It is widely known that we will not be watching the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019-20 for their winnings ways. Instead, this season is all about hope and anticipation. This young core will excite the crowd, perhaps more than the playoff teams did towards the end of their run.
There are a number of things coming up this season to look out for that will be exciting.
Monday November 4: Houston Rockets @ Memphis Grizzlies — This will be the first matchup between Ja Morant and a popular player comp in Russell Westbrook. I expect Westbrook to be relentless and teach the young rookie a few things. It will be interesting to watch Ja respond with his competitive nature.
Friday November 15: Utah Jazz @ Memphis Grizzlies — Mike Conley comes home. This will be the first time Mike Conley plays his former team, and the first time he plays in the Forum in anything other than a Grizzlies jersey. Cue the tribute video, chills, and tears.
Monday January 20: New Orleans Pelicans @ Memphis Grizzlies — The number one and two picks square off for the first time. The Rookie of the Year race will be well under way at this point, and Grizz fans will get their first look at Zion and the new look Pelicans.
Saturday March 28: Toronto Raptors @ Memphis Grizzlies — The champ returns. Assuming Marc Gasol isn't traded to a contender as an expiring contract at the deadline, the champion will make his return to Beale Street for the first time in over a year. Bring back the Kleenex for another tribute video.
8.4— That is the number of assists per game that Ja Morant would need to average to have the most assists in a season in franchise history, assuming he plays all 82. If he were for some reason to only play 70 games, that number becomes 9.8, which is not out of the realm of possibility for this young phenom. 8.4 would tie Mike Bibby for highest average in a season.
2.1 — The number of blocks per game that either Jaren Jackson Jr. or Brandon Clarke would have to average to pass Pau Gasol for most blocks in a season, of course playing all 82 games. This will come down to how many minutes Clarke gets during the season, and if Jaren is able to stay out of foul trouble. Both players have the ability to reach this number with ease. 2.1 would also be good for highest per game average, tied with Pau.
23.1 — Is there a player on this team capable of scoring 23.1 points per game to have the highest per game average in franchise history? Last season Mike Conley averaged 21.1, good for third highest. Will Jaren’s game ascend this year? Will Ja Morant be unstoppable? Will Jonas get enough touches?
10.7 — The NBA record for assists per game by a rookie held by Mark Jackson. While Ja is capable of this feat, this is a stat also reliant upon his teammates making shots. With a more up-tempo offense, and the creation of more possessions, this record is in reach for Ja, but just barely.
20-5-5 — Only four rookies in NBA history have averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists — Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Oscar Robertson, Luka Doncic and Tyreke Evans. Ja Morant could find his way into this company, playing for a coach that is going to give him the minutes to do so.
Jae Crowder- Crowder has an opportunity this season to reach 6,000 points, 600 steals, and 200 blocks.
Kyle Anderson- In year six of his career, Anderson will likely surpass 2,000 points, 750 assists, 300 steals, and 200 blocks.
Jaren Jackson Jr. - JJJ needs just 114 blocks to crack the top 10 in franchise history in just his sophomore season. He should also pace 2,000 points, 200 blocks and 100 steals by the end of his second season.
Tyus Jones - Jones is too far out to reach the 2,000 point club, but he will reach 1,000 assists and 300 steals this season.
Jonas Valanciunas- Jonas will certainly surpass 6,000 points early in the season with a chance to reach 7,000 by season end. He could also reach 600 blocks and 200 steals while reaching 5,000 rebounds would require him to average 10.2 rebounds per game, which isn't out of the question.
Dillon Brooks- Brooks has barely played the equivalent of one whole season due to his injury problems in his sophomore season. Going into his third year in the league, Brooks could surpass 2,000 points and 100 steals with ease.
Memphis Grizzlies- The Grizzlies Franchise is entering its 25th season in the NBA, and on Saturday April 11, they will play their 2,000th game since entering the association.
Follow @sbngrizzlies to see if these Grizzlies could accomplish these feats.