MEMPHIS – Two of the top young teams in the NBA.
Two teams that are almost mirror images of one other tip off the NBA Playoffs Saturday.
Game one between the Grizzlies and Timberwolves in this best of seven, first round series out at FedExForum.
Yes, the Grizzlies are seeded second facing the seventh seeded T’Wolves but during the regular season, the two teams split the four games with each team winning twice on the home floor. One of those losses in the Twin Cities was the Grizzlies worst loss of the season, by 43.
Safe to say these two teams know each other quite well.
“A lot of weapons. A lot of guys that can go off you got to know their tendencies, their coverages know what they do,” said Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. “Yeah, and just they’re not going to quit, they just don’t quit. So, good team”
“One of my favorite match-ups just you know, with their core, you know, they’re very young, similar to us,” said Grizzlies guard Ja Morant. “They play hard, you know, they don’t back down from nobody so you know coming in we know it’s gonna be about it. We know it’s not gonna be easy.”
That familiarity making Game one that much more important.
“Game one is very revealing. You can prep as much as you want, teams just play differently,” said Grizzlies center Steven Adams. “Just gotta come in ready. It’ll come down to X’s and O’s sometimes but you have to really give it all out effort first. Then you kind of see where the cracks are.”
The Grizzlies are also excited to get Dillon Brooks back.
Back because Brooks didn’t play a single minute against the T’Wolves during the regular season. His coaches and teammates know how important Brooks is as he’ll look to slow down Minnesota’s young stars.
Either DeAngelo Russell or Anthony Edwards.
“Having DB back in, no matter who we’re playing, is one of the biggest X-factors that we have. I say it all the time, being a leader of this team, the spirit, the edge that he plays with. What he’s been doing playmaking wise on the offensive side of the floor. The tone setter he is defensively,” said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins. “He’s going to have a big role in this series.”
“Dillon is huge for us. It’s definitely a lot easier playing with him,” said Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke. “He’s someone that shows up, every night. He plays hard every night. He plays hard defense and offense. He’s just a real big piece of our team.”