Media days are over, training camps have started and the Memphis Grizzlies visit the Milwaukee Bucks in the teams’ first preseason game. The NBA is back, kind of, but not really.
The Grizzlies made a massive leap last season, going from play-in tournament participant in 2020-21 to second in the Western Conference standings. Also last season, the Bucks’ title defense fell short, but they still finished third in the East. Both lost in the second round of the playoffs.
Milwaukee has the fifth-best odds to win the NBA championship at +700 while the Grizzlies are listed at +2500.
Grizzlies Out to Make Another Jump
Ja Morant leaped into near-superstardom in Memphis and was seen as a Most Valuable Player candidate. He is listed at +1400 to win MVP honors this season.
He did annex the NBA Most Improved Player Award, though that honor could easily have gone to teammate Desmond Bane, is one of the best role players in the NBA.
It is hard to tell how coach Taylor Jenkins will manage this preseason, but the Grizzlies have a lot of young players to get acclimated before the games begin to count. Stars were playing steady minutes throughout last preseason, but that might change this time around.
Ziaire Williams, who was the 10th overall selection last season, played 21.7 minutes per game as a rookie, averaging just over eight points. Perhaps he’s allowed to explore more of his offensive game in the preseason. First-round picks out of this last draft, David Roddy and Jake LaRavia, figure to get a chance to show their value.
Bucks’ Window of Another Title
A loss in the second round of the playoffs (seven games to the Boston Celtics) is not how the Bucks wanted to end last season. They will be looking to capitalize on another season with Giannis Antetokounmpo, the third choice in the NBA MVP lines at +700. The team around him is built with veterans, and the preseason is where coach Mike Budenholzer can find youngsters to fit into his rotation.
Khris Middleton is already going to miss the preseason (wrist surgery) while Jrue Holiday and Antetokounmpo probably won’t see significant playing time until the final two games, which is what Budenholzer did last preseason.
First-round draft pick MarJon Beauchamp had a rocky Summer League, but is the only player drafted by Milwaukee, so he’ll get minutes in the preseason. Jordan Nwora was a standout player in the last preseason, but didn’t see steady minutes in the regular season.
Grizzlies vs Bucks Head-to-Head
Take this however you wish, but these teams met to open their preseason in 2021-22, with the Memphis Grizzlies winning, 87-77, at home. In two meetings twice during the regular season, it was the home team winning each time.
Grizzlies vs Bucks Game Information
- Game: Memphis Grizzlies vs Milwaukee Bucks
- Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
- Day/Time: Saturday, Oct. 1st, 8 p.m. EST
- Grizzlies vs Bucks Live Stream: NBA Game Pass