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Grizzlies will be home for the MLK Jr. Holiday

Posted By Jason Lee On Aug 21 2010 @ 4:39 am In Memphis Grizzlies | No Comments

Ever since the Grizzlies packed up and moved from Vancouver to Memphis in 2001 they’ve been an easy fit for the NBA  schedule on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Memphis is of course  tragically linked at the hip with MLK because Memphis is where the civil rights leader was assassinated.  Other than Hawks (King was born and lived in Atlanta), no other team can claim any more symbolic tie to King than the Grizzlies.

That said, Memphis’ home matchup with the Chicago Bulls on January 17th of  this coming season should be a very competitive one filled with some of the league’s top young players.  Last season the Grizzlies finished with a 40-42 record which is  just 1 game under .500.  This season they’ll bring back  forward Zack Randolph(20.8ppg, 11.7rpg), forward Rudy Gay(19.6ppg), and guard OJ Mayo(17.5ppg, 3apg), all of whom are considered a part of the Grizzlies core. 

 On the other hand, Chicago did make the playoffs last season and gave the LeBron James Cavaliers a run for their money.  Last year’s playoff run was considered a coming out party for the Bulls dynamic duo of Derrick Rose (Memphis Tiger star) and Joakim Noah.  Now, add to the mix all-star caliber forward Carlos Boozer and folks you’ve got one heck of a hoop squad.

To be fair, it must be pointed out that the NBA is offering up a few other games on MLK Day that may grab the hoop fans attention.  Tyreke Evans (another Memphis Tiger stand out) will lead the Sacramento Kings into Atlanta to play the Hawks at 3pm on NBA TV.  For a night cap, TNT will have a doubleheader featuring Orlando at Boston at 7pm, followed by Oklahoma City at Los Angles Lakers at 9:30pm.

True, the Lakers, Thunder, Magic, and Celtics have more marquee appeal than  the Grizzlies, but, don’t sell the 12noon tip between Memphis and Chicago short.  Both teams could make the 2011 NBA Playoffs with Chicago being  as high as a 2nd seed in the East (you read that prediction here first folks) while the Grizz could sneak in as a 7 or 8 out West.  Heck, even if only Chicago makes the  playoffs I still think this game is one worth waking up a little early on a holliday (don’t front, those that don’t work on MLK Day sleep in) to watch.

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