who are playing in these preseason games who may not see the NBA court again.
This is why it is fun to watch the effort these guys play with to try and earn their spot. Some of the guys such as Markel Crawford, Doral Moore, Brandon Goodwin, Ismalia Kane, are all playing to show if they can compete in the NBA. Most of them will be staying in the G-League or cut altogether, but the storyline is there to make for some “Who is that again?” moments.
For most of my previews, I give a prediction along with some gambling advice for the game. I am not going to do that for the preseason action just because you cannot really tell what will happen with the minute distribution in these games. Coming off a game last night, the usual starters will see decreased minutes which will give other players the opportunity to prove their worth. I would love to see a strong game out of Wayne Selden and Ivan Rabb with a tick up in minutes.
But, as we said, most importantly, no injuries. That is all the Memphis faithful can ask from this matchup against the Indiana Pacers.