WHEN: 6:00 PM CT
WHERE: Amway Center — Orlando, Florida
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Bally Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis, NBA TV
MEMPHIS: Jaren Jackson Jr. (Out, foot surgery recovery), Danny Green (Out, knee surgery recovery), Maybe Other Key Players (Out, it’s preseason)
ORLANDO: Markelle Fultz (Out, Toe), Gary Harris (Out, Knee), Jonathan Issac (Out, Knee), Jalen Suggs (Out, Knee), Admiral Schofield, Franz Wagner (Day to Day)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Santi Aldama, Steven Adams
ORLANDO: Chuma Okeke, Paolo Banchero, Wendall Carter Jr., Cole Anthony, Terrance Ross
We are progressing closer to the start of the 2022-2023 regular season. However, like the rest of the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies still have a few opportunities to make sure they are ready to go once October 19th arrives. They will look to continue to improve as they travel to Orlando to face the Magic for the second time in eight days.
At 2-1, Memphis has looked good at times in the preseason. Ja Morant already looks ready to go, averaging 19.5 points, 5.5 assists, and 2.5 steals in only 23 minutes per game over his past two starts. Santi Aldama and Kenneth Lofton Jr. have flashed their potential, while Dillon Brooks and Ziaire Williams have shown great production from beyond the arc.
One interesting narrative for Memphis will be whether they will give the starters one final run and then more than a week’s worth of rest before the regular season opener, or perhaps let the young depth have another audition in Orlando. With the preseason finale in Detroit on Thursday, Memphis could give go a variety of different directions on Monday when it comes to who plays the most minutes.
However, there are two key areas the Grizzlies would likely enjoy a bit of improvement from compared to their three previous outings. Here are a few keys to success to watch for when it comes to Memphis.
A calling card of the Grizzlies during Taylor Jenkins’ time as head coach is being one of the best teams in the league when it comes to creating turnovers. That remains the case so far this preseason. However, the Grizzlies are also struggling when it comes to their own offensive discipline as well.
Memphis has committed 22 or more turnovers in each of their preseason games, including 27 the last time they played the Magic. While there are plenty of logical factors that could lead to less disciplined play, Memphis would certainly enjoy significant improvement when it comes to taking care of the basketball.
Expect the Grizzlies to emphasize playing with a crisp and focused pace tonight, regardless of who gets the majority of the minutes. While the turnovers are likely not a cause for concern, Memphis wants to be efficient as possible once the Knicks visit the Bluff City in eight days.
Success from Three and the Line
Over their past two games, the Grizzlies are 20-69 from beyond the arc. They also made only 67% of their 45 free throws in the loss to the Heat. Though Memphis is still one of the youngest teams in the NBA, they are also on the cusp of contention. For the Grizzlies to truly evolve into the contender they so badly want to be, consistency from three and the line is essential.
Fortunately, when it comes to individual players, the outlook gets a bit brighter. Brooks, Williams, and Aldama, each of whom Memphis would love to see improve from three, are 16-34 from deep so far this preseason. Other players who likely will be just fine once the regular season hits, such as Desmond Bane and John Konchar, have struggled a bit so far. In other words, while the Grizzlies would certainly like to see more success from three and the line over the next few games as whole, they have to be encouraged by the success some of their younger players are experiencing so far.
One fun note for this game is that, regardless of who plays, there is going to be plenty of young and fun talent to watch on the floor in Orlando tonight. Hopefully the Grizzlies will be able to play a good clean game with less turnovers, more threes, and no injuries. If they can get off to a good start, Memphis should have a successful night against the Magic.
FINAL SCORE: Grizz 112, Magic 103