The Memphis Grizzlies may only be a lowly 2-8 on the season, but one mustn’t forget that the club is far from being at full strength.
With key injuries to Steven Adams (season-ending knee surgery), Brandon Clarke (torn Achilles rehabilitation), and Derrick Rose (knee) coupled with the ongoing suspension of superstar Ja Morant, Taylor Jenkins’ squad is currently feeling the negative effects of having a number of their main players sidelined.
However, the headman is vocally excited about the potential this team possesses once at 100 percent, and, following their latest triumph over the LA Clippers Sunday evening, he highlighted the fact that, just like during the outing, newcomer Marcus Smart will play a significant role in deciding their successes moving forward.
Marcus Smart to have ‘substantial impact’ on Memphis Grizzlies once fully intact
"“He’s going to have a substantial impact [once everybody’s back],” Jenkins said. “Obviously we made a big commitment this summer to bring him here for all the basketball qualities but [also] the interpersonal qualities. We always talk about havinig competitors on our team and he’s done it at the highest level. The sacrafice, the trust that it takes, being able to push each other — both directions, push others and receive push back yourself to continue to get the best out of yourself. Obviously, when we get fully whole, whatever that’s going to look like as the course of the season rolls on, we got a lot of faith that he’s going to bring a lot of positives to our group, not just on the court but off it. I’m going to keep challenging him to do that and find his way of doing that. He’s got to do it organically and hopefully he continues to push us to find that next level that the Grizzlies are capable of.”"
Acquired this past offseason via blockbuster trade from the Boston Celtics, Smart holds 10 years of experience in the association, six of which have seen deep and competitive playoff pushes, and, to this point in the 2023-24 season, has been tasked with manning the primary point guard position for the Grizzlies while superstar Ja Morant serves out his league-issued suspension.
Though some fans and pundits may not exactly be elated with his production on the surface, coach Jenkins has expressed his appreciation and overall joy for his impact on the team during his inaugural season in the 38103, and, based on his latest comments, he seems confident that Smart will continue to influence the team in a positive manner moving forward.
Through 10 games played as a member of the Grizzlies, the 29-year-old is averaging 13.4 points, 5.4 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 steals.