Monday, January 20, 2020

The Next Generation Grizzlies Appear to Have Arrived

Posted By on Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 11:38 AM

click to enlarge Brandon Clarke against the Golden State Warriors
  • Brandon Clarke against the Golden State Warriors
Much to the surprise of pretty much everyone, this Grizzlies team has done a complete 180 from the team we saw at the start of the season.

Memphis has won eight of their last ten games and are now the proud owners of a league-high seven-game winning streak. For reference, the Grizzlies have not won seven consecutive games since 2015. Now they are sitting comfortably in the 8th seed, with no signs of slowing down. What a time to be alive.

The Kids Really Are Alright

It’s hard to overstate how special this has been — the group of young players who are making the team their own. If the future of the franchise is in their hands, the Memphis Grizzlies are going to be just fine.

Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke are the first- and second-best rookies in the league, respectively. Morant is a human highlight reel that makes his teammates better, with an incredibly high basketball IQ. Saying Morant should be the unanimous frontrunner for Rookie of the Year would be an understatement at this point. 

Clarke is just quietly good at almost everything, making a huge impact off the bench.
De’Anthony Melton has been incredibly valuable off the bench this season as well, currently averaging eight rebounds and six assists a game. Having a strong bench is especially important if one or more of your starters land in foul trouble during a game, a not unusual occurrence for the Grizzlies this season. 

Injury prevented him from having the sort of breakout rookie year he might have had otherwise, but Jaren Jackson is currently the fifth-best sophomore player in the league, and possibly one of the best shooting big men. He also leads the Grizzlies in total scoring this season with 729 points. 

Dillon Brooks is blossoming into the scoring threat we all hoped he would be. Brooks is tied with Morant as the Grizzlies second-best overall scorer, with 646 points to date. That the Grizzlies are undefeated when Brooks scores 20 or more is not a coincidence.

Can They Keep The Streak Alive?
The Grizzlies will finish up this six-game homestand on Monday, January 20th against the New Orleans Pelicans, as they go for their eighth-straight win. 

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