Disclaimer: The Memphis Grizzlies are in the early stages of a full rebuild, and it is with that knowledge that one should apply criticism or judgment. The scope of possible outcomes for this season is markedly different than if this were a team contending for a playoff spot.
Which is not to say that there should be no accountability or expectations at all placed on this team for this season, but context is key. The metrics that I have chosen to use for this evaluation were with that context in mind. There is importance in managing expectations in line with where the team has started and for the phase of rebuilding they are in currently.
Read on to see how the Grizzlies have fared in the first quarter of the season, what progress they have made, and what areas could use improvement.
In the interest of readability, this is going to be broken up into 2-3 parts, starting with the youngest Grizzlies.
Jaren Jackson Jr. - has been shooting the ball well, but his rebounding numbers are an area that could use some improvement. Ideally, Jackson Jr. should be doubling his rebound numbers over the course of the season. Staying out of foul trouble is another area that needs improvement. Grade: B+
Ja Morant – a bit turnover prone, although that isn’t unusual for a rookie. Morant has great assist numbers and is shooting well. He is a dynamic player who is lots of fun to watch, which is good, as he is the future of the point guard position in Memphis. Grade: A
Brandon Clarke – is good at just about everything. Shoots well, rebounds proficiently, doesn’t turn the ball much. Once he is off the injured report, Clarke should see his usage rate go up, hopefully. Also, he is (still) currently rated as the top rookie in the league for Wins produced. Grade: A+
Grayson Allen – so far Allen has been a pleasant surprise. Is he now or will he be a superstar in this league? Probably not. But he is showing that he can be a proficient role player and has statistically improved since his rookie season with the Jazz. Allen has so far improved his shooting percentage, rebound percentage, and free throw percentage. Allen is ranked 11th among sophomores in free throw shooting. Grade: B-
Tyus Jones – his Grizzlies tenure has been a bit underwhelming thus far. His assist numbers are decent, but his scoring has been nothing much to write home about. Even factoring in the increased minutes Jones has been playing with Morant unavailable, he’s still struggling offensively. On a positive note, he does typically stay out of foul trouble. Grade: C