The Memphis Grizzlies may have managed to halt their initial losing streak at six games following their 112-100 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers on November 5, but it seems they’re now amid a new lowly period after having dropped each of their last two games, clocking them in at a measly 1-8 on the season.
Surprisingly, all this has come whilst Taylor Jenkins rolls out lineups including top-billed talents such as Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Marcus Smart, and, though such a collection may have some believing this club can still turn things around, the folks at Bleacher Report seem to be less enthusiastic of such a turnaround as writer Grant Hughes explained in a recent piece.
B/R pessimistic about turnaround potential for Memphis Grizzlies
"“These struggles weren’t difficult to see coming, particularly on offense. Adams’ screen-setting and offensive rebounding have been vital to the Grizzlies’ survival in the half-court since the moment he arrived in 2021. His presence on the floor coincided with bumps of 6.4 and 5.5 points per 100 possessions on offense in 2021-22 and 2022-23, respectively,” Hughes wrote.“Despite his team’s occasional success without him over the years, Morant’s presence on the court has boosted Memphis’ offensive efficiency in each of the last three seasons. Without those two, the Grizzlies lost their first six games before finally notching a win against a lowly Portland Trail Blazers team playing without Anfernee Simons or Scoot Henderson. Entering play Wednesday, those Blazers were the only team with a worse offensive rating on the season than the Grizzlies.”"
Hughes would continue to discuss how poorly the new additions have faired for the Grizzlies thus far into the season, specifically highlighting Marcus Smart, and suggested that while Bane has produced admirable numbers, he has seemingly been overworked in his new role as top dog in the 38103.
"“New addition Marcus Smart hasn’t been up to the task of simultaneously replacing Morant at the point and Dillon Brooks on the wing, and Desmond Bane looks overburdened as a primary playmaker so far. His usage rate is up to career-high levels, but he’s averaging more turnovers and fewer assists than he did a year ago,” Hughes wrote."
Aside from having the worst win percentage in the entire league (.125) the Grizzlies as a whole are dead-last in offensive rating (104.2), a middling 14 in defensive rating (110.5), and 24 in net rating (-6.3).
Now, granted, considering primary pivot Steven Adams has been sidelined for the season due to knee surgery and centerpiece Ja Morant has been out throughout the entirety of this duration as a result of a league-issued suspension, it shouldn’t be completely shocking to see Memphis struggling during these infancy stages.
Still, being the star guard isn’t expected to return from his 25-game adjournment until mid-December, a comeback tour coming to fruition anytime soon appears to be quite unlikely.
At least, that’s what Buckley seems to believe.