Unlike New Orleans, the Grizzlies couldn’t seem to capitalize on any of their open looks on the night, as they shot a truly putrid 41.8 percent from the floor and 27.9 percent from deep.
Though it’s hard and, in a sense, unfair to point out just one specific individual who failed to show up on the night, for all but Desmond Bane (31 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and from deep) struggled with their shooting stroke, Luke Kennard’s poor showing was quite painful to witness for all but one of his attempts on the night were virtually wide open.
While he did manage to pull down 5 boards and dished out 2 assists during his 14 minutes of play before exiting in the third with a blow to the face, the 27-year-old is earning a pretty $14.7 million salary to knock down shots.
Going 0-5 from the field and registering a mere 3 points despite regularly seeing open looks is simply inexcusable.
What makes this performance all the more troubling is the fact that dating back to the start of the preseason Kennard has made just four of his total 23 long-range shot attempts in 2023-24.
Assuming he avoids missing time as a result of his face injury sustained on opening night, the Grizzlies are going to need the veteran’s career 43.6 percent three-point shooting efficiency to shine through if they wish to strengthen their chances of pulling out a win against the sensational Nuggets.