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Memphis Grizzlies 2016-2017 Player Previews: JaMychal Green

In a much faster NBA, should the Grizz consider starting JaMychal Green over Zach Randolph?

Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal

With more and more teams playing faster, the Grizzlies have remained one of the few teams that still like to slow the ball down and work the clock-shot. As we enter the 2016-2017 season, is it time for Memphis to try and switch things up by giving a much more young/athletic JaMychal Green a chance in the starting line-up?

2015-2016 Season Overview

Coming off career highs all across the board last season, JaMychal Green showed us what he can do in extended minutes with the Grizzlies. Once the injuries starting piling up for Memphis, Green saw his minutes rise and even saw himself in the starting line-up at times as he drew starts over Zach Randolph. Although his season averages don’t jump out at you, JaMychal turned in an impressive close to the end of last season. When looking at the last two months of the season, JaMychal had averages of 11.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in 26.7 minutes.

This is up from his previous season averages of 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game. With increased minutes, Green has shown us that he can produce as he pulled down a game of 21 points and 10 rebounds in a win over New Orleans, and flirted with a triple-double in a win at Cleveland with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.

While on the court, Green showed he is capable of hitting the perimeter jump shot from time and time and let us also not forget about his ability to finish at the rim. JaMychal Green made the most of his opportunities last year with the Grizzlies, showing that he can produce at a high level in increased minutes on the floor.

Projected Role

The Grizzlies played very well when JaMychal Green was on the court for them last year, which begs the question, should Green be starting over Randolph at the four? It seems very unlikely to happen, knowing the chemistry that Randolph and Gasol have together on the court. If Memphis does ever want to increase their pace of play though, Green has shown he is ready to step into that role if called upon. JaMychal brings a different dynamic to the game on offense that Randolph just simply can’t, as Green’s athleticism makes Memphis look like a much different team.

Realistically though, I see Green coming off the bench for the Grizzlies so that he can bring some sort of leadership to what will be a very young second unit. JaMychal will provide a huge spark off the bench with the energy that he brings into the game, so expect a lot of high-flying moments and above the rim action from number zero. I can see Green getting anywhere from 20-25 minutes a game off the bench as Fizdale will need him to play a major role once the starters come out.

2016-2017 Best Case Scenario

The best case scenario for JaMychal would be for him to totally outplay fellow teammate Zach Randolph from the bench, forcing Coach David Fizdale to change up the lineup. Remember though, this would be best case scenario for the guy, and I mean assuming literally everything goes his way. Prying a staple of Grizzlies basketball in Zach Randolph away from the starters would take more than JaMychal’s best, but hey that’s what this section is for.

A more realistic best case scenario for JaMychal, though, would be him turning into the best/most reliable player off the bench for Memphis, showing his value in the league and to the Grizzlies as he could possibly be on a contract year this season.

2016-2017 Worst Case Scenario

Having second year player Jarell Martin out of LSU outplay JaMychal I would have to say would be worst case scenario for Green. Or even maybe an injury to JaMychal that would allow Martin to step into his role would not be ideal for Green. As some expect JaMychal to potentially take minutes away from Z-Bo, having him lose minutes to Martin alternately would be a step in the wrong direction for the opportunistic Green. I wouldn’t bet on this happening though, considering how well JaMychal played last season for Memphis.

Overall Expectations

When JaMychal Green is on the court I expect nothing but sheer heart and hustle from the guy. Presumably coming off the bench for Randolph, Green should provide energy and leadership for what will be a very young Memphis bench (besides the likes of Vince Carter and Brandan Wright of course). Off the bench though, look for Green to provide Memphis with fast-break points, rebounds, blocks, and steals as the forward out of Alabama seems to never get tired.

I expect to see a much more comfortable JaMychal Green on the court this season, with a much more improved offensive game as he had all summer to work. Expect JaMychal to play both sides of the court extremely hard as he puts extreme pride into every possession that he’s on the floor. Look for JaMychal to build off of his success from last season as the 26 year old will get plenty of run for Memphis in the 2016-17 season.

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