2. Luke Kennard
Before the Grizzlies nabbed their first win of the year back on November 5, Luke Kennard was amid quite a significant slump from a shooting standpoint.
Dating back to the start of the preseason, the trusty sniper had converted on a putrid six of 35 of his shot attempts from beyond the arc and was shooting just 14.3 percent from the field to start the regular season.
With the fact that the Grizzlies were sliding with no end in sight coupled with this nauseating production being attached to a lucrative $56 million deal, a polarizing idea seemed to be that the front office could enter a panic state and look to package him in some sort of trade for any semblance of an upgrade that, in theory, could better bolster this once title-hungry roster.
Fast forward about a week later, however, and it appears the 27-year-old has both shaken off the early-season rust and, in turn, taken himself out of any such hypothetical scenarios.
Since snapping their six-game losing streak Kennard has produced much more closely to the form that endeared him to the Grizzlies fanbase during his inaugural season last year as well as to the one that has helped establish himself as one of the best shooting wings in the game throughout his seven-year career.
Over their last four outings, the veteran has gone on to average 13.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and just shy of a steal per game while shooting an incredibly efficient 56.3 percent from the field and 57.7 percent from deep on 6.5 attempts per game.
With him once again shooting lights out from deep, not only do his abilities help add in points by multiples of three but his presence alone keeps an opposing team’s defense hyperfocused on the perimeter, thus allowing for softer coverage closer to the rim where both bigs and cutters alike could go on the shine.
Assuming Kennard’s dry spell is officially over, one should easily expect to see more games being added to the team’s win column.