The Summer League Memphis Grizzlies are 2-0!
Memphis found a way to outplay a very talented Sacramento Kings team last night on their way to an 81-75 win. For the second straight game, the Grizzlies built a double digit lead, and for the second straight game they gave it up. A win is a win, however, especially out in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Here are some quick takeaways from last night-
- Wayne Selden Jr. seems to be tired of the questions of whether or not he’d be picked up by the Grizzlies. On the heels of his new contract with Memphis, the new question is “how many minutes could Wayne see in the 2017-2018 rotation?” Newcomer Ben McLemore figures to be the starter at shooting guard at this stage of the offseason, barring other moves. The other Grizzlies signing, Tyreke Evans, seems to be a likely candidate to be the Swiss army knife sixth man off the bench capable of playing anywhere on the perimeter.
But Selden has shown two nights in a row that he’s a man among boys at this Summer League. Another 20+ point performance, and another great fourth quarter to help Memphis hold the lead. Always be weary of Summer League success (Josh Selby and such), but this is different than Selby. Selden is physically and mentally on a different level than his competition right now. He was again one of, if not the, best player on the floor against Sacramento, and considering there were nine (!!!) former first round picks on the combined rosters, the undrafted Selden continues to impress.
- Jarell Martin needed a good night, and against the Kings he got just that. He gave us 21 points, 10 rebounds, and a much more aggressive style of play. He seemed more comfortable on the court and he was able to take advantage of the young Kings front court, as you would expect him to. In a big summer for Jarell, this performance should build confidence as he tries to show his worth to a Grizzlies team who has moves to make between now and opening night to get the roster trimmed.
- Players like Wade Baldwin IV (12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists) and Rade Zagorac (6 points, 5 rebounds) also performed better than they did in the first game against the Wizards. There were still plenty of flaws all around, and both need to continue to show consistent improvement. They are nowhere near unfinished products. But Zagorac’s growth will coincide with adjusting to the speed of the NBA, and Baldwin simply needs reps. Practice today for these guys will be big - hopefully film has been watched and drills are set up to address concerns from the first two games.
There is still room for improvement. Deyonta Davis as a strong and consistent rim runner is something that must continue to be emphasized, as is Kobi Simmons playing within his skill set and understanding of scheme. But through two games, Grizzlies fans should be cautiously optimistic. Remember the nine former first round picks line from earlier? Seven of them suited up for Sacramento. Memphis held their own and competed with a team with players many would deem more “talented”.
“Grit and Grind” may be done, but the character of that era may well live on in the next incarnation of this roster. And that is a very good thing.