The Memphis Grizzlies aren’t an amazing regular season team, yet last season they had their best regular season in league history. With the NBA releasing the full 2012-2013 schedule a while back, I’m here to take a look at 10 games Grizzly nation should be looking forward to this season.
1) 10/31 at Los Angeles Clippers: As the opening game, this may be the biggest game of the year to the Grizzlies. After last year’s Game 7 loss to the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, expect these teams to become rivalries as they are two of the up-and-coming teams in the West and the rivalry begins with Memphis’ return to Staples Center.
2) 11/11 vs. Miami Heat: In come the Grizzlies first game against the world champions. During the Big 3 era things have been pretty even (Rudy Gay game winner in 2010, rout in 2012), but let’s be real. This is a new Lebron James, Dwyane Wade is fully healthy and Chris Bosh is coming off a fantastic postseason. Did I mention Ray Allen?
3) 11/14 at Oklahoma City Thunder (ESPN): OKC versus Memphis games have been fun to watch since the 2011 playoff series. This is also the team’s first game that will be aired on ESPN. Coming off of their NBA Finals loss, many expect Kevin Durant and company to be coming for blood and what better way to test Memphis’ status in the West?
4) 11/23 vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Dwight Howard versus Marc Gasol. Pau Gasol versus Zach Randolph. Kobe Bryant versus Tony Allen. Steve Nash versus Mike Conley. Metta World Peace versus Rudy Gay. Antwan Jamison versus Darrell Arthur. Jodie Meeks versus Jerryd Bayless. On paper the two teams match-up well, but paper means nothing on the court.
5) 12/04 at New Orleans Hornets: Though the Hornets will probably be overwhelmed by the talent on Memphis roster, it’ll be a great chance to see the number one pick Anthony Davis play against two of the best post players in the game in Gasol and Randolph. Also, Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon are pretty good, so that’ll be interesting.
6) 12/14 at Denver Nuggets (ESPN): This may be a preview of a 4/5 playoff match-up. Alongside the Lakers, this is another team that matches up great from top-to-bottom with Memphis. With the acquisition of Andre Iguodala over the summer, the Nuggets may be pressed to make it to the second round this year. The problem with that is that the Grizzlies have the same aspirations.
7) 12/22 at Houston Rockets: Seeing as they missed the train last year only one word fits this game: LINSANITY. It is unclear whether the Jeremy Lin will be worth the hype or hot-air two months into the season. Regardless of his play, Lin will surely draw a crowd at the Fed-Ex Forum and will most likely get the best out of the Grizzlies.
8) 02/24 at Brooklyn Nets: The new-look Brooklyn Nets are kicking off their new season in their new arena. It will be Memphis’ first time playing in Barclays Center. Facing a big and talented frontcourt in Deron Williams and Joe Johnson will be excited for Conley and Allen and watching Gasol against Brook Lopez will be even more excited. Maybe Jay-Z will be there to watch.
9) 03/18 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: With the additions of Brandon Roy and Andrei Kirlenko, the T’Wolves’ are in a prime position to make the playoffs. Though the Grizzlies probably won’t finish high enough to face them in the playoffs, but it’ll be a great matchup last in the year to see where both teams stand. Also, Ricky Rubio should have returned from his ACL injury by now.
10) 03/27 at New York Knicks: The last time these two teams faced off, Carmelo Anthony hit a jumper over Tony Allen with .5 seconds left to win the game. Ever one looks forward to playing at Madison Square Garden. It’s the greatest arena in basketball. Rudy Gay didn’t play in the last game and the two Baltimore natives always play well against each other on the court. Will be exciting to see.