Grizzlies: Somehow, Steven Adams looks better than Jonas Valanciunas

Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Memphis Grizzlies
Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Steven Adams made an impact all over the floor in the Grizzlies’ season opener

The first thing I want to address is the fact that Adams didn’t score the ball particularly efficiently in the Grizzlies’ season opener. He scored just eight points, which has him on par offensively with what he did in New Orleans. That said, he didn’t really need to score — the Grizzlies scored a new record point total for a season opener in franchise history.

Adams’ impact was felt in every facet of the game outside of scoring. Let me give you an example.

In his first game with the Grizzlies, Adams recorded three assists. I’ll admit that three assists don’t sound like much, but it was the quality of these passes that stuck out. In one instance, Adams snuck a behind the back pass into the lane, where a Grizzly (forgot which one) got an easy run at the basket for a free bucket.

Another instance, which can be seen on the next slide, shows Adams heaving a full-court pass from a tipoff to Ja Morant, who had an easy dunk.

But it wasn’t just his passing that was big — it was Adams himself. The Kiwi center out-muscled everybody on the interior, making way for a 14-rebound game, which has him among the leaders in the NBA through a single game. Six of these rebounds came on the offensive end.

The Grizzly big man also recorded a block and a steal on the night, putting the Western Conference on notice that the Grizzlies’ tough interior has gone nowhere.