These 5 Grizzlies get passing grades one month into the 2021-22 season

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports)
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Memphis Grizzlies
Tyus Jones and Jaren Jackson, Jr., Memphis Grizzlies (Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports) /

No 2. Memphis Grizzlies power forward Jaren Jackson, Jr.

Grade: C+

Despite signing a huge nine-figure, long-term contract just before the start of the season, Jaren Jackson, Jr. has had a very ho-hum start to the season. It looks a lot like what we saw from him in his return to the team late in the season and playoffs.

Jackson is about a point per game off his career average, but he’s averaging a rebound more than his career average.

He’s struggling to make shots this season, despite shooting an average of at least 10 shots a game (something he’s done his entire NBA career). But he’s not making anywhere near the same amount of shots as he was in previous seasons, in fact, he’s continuing an alarming trend of year-over-year drops in FG%.

Rookie season: 51% field goals made (58 games)
Sophomore season: 47% field goal made (57 games)
2020-21: 42% field goals made (11 games)
2021-22: 39% field goals made (15 games)

Besides the shooting woes, committing too many fouls remains the chief problem in Jackson’s game. He’s overly aggressive on defense and he has a right to be—he’s recorded 2.1 blocks per game (fifth-most in the NBA this season).

Is being in foul trouble worth saving the opponent from scoring a basket or two per game?

No 3. Memphis Grizzlies point guard Tyus Jones

Grade: A+

The veteran backup point guard is quietly having an excellent season, perhaps lost all the recognition Ja Morant has been getting both locally and nationally this season.

Jones is averaging career-highs in shooting percentage for both two’s (53%) and three’s (48%). He’s on pace to have career years in fewest fouls committed per game (0.3 per game).

Tyus Jones averages 3.1 assists per game and a career-low 0.5 turnovers per game— an insanely efficient ratio.

Head Coach Taylor Jenkins has got to find a way to give Jones some more minutes, ideally alongside Ja Morant.