Typical mailbag posts are when readers and fans send in questions they want answered by that particular blog. One of the coolest things is when your question gets picked and answered. Your twitter handle and name get tagged on the article for all to see.
It is a prideful, fun moment in the life of a devoted fan and reader. I remember when my first mailbag question was answered, I retweeted it and told anyone who cared. It was a big deal to me.
That’s the typical mailbag. Here at Grizzly Bear Blues, we are always looking for new ways to get you, the reader involved with us. So how about a different kind of mailbag?
We will ask a handful of questions and YOU answered:
- Other than Mike Conley, which point guard do you look forward to watching Ja Morant match up against this season?
The obvious answer here is Russell Westbrook, as he plays a very similar game to Ja. However, I’m going to go a bit off the rails here and say that I’m most interested to watch Ja match up against Trae Young. Ja and Trae are two young point guards who absorbed the era of ball movement during their formative years, and that translates in their respective games.
I’m looking forward to seeing Ja go up against Russell Westbrook or Jrue Holiday. With Ja being compared to Russell on athleticism, it will be a really fun match up to watch. Jrue will be a great matchup against Ja because Holiday has become a serious defender and prides himself on shutting guys down.
2. With three starting positions seemingly locked — Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jonas Valanciunas — who should start on the wings Opening Night?
Aside from the locked starters (Jonás, Ja, JJJ), the other opening night starters should be Kyle Anderson at the 3 and Dillon Brooks at the 2. When I write this in no way do I expect this to be the closing lineup or starting lineup say after ten games. The team, and especially Ja, stand to benefit by playing alongside players who have logged minutes together prior. DB wasn’t great playing the 2 last year but he provides wing/backcourt scoring that Kyle can’t, and Kyle, though best suited to play the 4, can play with Ja early on to take some of the ball handling and passing burdens off him. This lineup gives you the opportunity to open games with a competitive edge on defense, where you have what are hopefully 5 at least average to elite defenders at their position and elite playmaking in the backcourt and on the wing.
I would start Brooks and Anderson. Experience and consistency. Still the weakest positions on the roster.
I’d actually like to see Tyus Jones start alongside Ja Morant, and then Jae Crowder fill out the last starting spot (assuming Andre Iguodala isn’t in Memphis). I think that Tyus is a hard-nosed defender that can take on the opposing team’s point guard on the defensive end. That would leave a bit of room for Ja to work in a less focused defensive role. On the other side of the ball, you can switch ball-handling responsibilities between the two; I can see Ja turning to an off-ball cutter.
3. What are your first impressions of Taylor Jenkins based on his resume and his performance at the Las Vegas Summer League?
I love the way Taylor Jenkins seemed to stretch the floor out and run with those guys. I know there isn't a ton of defense in Summer League but the Grizzlies played really really good defense. I think Taylor will be able to get the very best out of everyone on the team.
I wish they had hired a coach that had head coach experience. That being said, he’s done well. Winning the Las Vegas Summer League was big.
Thank you to those that responded. Be on the lookout for our next Fan Feature Mailbag.