18 Jul NBA Daily: First Quarter Grades: Southwest Division
The NBA has broached the quarter-season mark, as November draws to a close. Twenty games might not look like a lot, but there is a lot that could be removed from the drama of any group through this stage in the season.
The season has been a surprising one so much, even more so to get the teams that live in the Southwest branch. Down and up, the Southwest has not played out how anyone expected it to.
How have these teams?
Memphis Grizzlies — B+
Grit and Grind has not made a comeback, like it was 2013, but this season was started by the Memphis Grizzlies.
While they have come back down from a sudden start, that the 12-8 Grizzlies sit on top of the branch and appear much improved from the 22-60 squad they ran outside on the court last season. Mike Conley, who has averaged 20.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 20 matches, has rebounded after he missed most of last year because of injury, and his return has his veteran partner in crime, Marc Gasol.
Gasol has boosted his numbers following an abysmal 2017; the Spaniard is among five players this season to average at least 18 points, nine rebounds, one steal and one block per game. Meanwhile, the Kyle Anderson Garrett Temple and Shelvin Mack have proved competent additions.
Rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. has also played in a high level; the former Michigan State Spartan has averaged 12.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, a steal and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting 34.9 percent on 2.2 three-point attempts per game.
The Grizzlies weren’t anticipated by many to lead the branch at the quarter mark, or perhaps any mark, this year. Where they’ve found themselves, but, with Houston Rockets underperforming and all the New Orleans Pelicans into a level, this is. They are able to think about a success so far, although they might not hold onto that division all season.
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