The Memphis Grizzlies may have stumbled right out of the gates during these infancy stages of 2023-24, but, as of late, there appears to be some sort of energy shift that might be taking place.
After losing their first six contests on the year, Taylor Jenkins’ club has gone 2-2 over their last four and have dropped 440 points over this stretch compared to 436 collectively scored by their opponents.
Considering they found themselves amid the worst start to a season since the 2018-19 Cleveland Cavaliers and their first 0-6 start since 2002-03, going .500 over the last week and change has easily proven to be significantly more joyous for fans to bear witness to.
Without guys like Steven Adams (knee), Brandon Clarke (Achilles), and, of course, Ja Morant (suspension) in the fold, these first 10 games have been an uphill battle for the Grizzles. However, during this time several players have stepped up in major ways and, recently, have aided significantly in their newly found successes.
Memphis Grizzlies players whose stocks are on the rise
Though basketball may be a team sport, it may take only a small number of individuals to help guide a club to success and, for Memphis, there are a few talents, in particular, who are deserving of significant credit and whose stocks are currently on the rise.
3. Jacob Gilyard
Without centerpiece Ja Morant in the mix for these first 25 contests, heading into the season the expectation was always that the Grizzlies were going to need their available crop of backcourt talents to step up to make up for his on-court absence.
While the vast majority of attention has been geared toward offseason acquisition Marcus Smart as being the player to add that extra oomph, of late it has been sophomore Jacob Gilyard who has revved up his on-court production, which has been especially beneficial what with Derrick Rose being sidelined with a knee ailment.
Despite having only played one game with the varsity team and spending the majority of his team with the Memphis Hustle during his rookie campaign in 2022-23, since the start of November the 25-year-old has seen 19.4 minutes per night, and over the team’s last two outings has been found slotted into the starting lineup where he’s posted impressive averages of 10.0 points, 5.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.0 steals on 40.0 percent shooting from deep.
With every passing day, it seems Gilyard’s workload is only heading northward and his efficiency has gone on to follow. Though writing him in as the next Tyus Jones would be astronomically premature, it’s encouraging to see coach Jenkins’ point guard-friendly offense being graced with the talents of yet another scrappy young baller.