While we are in the midst of the slow period of the NBA calendar, the revelation of the next year’s NBA schedule is always an exciting time of year. We already know one box is finally checked for the Grizzlies, as they will face Golden State on Christmas Day. Now, we also know the Grizzlies will face off against the New York Knicks in the 2022-2023 season opener.
The Knicks will open the season Oct. 19 in Memphis, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA. It’s the Grizzlies’ opener, as well.— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) August 16, 2022
While the Knicks and Grizzlies are not huge rivals with an extensive head-to-head history, there are multiple reasons as to why there will be plenty of excitement around this matchup. For the Knicks, the excitement will center on the debut of marquee free agent signing Jalen Brunson. Furthermore, New York, and especially Julius Randle, will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2021-2022 season that was a bit of a let down after they made the postseason for the first time in eight years during the 2020-2021 campaign.
Of course, there is also the potential acquisition of Donovan Mitchell, which would raise excitement to a new level if Mitchell were to be traded for the Knicks.
For the Grizzlies, there are many questions and storylines that will be examined as opening night approaches. However, in terms of the Knicks specifically, it will be a good first test for the Grizzlies. Memphis is 3-2 against New York during Taylor Jenkins’s time as head coach. As is normally the case with any team coached by Tom Thibodeau, the Knicks have made life tough at times for Ja Morant and Desmond Bane. Morant has made only 38.7% of his shots in five career games against the Knicks, while Bane has made only 41.8% of his shots in four career games.
However, the Grizzlies young backcourt has also experienced some recent success. Morant scored 37 back in March of this year against New York, while Bane has shot over 46% from three against New York in his career. If the Knicks were to acquire Mitchell before opening night, the Knicks-Grizzlies matchup could feature two of the most exciting backcourts in the league.
Coming off a special 2021-2022 season, the Grizzlies will have plenty of excitement surrounding the start of their 2022-2023 season opener. Morant and the rest of the Grizzlies roster will be looking to make a statement on October 19th.