Memphis Grizzlies: Steven Adams could have an NBA All-Star season

Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
Memphis Grizzlies
Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

The Memphis Grizzlies are two games into their four-game preseason and already, the team looks like they’re clicking on all cylinders. For the second game in a row, Memphis came home with a dominant victory under their belt, this one coming against the Hornets in Charlotte.

This time around, we got more than three quarters to get a look at the team. It didn’t matter — the Grizzlies only needed one half to put this game away. After two quarters of play, Memphis led the Hornets by 30 points, with strong performances from every starter.

Strangely, every single starter on this Grizz starting lineup finished the half with exactly 11 points. Our very own contributor in Thomas Welch contests that this may be a sign of strong luck ahead of the 2021-22 season.

And in the entirety of the game, Grizzlies fans were able to learn a lot about their team. Specifically, one guy emerged as an impact player.

New Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams looked like he had been playing with the team for years

One of the bigger storylines heading into the season revolved around newcomer center Steven Adams, who was brought to the Grizzlies in the infamous Jonas Valanciunas-Eric Bledsoe trade.

All things considered, the trade looked like a decent deal for the Grizzlies. That said, the center position seemed prepared for an imminent downgrade after swapping Valanciunas for Adams. That said, Adams has quickly made his case for why this isn’t a downgrade.

The new Grizzly center looked like Jonas Valanciunas, even on the offensive end against Charlotte. Actually, scratch that — Adams looked even better than his predecessor in JV, scoring 15 points in 24 minutes played, along with 16 rebounds and a block.

And once again, Adams was feasting on the offensive glass. Of his 16 rebounds, eight of them came on the offensive end. The Grizzlies’ “attack the paint at all costs” playstyle seemed to land every missed shot directly into Adams’ hands, which makes this partnership more exciting than we could have imagined.

Who is going to beat the strongest man in the NBA on the glass?

Heck, his assist total didn’t look like anything special on the stat sheet with just three on the night, but each one was a jaw-dropping pass. He’s not going to be competing with Ja Morant to be this team’s assist leader, but his knowledge of the game and vision are already abundantly clear after just two preseason games.

Still, the veteran big can’t shoot three-balls, but he’s been stellar offensively in every other way. Adams’ offensive shortcomings may have been more of a sign of what’s wrong in New Orleans as opposed to what’s wrong with Adams.

Everybody assumed that Valanciunas was simply having a great year in Memphis in 2020-21. What if it was Memphis that was a perfect system for an old-school, rebounding big?

If this is the case, Adams could quickly become one of the best centers in the league alongside a familiar partner in Morant. I would go so far as to say that he could plug into the Grizzlies’ system and pick up where JV left off, which is an NBA All-Star level of play.

Some might call this an overreaction, but one thing remains true — we haven’t seen Adams play at this level in years. In two games, the Kiwi center has two double-doubles and on the stat sheet, he looks like Valanciunas with better passing.

Grizz just did something that may never happen again. dark. Next

Do not sleep on Adams. This will be an exciting and unexpected storyline to keep an eye on as we approach the 2021-22 season.