With their continuously growing injury report, throughout the 2023-24 campaign, the Memphis Grizzlies have been forced to roll with the proverbial punches and attempt to adjust their on-court scheme accordingly.
Head coach Taylor Jenkins' latest alteration came in the form of a decision to replace Jacob Gilyard in the starting backcourt with John Konchar and insert natural power forward Santi Aldama into the primary three spot which, though somewhat unorthodox, actually produced some positive results as the team nearly pulled out an upset win over the title-favorite Boston Celtics in their Sunday bout.
In particular, Aldama's inclusion in the starting five saw him put forth one of his best performances as an NBA player, for he dropped a whopping 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists on 40.0 percent shooting from distance.
However, while it's easy to focus on the positives, the folks at Locked on Grizzlies were quick to point out some of the negative aspects of this new-look lineup, as co-host Damichael Cole highlighted the fact that their offensive punch is quite top-heavy in such a set.
Grizzlies offense not well-rounded with new starting unit
"Three people scored in that first quarter [against the Celtics]. I don't have to tell you who they were: Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Santi Aldama. Those were the only three players to score in the first quarter. And I think, pretty much, if you add up the points, the Grizzlies had 100...Desmond Bane had 30, Santi Aldama had 28, and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 17. That's 75, right... 75 points from three guys. The rest of your team gave you 25 points. That means two other starters on top of your entire bench. Matter of fact, no one off the bench scored more than six points."- Damichael Cole on new Grizzlies unit
Cole would continue on to note that the overarching point he's trying to make is "at this point, you need bench depth, you need bench scoring" and, considering "the entire bench was made up of guys that played in the G League last season" this is a lineup that's simply not destined to serve as a long-term structure for success.
Considering the Grizzlies currently boast the third-worst offensive rating in the entire league (107.8 rating), this is a major concern.