1. More from Bane and JJJ on both ends
If the Memphis Grizzlies are going to win without Ja Morant, they need their best players to star. Jaren Jackson Jr. was an All-Star and the Defensive Player of the Year last season. He is playing nearly four more minutes per game, but taking just 0.5 more field goals each night. Memphis needs more on both ends. JJJ’s steals and blocks are down too.
Desmond Bane hopes to make his first All-Star appearance in 2024. He is taking more shots and scoring a career-high 25.5 points per game, but Bane’s rebounds, assists, and 3-point percentage are down. The Grizzlies need more playmaking from the 6’5 wing without Morant. Bane’s massive five-year $197.2 million extension kicks in next season, and the 25-year-old must become an All-Star to live up to it. Now, is his time to shine.
Memphis knew life would be difficult without Ja Morant, and the injuries have made matters worse. They need to let everything on both ends of the floor flow through Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane.
The schedule softens with three straight games against teams expected to be in the lottery, so now is the time for Memphis. They must pick up a couple of wins and sort out their issues. The Grizzlies need to make changes before it is too late, and that will come quickly in the brutal Western Conference. Buckle up because it is going to be a bumpy ride to get back to the playoffs and make a run.