If this first “real” night of pre-season was marked by the return to basics of some well-known NBA heads (John Wall, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Jamal Murray, Ben Simmons…), it was also an opportunity to remember that in Memphis every game is an All-Star Game. And after 48 minutes against the Magic of the first pick Paolo Banchero, we are now sure that the Oursons have not decided to slow down.
Let’s quickly talk about the Magic to start, because we’re likely to talk about it a lot less this season, no disrespect, just logic. Let’s talk above all about Paolo Banchero, who will have started his match drumbeat by scoring the first four points for his team but who unfortunately could not take advantage of this match to send his first message of the season. Oh there’s a two-handed sack on the Memphis defense, but overall the first pick shot without too much rhythm and found himself lost in a collective… non-existent, with adults who don’t shoot and children who do, but each in turn and without really thinking about why and how. A rather painful first game in the end, saved by a few shots from the eternal (undesirable) Terrence Ross, by the skill of Cole Anthony and RJ Hampton and by a few moves from Dirk Nowitzki 3.0 I named Moe Wagner. After having whipped myself for these words, let’s talk about the Grizzlies game, because it’s a bit more exciting, quite, hair and exciting in the same sentence.
The Grizzlies? They came back as we knew them, that is to say at a hundred miles an hour and at high altitude. Everybody in shorts except Jaren Jackson Jr., Danny Green and Kenneth Lofton Jr., we keep ammunition you know, and on the field the bugs that we had missed so much, driven by the inevitable and levitable Ja Morant. Ja Morant who stamped this first match with his good humor and burned the Magic with the fire he has in his calves, ending his first half with 17 points including, pell-mell, a shot at nine meters on the head of
Soprano Wendell Carter Jr., a 360 on the counterattack and two or three takeoffs of which he has the secret. Around him ? We already want to slap Dillon Brooks but that’s also why we love him, we remembered that Santi Aldama was Spanish and it made us push buttons when we saw him snap four shots from parking lot, and we also had the return of Steven Adams’ Full HD 5K LCD screens, which Paolo Banchero managed to make laugh when he tried to snatch the ball from his hands.
The score ? Uh who cares, but the Grizzlies must have won easily, after a second half spent, as usual, opening each bench and each defense, with a smile. All we meant was that watching the Grizzlies this season might just earn you miles as their games are played about two meters above the circle. See you where next? See you in the Top 10.