Why the Memphis Grizzlies must remove Dillon Brooks from the starting lineup

Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /
Memphis Grizzlies
Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

I recently wrote about the Memphis Grizzlies missing one key ingredient to their so-far successful start to the 2021-22 NBA season: a productive bench.

There’s no denying the Memphis Grizzlies starting five is the best and most efficient in the NBA right now.

The current starting five of Ja Morant, De’Anthony Melton, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson, Jr., and Steven Adams has a net rating of 41.0 — the highest among any starting five in the entire NBA and it’s not even close. The Pacers have the next-highest net rating at 30.0.

The Memphis Grizzlies should keep the starting five intact and move Dillon Brooks to the bench when he returns from injury

I know it’s a small sample size, but why would you mess with something that is nowhere near broken? The bench is the biggest concern on the team right now, so why not plug Brooks into the sixth man role and allow him to shoot the ball as much as he wants— and boy, does he love to shoot.

The bench is badly in need of someone to get shots up and Brooks would love nothing more to be a volume shooter. It’s not unusual for Brooks to shoot the ball 20 times in a game.

If Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins makes the call to move him to the bench, it’ll kill two birds with one stone. The incredibly efficient starting five will remain intact and Brooks can be the number-one scoring option in the second unit. Perhaps the move could help Dillon Brooks stay out of foul trouble, too.

In late-game situations, Jenkins could keep Brooks—perhaps the team’s best defender— on the floor for the majority of the fourth quarter to help shut down the opposing team’s best wing player.

It seems like a long shot that Jenkins would be willing to slide Brooks down to the bench, but it makes so much sense. If he pulls the trigger on the move, the Memphis Grizzlies and Dillon Brooks will be much better off this season.

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