The Memphis Grizzlies participated in their second preseason matchup of 2023 Tuesday night, as they hosted the Milwaukee Bucks at FedEx Forum.
For the exhibition, head coach Taylor Jenkins shook up his starting lineup by inserting third-year wing Ziaire Williams at the three spot. Coming into a make-or-break season, the belief is that the 22-year-old must put forth a strong training camp and preseason to better his odds of claiming a consistent role within the team’s rotation.
Sunday’s preseason bout against the Indiana Pacers showed that he can impact the game in many ways, though his scoring touch was a bit lackluster as he shot a mere 2-for-7 from the field and 0-for-3 from deep.
Coming into the matchup against against the Bucks, Williams was deemed a player to monitor, with the hope being he would find a way to up his scoring efficiency while keeping his same level of productivity in all other areas.
Fortunately, he managed to do exactly that during the team’s 108-102 win, and, following his impressive showing, he issued a strong two-word message regarding his starting-five opportunity: “I’m ready.”
Grizzlies wing Ziaire Williams gets hyped over strong play in starting lineup
"“I played both ends of the floor, just going out there with confidence, Williams said. “Trying to set my bigs, [Xavier Tillman], hitting him on the rolls. Just having fun man, that’s what it’s all about.”"
Logging 24 minutes on the night, Williams finished with an impressive all-around box score of 10 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal, and 1 block while shooting 44.4 percent from the field. He would also cap off the game with the team’s second-best plus-minus rating of +5.
With Dillon Brooks now in Houston, the Grizzlies find themselves in desperate need of a replacement at the starting wing position.
Though there are a few potential options this team should consider, the former lottery pick seems to be gunning toward nabbing the role for himself, and a showing like this only ups his chances.