3 most surprising Memphis Grizzlies so far in 2021

De'Anthony Melton, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
De'Anthony Melton, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports /
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Memphis Grizzlies
Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

You could use many words to describe the Memphis Grizzlies over the past few seasons — predictable would not be one of those words. The Grizzlies shocked the world when they slithered into the 8th seed of the NBA Playoffs last season despite still being in the early stages of a rebuild.

This season, they surprised virtually everybody by winning their first two games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers. They would stumble to a loss in their third contest, but nobody will fault them for dropping a game to the most talented team in the league on a back-to-back night.

That said, the Grizzlies’ success in 2021 has functioned on the back of some surprising performances, three of which I’m going to get into today.

Surprising Player No. 1: Memphis Grizzlies PG Ja Morant

I’ll start with Ja Morant for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that the first slide is always the shortest and I’ve discussed Morant in-depth in my last two posts. The second is that Morant’s emergence isn’t all that surprising if I’m being honest.

That said, I’m not sure anybody would have expected the star Grizzlies point guard to be averaging a league-leading 35 points per game through his first three contests. To take things a step further, he’s also above his career assist total with eight per game thus far in 2021.

On the defensive end, Morant is averaging 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks per game, making his presence known all over the court.

There isn’t a player who is having a more surprising season than Morant in a positive way. All that we can do right now is sit back and enjoy.