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Open Thread: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Washington Wizards from Richmond

The Essentials:
Grizzlies (24-58 last season) vs. Wizards (19-63)
7:00 p.m.
Siegel Center in Richmond, VA
No TV, but tune in to 106.7 in DC to listen to the game

Notable Grizzlies numbers last season
26th in expected winning percentage (.312)
20th in pace (90.2 possessions per game)
28th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (103.5)
21st in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (109.5)

Tonight's Projected Starters
Wizards vs. Grizzlies
Gilbert Arenas
PG Mike Conley
Nick Young
SG O.J. Mayo
Caron Butler
SF Rudy Gay
Antawn Jamison
PF Zach Randolph
Brendan Haywood
C Marc Gasol

Just a reminder before we start: this is an open game thread, so anything goes. Even though the thread is to discuss the game as it happens, I don't mind if you stray off topic here. Just keep it clean, per usual.

As mentioned earlier today, Nick Young will start tonight at shooting guard. Flip Saunders' decision probably surprised a lot of people, myself included. I'm sure a lot of you will take this news to mean that Young has the inside track on being the starting shooting guard on opening night, which certainly could be the case. However, keep in mind that Saunders has already said that his decision on who starts tonight will have no bearing on who starts on opening night.

In other words, Saunders could be starting Young even though he may not want Young starting during the regular season. Keep in mind that Young is the one player who has expressed publicly that he wants to start. DeShawn Stevenson and Mike Miller have both said it doesn't matter to them, but Young has been publicly gunning for more playing time. It's easier for Stevenson and Miller to take a benching than it likely will be for Young. So, with a ton of preseason still left, Saunders might be throwing Young a bone for his offseason work in an attempt to keep his confidence and motivation up.

It also helps that Allen Iverson reportedly isn't going to play tonight. Saunders wanted to play Stevenson against Iverson, but with Iverson sitting, that's no longer an issue.

My only point is that there's still a lot of time left in preseason for Saunders to make his ultimate decision on the shooting guard spot. Let's be sure to keep that in mind.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Per Mike Jones, Gilbert Arenas is only going to play about 8-10 minutes tonight.
  • Fabricio Oberto is a game-time decision
  • Saunders said yesterday he might rest his vets at different points during the preseason, so don't be alarmed if someone doesn't play.

I will be covering the game in person, as will Kyle from Truth About It. Since the game isn't on TV (it is on 106.7 The Fan!), I'll probably be Tweeting updates (@BulletsForever) and I'll try to participate in the game thread. I know a number of you will be in attendance, and I'd love to meet you in person if I have the chance. Se7en has already posted a picture of me, so I highly encourage you guys to introduce yourselves so I can put a face to the username. I wish I had thought of a pre-game meet-up of some kind, but since I'm driving down to Richmond from DC, I'm not sure how realistic that is. Certainly, we can do it another time.