Every championship team is comprised of players who buy into their role and excel at it. The Memphis Grizzlies have propelled themselves into title contention and a big part is due to their players buying into the system and what is asked of them. Out of all players, the one who has spearheaded this mindset is none other than Steven Adams.
The Grizzlies were a good team last season. They had the foundation for a great young core that will progress into a problem for the league in a few seasons. However, they were missing some necessary toughness within their personnel and the front office was aware of that.
Insert Steven Adams into the mix and he has fit right into the system that Taylor Jenkins has put in place, and he is a big reason why the Grizzlies are so good this quickly.
Stevens Adams buying into his role
Adams not only is a perfect role player but he was the perfect player for the culture that Memphis represents. His main focus is all about doing what’s best for the team, which is exactly what he’s been doing so far this season.
His ability to set hard screens has unlocked another notch in Ja Morant’s game allowing him to have more room to go downhill for easy opportunities at the rim. Among the entire NBA, Adams ranks fourth in screen assists at 5.4 per game.
What makes it even more impressive is that Adams plays the least amount of minutes out of those in the top five of screen assists at 26.1 minutes per game. Rudy Gobert who leads the league in the category taillies 6.6 screen assists per game in 32.5 minutes each contest.
There is only just over a screen assist difference from Adams leading the league and he plays six minutes less than Gobert. This is another example of how effective he has been in such limited time this season.
Steven Adams has elevated the Memphis Grizzlies as a team
The Memphis Grizzlies lead the lead in rebounds and Steven Adams is one of the main factors to their success on the glass. The New Zealand native is fifth in all of the NBA in contested rebounds pulling down 5.2 boards per game. Out of those players in the top five, Adams leads them all with 56 percent of his rebounds being contested.
Adams also leads the league in offensive rebounds per game with 4.3. His tenacity on the glass allows for multiple second-chance opportunities for the Grizzlies, and their offense has reaped the benefits.
His physicality in the paint sets the tone for the rest of the team. Adams is already revered as the strongest player in the league. That reputation has carried weight and has been adapted with the rest of the Grizzlies roster.
To the casual fan, Steven Adams is just another role player and doesn’t do much on the basketball court. However, Adams has been essential in Memphis being as good as they are thus far this season. He doesn’t do anything flashy but he does whatever it takes to win and does it better than anyone else in the NBA.