The start to David Roddy’s NBA career has not been ideal, to say the least.
In just the third game of his career, he found himself having the task of sticking generational Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and looked every bit of being a rookie with only two games under his belt. Luka cooks experienced NBA veterans on a nightly basis, so judging Roddy off of this one game is a bit of an over exaggeration.
It isn’t unfair to admit that he has not looked completely ready to be getting 20 minutes a night just yet.
The main critique of his play thus far is his defensive abilities being put into question. Oftentimes when he is on the court, he is a step or two late in rotations and appears to not have sufficient enough footspeed to keep up with more athletic guards and wings when guarding them on-ball.
He has also had trouble shooting the basketball efficiently. Most of the shots that he has taken so far have been open shots that have come in rhythm of the offense, but they have simply not fallen.
Some Grizzlies fans have been quick to say that Roddy should not be in the rotation at all and should be getting time in Southhaven once the G-League season begins on November 4th.
The Grizzlies believe in David Roddy, so you should too
Taylor Jenkins does not care what people think though and has shown throughout his tenure as head coach that he is not scared to play rookies in meaningful spots to aid with their development.
This has shown to be true with Roddy, as Wednesday night against Portland, he was the first person off the bench over guys like Tyus Jones, Brandon Clarke, and John Konchar.
Before the contest against Portland, where Roddy looked much better being a +5 and putting up 10 points (3-6 3PT), two assists, one rebound, and two steals.
Here were David Roddy’s averages through the seven games he had played:
4.9 Points, 3.4 Rebounds, 0.9 Assists, 28% FG
Now, take a look at Ziaire Williams stats through the first seven games of his career last year:
4.4 Points, 1.6 Rebounds, 0.6 Assists, 28% FG
Almost identical, right?
Some people forget how slow Ziaire started off the season on both ends of the floor. If Taylor Jenkins would have decided to take him out of the rotation because of his poor performance, he would not have been able to provide meaningful minutes in the playoffs as he did, his confidence would have significantly fallen, and his development would not be on the same track as it is right now.
David Roddy, at his best, fits perfectly with what the Grizzlies do on the court, which is why the front office traded up to grab him in the draft. The open looks that he is getting will eventually start falling, and once he refines some of his technique on defense, his productivity will certainly increase.
Since Zach Kleiman has stepped into the front office as GM, the Grizzlies have not missed on a single draft selection. David Roddy is going to have some more learning curves, just like all rookies that are eight games into their careers do.
All I ask is that you understand that his being in the rotation does nothing but help the Grizzlies in the long run, believe in his abilities just like the front office, coaching staff, and rest of the roster do, and most importantly, give David Roddy some time.
I promise you that he will be just fine.