3 Memphis Grizzlies players who must step up in Ziaire Williams’ absence

Ziaire Williams, Memphis Grizzlies (Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports)
Ziaire Williams, Memphis Grizzlies (Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Memphis Grizzlies announced that forward Ziaire Williams will be out another 4-6 weeks as he deals with tendinitis in his knee. The former Stanford standout has yet to make an appearance this season due to the injury.

While Memphis awaits his return a few players must step up and play well in the extended minutes they’ll receive with Williams out. Let’s take a look at the three Memphis Grizzlies players who will need to shoulder the load over the next four to six weeks of the season.

Which Memphis Grizzlies players will fill void left by injured Ziaire Williams?

John Konchar

Konchar has taken advantage of the opportunity to play more early in the season due to the Grizzlies’ injury troubles. He made three starts at small forward while Dillon Brooks was out due to a minor injury. Konchar has proven to be a reliable option from behind the arc, shooting 47.6% from three to this point in the season on an average of 5.3 attempts per game. Memphis doesn’t need him to be a superstar by any means, but if he can continue averaging over 10 points per game while making open threes, they will be just fine over the next month or so.

David Roddy

The Colorado State product has a chance to become a key contributor off the bench over the next few weeks. If he can prove himself, he could earn additional minutes throughout his rookie campaign. At 6-foot-5 and 252 pounds, Roddy is a physical presence, and thanks to his impressive athleticism, he can guard several different positions which can help cover the void left in the absence of the long and athletic Williams. It will be important for Roddy to find his groove from behind the arc and improve his shooting overall. He’s struggled to find his shot early in the season, shooting a little over 27% from the field and 13% from three.

Jake LaRavia

LaRavia is another rookie who has played important minutes early due to the Grizzlies’ injury troubles. The 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward out of Wake Forest has shot the ball well to start the season after struggling to find his shot in the preseason. He finished with 12 points on 4-7 shooting(including 3-4 from three) in 15 minutes in the Grizzlies’ 129-122 win over the Rockets. If LaRavia can continue shooting with confidence and provide solid defense at the small forward spot defensively he should see an increase in minutes over the next month.

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Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

While the Grizzlies can’t expect any of these three players to fill the shoes of Ziaire Williams alone, if three or even just two of the three players can pick up a little bit of the load over the next few weeks, they will be just fine. I expect Memphis to continue firing on all cylinders despite the absence of Jaren Jackson Jr. and Williams.