As far as we have come since the days of the cavemen, there are still limitations to the world around us. Specifically, our vaunted technology doesn’t always work.
For example, no matter how many streams I tried on both my iPhone and Macbook, I simply couldn’t watch the Memphis Grizzlies play the Orlando Magic in some thrilling NBA preseason action. And now both of my devices have more viruses than a person who just opened an envelope filled with anthrax and ebola.
But I digress.
So, since my technologically incompetent self wasn’t able to watch the Grizzlies lose in Orlando for approximately the 100th (1,000th?) time in a row, the rest of the recap will be covered through tweets and box score stats. No context, no nuance—just the way we all like it! Grizz in a Box is back!
Here are a few uninformed takeaways.
Mike Conley is apparently back
Tough night for the Grizzlies so far, but I think we can officially say Mike Conley looks 100 percent ready for the season to start. He’s been great.— Drew Hill (@DrewHill_CA) October 11, 2018
Or at least that’s what the tweet says anyway.
All joking aside, Mike Conley put together a vintage performance from the field, finishing with 24 points on 9-14 shooting and 3-5 from three. He seems to have fully recovered his explosive quickness that was basically non-existent at the beginning of last season.
However, a curious trend of Conley’s continues from last season—his assists numbers, or lack thereof. While he has certainly never been an elite playmaker, Conley has still always averaged over 5 assists per game since 2010-2011 except for one season, which was last year. Of course, he only played 12 games and wasn’t fully healthy when he did play, but he still only averaged 4.1 assists.
Through four preseason games, Conley is only averaging a meager 2.5 assists in just under 25 minutes per game. Against the Magic, he only had one assist in 31 minutes. As solid as he has looked scoring the basketball, an elite point guard should be generating more scoring opportunities for his teammates than this.
In a past life, I argued that Mike Conley looks better as a shooting guard than he does as a true point guard. With addition of several new talented playmakers around him, it will be interesting to see if he moves further in that direction.
Jaren Jackson will need time
Jaren Jackson Jr.’s discipline issues continue as he fouled out yet again...in just 20 minutes of playing time.
Even in the pointlessness of preseason, Jackson’s generational potential has been on full display. And as I argued back in the summer, his fouling issues that date back to Michigan State shouldn’t be a major concern. He will likely become more disciplined with hands as he matures into the player that he will become.
However, he certainly has a long way to go before he becomes that player.
Everyone struggles, and none of it matters
Kyle Anderson shot 1-6. Marc Gasol shot 2-9. Wayne Selden Jr., who actually could use several good games, shot 2-8. JaMychal Green, in the Contract Year of our Lord, didn’t take a single shot in 14 minutes.
It almost seems like it was a preseason game.
In all seriousness, none of this really matters until opening night, and you can tell the players know that as well. Nothing really matters, and everything is meaningless.
Watch the Grizzlies!