Memphis Grizzlies: Jonas Valanciunas has improved in these 3 areas in 2021

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Memphis Grizzlies

Jonas Valanciunas, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies are having a surprise year so far, winning 26 games and losing just 23 at the time of this post. They have been punching above their weight class all year long and they’ll try to continue pushing for a playoff spot before the return of their second-best player and star big man in Jaren Jackson Jr.

Make no mistake, this is a team that has been undermanned all year long. In the absence of multiple key contributors, Jonas Valanciunas has stepped up in a big way to keep his team in the win column.

We won’t see JJJ back in the lineup for at least another couple of weeks, while Justise Winslow, Brandon Clarke, and a red-hot De’Anthony Melton have all sat on the bench as inactives in the past few games due to nagging injuries.

Still, the Grizzlies have pushed on and recorded wins, moving to a four-game winning streak on the year.

Memphis Grizzlies C Jonas Valanciunas has had his best scoring year yet

You can go through a handful of categories and say that JV is having his best year in that statistic. But one that will jump out on a page is his 16.3 points per game. He doesn’t lead the team in scoring, but after being distinctly in the 3rd-place spot on the team, he has risen up and tied Dillon Brooks as the second scoring option for the Grizz.

16.3 points per game is the highest scoring average of his career thus far.

He’s a sneaky scorer too. While Brooks may have a sub-10 point scoring night and then a 30-point night, Valanciunas will consistently score 15-25 points. At times, he has looked completely unstoppable down low.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention one thing. He’s shooting the 3-pointer better than a lot of the guards on this team. Specifically, he almost has a 10% advantage on Ja Morant in that category.

But scoring isn’t the only area where Jonas Valanciunas has excelled.

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