How did the Grizzlies’ newcomers perform in preseason opener?

Ziaire Williams, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Ziaire Williams, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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Memphis Grizzlies
Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

Memphis Grizzlies C Steven Adams was almost indistinguishable from Jonas Valanciunas on the court

I’m referring to Steven Adams as the most relevant newcomer because he’s the only one who will be in the starting lineup — at least at the beginning of the season. On Tuesday night though, Adams didn’t look like a newcomer. In fact, If you cut his hair and removed his tattoos, fans may have confused him for Jonas Valanciunas.

The Kiwi center played a strong game as a scorer, defender, and perhaps most surprisingly, as a passer. Adams finished the game with three assists, one of which was a tricky one-handed pass through traffic.

On the boards, Adams would finish with ten rebounds. At this point, I have to reiterate for the tenth time that this was done in just three quarters of play. More specifically, Adams was on the court for 21 minutes and 36 seconds.

Adams also recorded a single block on Tuesday night.

Perhaps his best stat on the night, reminiscent of Valanciunas, was his six offensive rebounds. That’s not a typo — the Grizzlies’ new starting center was handling Brook Lopez on the glass.

If Adams continues to play at this level into the regular season, there will be little-to-no dropoff at the center position for the Grizzlies. That said, we didn’t see him take any three-point shots, which was the main difference between himself and Valanciunas.

Overall though, this was a very strong first showing from Adams.