Memphis Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson has a word of advice for the New Zealand Breakers ahead of their preseason clash in Memphis next week: be prepared to run.
After an overhaul of their roster during the off-season, the Grizzlies have embraced exciting young talent with an eye to the future. While in the past they've been known for their grit and grind style of play, Anderson told the Herald things would look much different this season.
"We're going to play a lot of up and down basketball," he said. "You know, guys having fun, guys giving their all. We're going to play together and it's going to be a lot of fun."
For the past three seasons, the Grizzlies have been among the two lowest scoring teams in the NBA, with their 103.5 average points per game the lowest in the league a season ago. The 2018-19 season was Anderson's first with the Grizzlies, having started his career with the San Antonio Spurs, but he is now among the longest tenured players on the roster.
• Basketball: The whirlwind week of New Zealand Breakers import Brandon Ashley
• Basketball: NZ Breakers deny Corey Webster's request for release to join Turkish club
• Basketball: New Zealand Breakers sign Sek Henry, Chris Obekpa, Ater Majok; confirm full roster
• Basketball: Corey Webster opens up on New Zealand Breakers ANBL release refusal
With a new coach, rookie point guard and revamped squad, Anderson said it was hugely important to the side to use preseason matches against teams like the Breakers to begin learning what does and doesn't work with the current roster.
"We're just learning how to play with each other and learning what coach Taylor [Jenkins] wants. You know, getting a feel for guys; just getting a feel for everything pretty much.
"I think it is going well [so far]. Obviously it's early so you aren't going to see a whole lot of progress now, but I think we're headed in the right direction."
This season is the third that NBA teams have welcomed ANBL squads for preseason matches, but will be Anderson's first taste of what the Australian league has to offer.
He does have a fair idea of what to expect, with a number of players on the roster having squared off against ANBL sides with their former teams.
"They are a lot more physical," Anderson said. "I'd say those guys are a lot grittier."
The match against Memphis will be the first of two preseason clashes the Breakers will have against NBA squads, with a date against Steven Adams and the Oklahoma City Thunder two days later.
NZ Breakers' NBA preseason schedule
v Memphis Grizzlies, October 9, FedEx Forum, Memphis.
v Oklahoma City Thunder, October 11, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City.