NBA: The Rise of the Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies were one of the worst teams in the NBA last season. Memphis was predicted to be one of the worst teams in the NBA once again this season. However, the Western Conference hasn’t been as good as advertised this season.

The Grizzlies won a game at home against the Houston Rockets and they did not have Russell Westbrook in this game. The final score in this game was 121-110.

If the season ended right now, Memphis would be in the playoffs if the season ended today with a 19-22 record. The Memphis Grizzlies are currently 4.5 games back of the Oklahoma City Thunder (23-17) for the seventh spot in the Western Conference.

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The Memphis Grizzlies would face the Los Angeles Lakers (33-7) in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Memphis would probably get swept in the playoffs, but who knows though.

The Grizzlies, don’t have to worry about the Golden State Warriors (9-33) trying to catch them in the standings because Golden State is currently in last in the Western Conference.

Memphis is currently 0.5 games up on the San Antonio Spurs (17-21), two games up on the Portland Trail Blazers (17-24), 2.5 games up on the Phoenix Suns (16-24), three games up on the Minnesota Timberwolves (15-24), 3.5 games up on the Sacramento Kings (15-25), and four games up on the New Orleans Pelicans (15-26).

Ja Morant was the second overall pick in the NBA Draft this past summer. He has been sensational during his rookie season. Morant could win the Rookie of the Year Award this season, but we will see. A lot of people thought number one overall pick Zion Williamson for the New Orleans Pelicans, was going to see some playing time this year already but he hasn’t yet because of a knee injury.

Ja Morant is averaging 18 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 6.9 APG, 0.3 BPG, and 1 SPG so far this season.

Jaren Jackson Jr. is also in his second season with the team. He was the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft out of Michigan State University.

Jackson Jr. went to a bigger school unlike Morant, who went to Murray State.

Jaren Jackson Jr. is averaging 18 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.5 BPG, and 0.7 SPG so far this season.

Jonas Valancuinas is having another solid season so far. He is 15.2 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2 APG, 1 BPG, and 0.3 SPG so far this season.

Dillon Brooks continues to improve in each season for the Memphis Grizzlies. He is averaging 15.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.4 BPG, and 1 SPG so far this season. Brooks is in his third NBA season with them.

Grayson Allen is a key bench player for this team so far this season. He is averaging 7.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, and 0.2 SPG so far this season.

Brandon Clarke was a steal with the 22nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Gonzaga University. He is averaging 12.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.9 BPG, and 0.4 SPG so far this season.

Jae Crowder is one of the most underrated players in the NBA so far this season. He has been solid throughout his entire career. Crowder is averaging 10.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.4 BPG, and 1 SPG so far this season.

Taylor Jenkins is in his first season as head coach. He has done a very good job up to this point. It will be interesting to see what happens with this team moving forward.

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Memphis is ranked eighth in the NBA in PPG so far this season at 113.6 PPG.

They are ranked 27th in team defense in the NBA. The Grizzlies are giving up 115.9 PPG so far this season.

This team is on the rise and it has been faster than I originally would have expected. Memphis could be around for a long time. They have not been to the playoffs since the 2016-2017 season. The Memphis Grizzlies lost to the San Antonio Spurs in six games that season in the first round.

Their next game will be against the Cleveland Cavaliers (12-29) at home on Friday night.

Do you see the Memphis Grizzlies as a playoff team this season? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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