After some Kyrie Irving heroics on Friday night, the Nets start the season 1-1, while the Grizzlies are winless but have some really night young talent to look forward to watching develop this season and beyond.
WHO: Nets (1-1) vs. Grizzlies (0-2)
WHEN: 6:00 PM EST
WHERE: FedEx Forum (live), YES Network (tv), CBS Radio 880am (radio)
Put simply, you are not going to beat many teams when you turn it over 26 times. The Nets were incredibly sloppy with the ball on Friday night and probably should’ve lost. Fortunately for them...
Kyrie Irving is here to save the day. Irving balled out late and hit the game winning three over RJ Barrett to seal the win. He’ll get to see another rookie as Ja Morant will draw the assignment to slow Irving down. Morant really made a name for himself in last year’s NCAA tournament and will be one of Memphis’ shining lights going forward. Morant’s three point shooting took a major leap forward in his sophomore season at Murray State, and if he’s able to keep improving in that area while finishing strongly at the basket, he’ll become a star.
For more on the Grizzlies, check out: Grizzly Bear Blues
Kyrie Irving is averaging 38 points per game.
You shouldn’t be surprised.
What may surprise you, however, is that Kyrie through two games is averaging 4.5 fouls per game. That is, of course, an extremely low sample size, but it is (within that muddy window) a view in to a potential opening for Memphis to keep this thing close.
Irving is elite as a scorer, and expecting Ja Morant (or any current Grizzlies player) to keep up with him is unrealistic. But where Morant is already near-elite as a creator off the dribble can be utilized to try to limit the Kyrie effect. Running plenty of pick and rolls and other actions that would threaten Kyrie off the dribble and force him to work hard on the defensive end of the floor could zap some energy and also get Irving in to foul trouble, forcing him to sit early and cut in to Kyrie’s minutes.