Sunday evening, the Memphis Grizzlies claimed their second win of the season via a hard-fought bought against the slumping LA Clippers, besting the star-studded squad by a final score of 105-101.
Though rising star Desmond Bane was the player who paced all on the night in points scored with 27 while also dishing out 6 assists, grabbing 4 boards, and swatting a shot along the way, during a postgame presser with Taylor Jenkins, Marcus Smart was the player who received the most attention and admiration.
Asked by a reporter what “influence” the veteran guard has had over the Grizzlies during his first 10 games of actions donning the navy, blue, and gold threads, the headman delved into the luxuries that have come with rostering such a unique two-way talent.
Taylor Jenkins dishes on ‘influence’ Marcus Smart has had on Grizzlies
"“What I love is Marcus’ evekeeledness throughout, its rubbed off on all of us,” Jenkins said. “Obviously our group is super competitive, we want to win every game — what team doesn’t. We’re having our struggle moments with guys in and out of the lineup, trying to get a grasp of our standad offensively and defensively but the dude’s just has a positive mentality throughout, just saying the right things in the locker room and keeping the group together, inviting the guys to dinner, talking in the locker room, on the court you just see him pulling the group together and its been awesome how the group’s responded…Marcus has come in, new environment [and] new teammates, new circumstances, it can shake anybody but our group has really remained close and I think Marcus has done a great job with his voice and his commitment to finding that consistency and just staying level-headed, knowing that it’s a journey.”"
Fans and pundits may not be enthralled to this point with Smart’s play since being traded to the Grizzlies this past offseason, but Jenkins seems to be ecstatic with the overall impact the 29-year-old has had on his squad thus far, praising him as being “a new voice” to “remind us of what we’re facing and [to show us] how we can face it.”
The point guard logged a team-high 36 minutes during Memphis’ win over the Clippers and wrapped up the contest with an impressive box score of 17 points, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds. He would also find himself converting on a highly efficient 42.9 percent of his long-range attempts and registered the second-best plus-minus mark on the night at +16.
On the season as a whole, Smart is averaging 13.4 points, 5.4 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 steals.