As the Los Angeles Clippers look to build on the success they had last year, they will be opening up the season at home against the Memphis Grizzlies. This will be the first time these two teams have met since the Playoffs last year.
If opening night between the Grizzlies and the Clippers will be anything like the showdown these two had in the playoffs, NBA fans should be in for a real treat. The Clippers edged out the Grizzlies in 7 games last year in the first round of the playoffs in what ended up being a very physical, hard fought series. Neither one of these teams quits until the final whistle is blown and the clock reads 0:00. That should make this opening night game an instant classic.
Key players for the Clippers had off season surgeries. Chris Paul had surgery on his shooting hand thumb, while Blake Griffin had surgery on his knee. However, both Paul and Griffin should be ready to go opening night. The Clippers have also made some additions in adding Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Grant Hill, Willie Green, Ryan Hollins, and Ronny Turiaf.
The Grizzlies did not have the signing frenzy the Clippers had over the off season, but they will have their full squad ready to go on Opening Night. The only player they will not have moving forward is OJ Mayo. They lost him in free agency to the Dallas Mavericks. However, the Grizzlies fulfilled their need to get deeper.
After a failed effort to bring in Ray Allen, the Grizzlies signed Jerryd Bayless to be the backup for Mike Conley. Quincy Pondexter and Hamed Haddadi were also signed to be backups for Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol respectfully.
All in all, these two teams have made upgrades to their rosters. These two, once part of a punch line, are now proud organizations and will be for years to come. In this first game of the season, look for the mood to be set early in the post. DeAndre Jrdan and Zach Randolph will be battling all night for position. This will open up the game to point guards Chris Paul and Mike Conley. Paul is the better guard of the two, but Conley is on his way to being an elite guard in this league.
Outcome: This should be a tight game from the beginning to the final seconds of the game. The Clippers will repeat what they did in Game 7 and edge out the Grizzlies at home.