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Season in Review: The curious case of JaMychal Green

After signing his off-season deal, JaMychal Green had an up and down ride after battling injury for the first part of the season.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Catch up on previous entries in the Season in Review series here.

JaMychal Green

Season Points per game Rebounds per game FG% 3 Point FG% Off. Rating Def. Rating Net Rating PER Usage Wins shares per 48
Season Points per game Rebounds per game FG% 3 Point FG% Off. Rating Def. Rating Net Rating PER Usage Wins shares per 48
2017-2018 10.3 8.4 45.70% 33.90% 101.4 110.4 -9 14 17.40% 7.90%
Brandon Connor, nba.com/stats

JaMychal Green started his Grizzlies season at a personal high. Last September, he inked a 2 year, 16.8-million-dollar deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. Green finally got the contract he deserved after being a key piece for Memphis over the past two season.

Now, as Zach Randolph left for Sacramento, JaMychal knew he was going to be the pairing force next to Marc Gasol. There were question marks in how that would work because Z-Bo had been the consistent rock next to Gasol for the better part of the past decade.

Unfortunately, only one game into the season JaM suffered a scary ankle injury which sidelined him for the next 12 games. Once Green returned, the Grizzlies were then on their first of many losing streaks which took away from his potential impact for the team.

Even in a down year for the team, JaMychal Green averaged his career high in points, rebounds and minutes played per game. It was a benefit of him being a solid starter on a bad team which cycled around him. Every once and a while he would have a game that showed the potential he could attain. The only problem was it was sporadic in nature when he had these games. He could, in theory, be a nice compliment next to Marc Gasol being able to stretch the floor if Gasol stays down in the paint.

Green fits well with this Grizzlies roster, and next year being another contract year, look for him to show out proving his worth to the Grizzlies or another team the league.

Best Game

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

As mentioned multiple times to this point, the Grizzlies did not have many strong points of the year so picking out the best game was tough. However, JaMychal Green had his best game in a Grizzlies win against the New Orleans Pelicans early January of the season. Memphis had a strong win at home 105-102.

It was a very good showing from Green as he scored 20 points combined with 14 rebounds. New Orleans did not have Anthony Davis in this game, but JaMychal still had to battle against DeMarcus Cousins clogging the paint. One of the best parts about his game is that he had six offensive rebounds. It extended the game for the Grizzlies and was a huge part of their winning formula.

Worst Moment

His worst moment of the year came early on when he suffered that ankle injury in the first game of the year. He only sat out those 12 games, but these 12 games were the moment where the team had the most hope in their season. Green was unable to impact the team, and even when he came back, took some games until he reached his more consistent double-digit rebounding games.

Throughout the season, JaMychal showed signs of why he could not be depended on each night. His stats fluctuated too much throughout the long season for him to be a star down low. His motor is not turned on high each game which impacts the team around him. As one of the most important players on the team (dollar-wise as well), players look to him to be the heart carrying the team through tough stretches of the season.

Thing To Improve

The biggest thing that he needs to improve is his defense. His defensive rating for the rating was 110.4, and that is just not acceptable for most players without an explosive offensive game. JaMychal is not as athletic as other bigs in the league, and teams exploit that bringing him out on high pick and rolls.

In this clip, Green is out of position protecting the corner. Then, he overcompensates too far getting beat on a Rudy Gay drive to the basket. Since Green is out of position, he comes back and commits an unnecessary foul with Gay making the shot.

Other instances are out there because of his size where he just cannot match up against other big men in the league. He is a tad bit undersized which works well with creating space offensively, but it does not translate well when the opposing team is playing bully ball down in the paint.

Overall Season Grade

All in all, JaMychal Green had a pretty average season. He averaged career highs in his most important categories which is a huge plus, but it is just hard to give anyone on this team-high honors when the Grizzlies were the second-worst team in the league.

Next season, it will be interesting how he looks. Since his deal was essentially last minute, he came into camp in a pretty rushed fashion. This may have contributed to his injury, but realistically, it was just an unfortunate, fluke play.

Green excelled after the All-Star break picking up the majority of his double-doubles. He had 16 double-doubles on the season, another career high. If he can replicate the rebounding dominance he had down the stretch of this season, it will go nicely with the Grizzlies roster entering the new season.

With the looks of the draft, JaM may have some extra competition down in the paint fighting for rebounds. The effort and motor will need to be turned on to another gear considering the likelihood of another big potentially coming to Memphis. He would pair nicely with a DeAndre Ayton or a small ball grouping with Marvin Bagley III. The stretch-4 is the fit for Green. Pair him with a nice center and have some improvements on the defensive end, and the frontcourt will be looking solid for next season.

GRADE: B-

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