It's the start of a new year, which means it's the only opportunity for you to make any sort of changes to positively affect your life.
That's right, folks: it's New Year's resolution season!
Given the way this season has gone, the Grizzlies certainly have plenty of places for improvement. So, to help them get 2018 started on the right foot, I've come up with New Year's resolutions for every player on the roster.
Marc Gasol: Play better
Marc has stated this already after several games this season. Marc has steadily repeated this phrase during the team’s struggles, so we’ll just assume that this is his resolution and he was trying to get a head start on it. To be fair, he's probably not wrong. Gasol's game has been bogged down by the players around him, but there are still moments, particularly on defense where Gasol isn't playing up to his own lofty standards.
Chandler Parsons: Figure out how to last longer
The second season of Chandler Parsons is going much better than the first (hooray for low expectations!). Parsons has been a positive contributor to the rotation this season. The only problem is that he still can’t be counted on night in and night out. He doesn’t play on back-to-backs, and the most minutes he’s played in a single game is 26.
The Grizzlies are paying Parsons big money. And while he hasn’t been the disaster he was last season, the next step for him is to figure out how to last longer. On the court, of course.
JaMychal Green: Find a time machine
I don’t know what happened between last season and this season (contract year, maybe? Injury issues?), but JaMychal hasn’t been close to the player he was last season. I just wish Green could get back to the level of play he was at in 2016-17. The Grizzlies really have no real power forwards that are playing well. Green and Martin are both struggling. Parsons is out fairly often. And Wright only plays spot minutes. Prior season JaM would go a long way to fixing some of the Grizzlies issues.
Dillon Brooks: Get a better nickname
Okay, let’s get this straight: the Dilly Dilly Budweiser commercials are bad. Please stop calling Brooks “Dilly Dilly,” as this only associates him with these terrible commercials and makes him terrible by association.
Ben McLemore: Attempt more 360 dunks
This is still my favorite highlight of this season, which perfectly encapsulates what this season has been like so far.
Mike Conley: Buy a new Achilles on the black market
Please, someone, donate your Achilles to Mike so he can play basketball again. You probably don't even need it.
Jarell Martin: Find an NBA skill
Remember when I thought Jarell Martin was going to take JaMychal’s starting spot? Those were the good ol’ days. But with JaMychal struggling, the Grizzlies need Jarell to step up and fill the void. So far, Martin hasn’t. In fact, I’m not even sure what Jarell does well other than sometimes get really cool putbacks. That’s about all I got.
Please, Jarell, use 2018 to find one thing that you can be awesome at other than finishing other players’ misses.
Kobi Simmons, Ivan Rabb: Get promoted to the 15-man roster
I appreciate what Mario Chalmers provided to the team back in 2016 before he blew out his Achilles. But Mario Chalmers’ time as an NBA player is over, and the Grizzlies are on a trajectory where what he offers doesn’t have any value. It’s time for the Kobi Simmons Experience in Memphis, even if that doesn't start until next season.
I'm also excited about Rabb after being incredibly disappointed with that draft pick. Rabb has posted some incredible games in the G League, and while that's still against lower-level competition, it's as much as you can hope for.
Right now, my dream is that Rabb and Simmons become the next Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. That's not too much to ask for, right?
Deyonta Davis: Don’t make me panic again
After all the excitement over DD last season, I was genuinely concerned with what looked like a step back during Summer League and preseason. It looked like Davis might not be able to turn those flashes into something more consistent. In fact, it looked like he might not even be able to maintain the flashes.
Fortunately, since Brandan Wright has been out (and even since Wright’s return), Davis has looked closer to last season’s version than the Summer League iteration of himself. MAYBE PLEASE KEEP THIS UP AND DON’T PULL THAT SUMMER LEAGUE CRAP AGAIN, PLEASE.
Tyreke Evans and Brandan Wright: Maximize trade value
Evans is already on the right track to accomplishing this. We all know Reke won’t be back in Memphis next season, that he’s playing for his next contract, and that’s perfectly fine. But if the Grizzlies continue on the path they’re currently on, Reke may find himself on his way out of town before the trade deadline. Right now, he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing: get buckets and maybe don’t take those last second shots to keep the percentages in pristine condition.
Wright is on an expiring contract as well, and given the way Deyonta Davis has played in Wright’s absence, it’s worth trying to get whatever return you can out of his deal, even if it’s not much.
Andrew Harrison, Wayne Selden Jr.- Keep improving
Andrew Harrison once looked like he'd never make the Grizzlies roster, but he's turned himself into a respectable rotation player. He's willing to take coaching, and what he lacks for in athleticism, he makes up for in effort. Harrison just needs to keep doing what he's been doing.
Selden has flashed potential as well, including some incredible plays in the playoffs against San Antonio. His development has been hindered by injury this season, but hopefully once he's healthy, he continues shaping himself into a future rotation player or even a starter.
J.B. Bickerstaff: Throw out his monkey’s paw
(Link for those who don't get the reference.)
J.B. Bickerstaff keeps wishing for a head coaching gig, and he keeps getting his wish. Unfortunately, it comes at a cost. Bickerstaff was tasked with taking over the Rockets when they let Kevin McHale go just 11 games into the season. Bickerstaff came to Memphis on David Fizdale’s staff, only to be shoved back into an interim head coach role when the Grizzlies abruptly fired Fizdale.
Maybe one day Bickerstaff will get a real head coaching job and won't have to get it through some cruel twist of fate.
Chris Wallace: Find the window and pry it back open
While Chris Wallace was occupied with… something else? I don’t know, making a rap album or ignoring Memphis media? the window for the Grizzlies as a competitive NBA team was covered in bricks. Still, Wallace swears that the window is still open for this team. He just has to find the window. And then somehow get it open.
This should end well!