Preseason basketball is starting up for the NBA. The Grizzlies will face two young and rising teams, the Timberwolves and Hawks. I'm going to give you an outlook on our preseason opponents, and give my final predictions for the games.
The Minnesota Timberwolves had a 19-45 record when the NBA season was suspended due to concerns over covid-19. They were not invited to the NBA 8-game bubble. After trading Andrew Wiggins and acquiring All-Star D'Angelo Russel, their was hopes for the Timberwolves future. After D'Angelo came to the Timberwolves, they were 2-7 in their final 9 games. Which isn't promising, but considering it was the head coaches first year at Minnesota, the record is reasonable. After the conclusion of last years NBA season, the Timberwolves were awarded the #1 pick in this years draft. They chose Anthony Edwards, a promising guard out of Georgia. Russel, Edwards, Culver, Towns; this sounds like a dangerous young squad. The All-star pair in towns and Russel can grow to be one of the most dangerous duos in the NBA. I could also see Russel and Edwards emerging as one of the best backcourts in the league. The Timberwolves have rising stars in rookies Jarrett Culver, Anthony Edwards, and Malik Beasley. Expect to see a much improved Timberwolves team this season, with plenty of young talent.
The Grizzlies can match almost every player defensively. Morant on Russel, Brooks on Edwards, Jackson on Culver, and Valančiūnas on Towns. This will be an exciting game of runs and fastbreaks. These are both young teams so I expect a shootout. However, I see the Grizzlies splitting these games and escaping the series with a 1-1 record.
Game 1: Timberwolves 112, Grizzlies 101.
Game 2: Timberwolves 99, Grizzlies 110.
The Atlanta Hawks finished 20-47 in the shortened NBA season. Like the Timberwolves, they were also excluded from the NBA bubble. Atlanta is one of the most promising young teams in the league. With rising stars in Young and Collins, this team could be a contender in a number of years. The Hawks made a lot of moves during and after the season. During the season, they waived Chandler Parsons and traded in a massive 4 team, 12 player deal to acquire center Clint Capela. After the NBA season the Hawks were awarded the #6 pick. With that pick they chose Onyeka Okongwu out of Southern California. The Hawks added more good players this offseason, they signed veteran Rajan Rondo, guard Kris Dunn, wingman Danilo Gallinari, shooter Bogdan Bogdanovic, and forward Solomon Hill. This team has added tons of talent. The balance between veterans and rookies are just balanced. The Hawks have rising stars in Young, Reddish, and Collins.
This is going to be a red hot shooting Atlanta team, so the Grizzlies better bring their best perimeter defense. Morant can guard Young pretty well so I don't see Young scoring over 30 points in each contest.
Game 1: Grizzlies 109, Hawks 96.
Game 2: Grizzlies 100, Hawks 112.
The Grizzlies will face both teams twice. The Minnesota series being played in Minnesota and the Hawks series being played in Memphis.