The curtain is now up on the first Memphis Grizzlies team of the David Fizdale era.
What do we know about the team?
Well, the first thing we wanted to see in preseason game number one against Orlando on Monday night at FedExForum was how center Marc Gasol would play after sitting out the last 28 games of last season with a surgically repaired fractured left foot.
Quite well. Gasol, with 10 points in 13 minutes, was looking nimble and fit with no signs of limping or favoring the injury. The Grizzlies will limit his minutes in the preseason.
Same for point guard Mike Conley, who had his season cut short due to several ailments, most notably a sore achilles. The rest are seeming to do Mike Good. He also finished in double figures and used his speed to coral several steals.
Another big question: How did the backup point guard do in his position?
Answer: So far so good.
Rookie top draft pick Wade Baldwin mostly looked sharp, went five for five from the floor with a 3-pointer to lead the team in scoring with 15 points. He dished out seven assists. His only bugaboo was the turnovers. He had five of those, several mishandling simple hand offs.
All in all, a good night in a 102-97 Grizzlies win.
For the vets, the dress rehearsal a success.
"For me, I expect to keep progressing day by day like coach says, be one percent better than you were the last day, regardless of whatever it is, ailing game. just get better each day," Gasol said."You're building a foundation. You're creating that trust and you're going to be net to them, behind them talking, having their back. Sometimes it doesn't always go well, you may not click right away, but you work through it and create that trust."
The Grizzlies get back in pre-season action hosting the Atlanta Hawks Thursday night at FedExForum.
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