By: Christian Dudley (@ChristianDudley)
The Memphis Grizzlies are entering the new season and a new era simultaneously. What does their schedule behold?
The NBA released the 2017-18 regular season schedules for all 30 teams on Monday. This is another big step toward the conclusion of the offseason.
Though the Grizz still claim to be all about "grit-'n'-grind," nothing will be quite the same. Zach Randolph is now a member of the Sacramento Kings. Tony Allen, the Grizzlies' "Grindfather," is remains unclaimed in free-agency. Odds are 50/50 on him returning to Memphis.
Alternatively, there is a lot to be excited about. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are coming off their best seasons of their NBA careers. Tyreke Evans has returned to the city of Memphis and is now a Grizzly. Mario Chalmers has healed from injury and looks to provide Rio 2.0 on Beale Street.
What challenges will the Grizzlies face as they attempt to clinch another trip to the NBA Playoffs?
"Blu3 World Order" breaks down the 2017-18 schedule below.
-The season will start about one week earlier than usual.
-The Grizzlies tip off 2017-18 at home versus the New Orleans Pelicans on October 18
-There will be zero scenarios of four games being played in five nights. This will give players extra rest, plus prepare more games for higher attendance numbers on weekends.
-23 weekend (Saturday and Sunday) games will be played.
-As far as national television is concerned, Memphis is set to play five games on NBATV, one on TNT, zero on ABC, and two on ESPN for eight total. M-Town may be in a smaller market, but it is a privilege to listen to Pete Pranica and Brevin Knight call games rather than the majority of the national voices.
-The Grizzlies will face familiar blues brothers in the Sacramento Kings' Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, Kosta Koufos, and Dave Joerger's coaching staff on December 31 (road), January 19 (home), and April 6 (home).
-The month featuring the most games for the Grizzlies is December with 17 matchups.
-The Grizz will play a total of 16 back-to-back scenarios in 2017-18, beginning with a dual matchup with the Dallas Mavericks (October 25 and 26).
-Marc "Big Spain" Gasol will face his brother, Pau (San Antonio Spurs), on November 29, December 1, January 24, and March 5.
-The Grizzlies will get out of their funk, which began last year with not playing a game on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Memphis will play Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers on January 15.
-NBA All-Star Weekend will take place during February 16 through 18. Memphis will play Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and the Oklahoma City Thunder twice in the week before the break and they will face LeBron James and the Cavaliers once the schedule resumes.
-Two of the biggest crowds in the Grindhouse will be for games against the Golden State Warriors (Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and company) and LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers. Dates for these games are October 21 (Warriors) and February 23 (Cavaliers) -- each club visiting just once to the 901.
-The Western Conference standings may be tighter than ever before, and the Grizz play five of six April contests against West foes (four on the road, two at home).
-The season will end about one week sooner than usual (April 11).
Which matchups in the Grindhouse are you looking forward to most? What is your record prediction for the 2017-18 Memphis Grizzlies?
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