WHAT: 2022 NBA Summer League
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: ESPN3 (ESPN+)/92.9 FM ESPN MEMPHIS
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Kennedy Chandler, Ziaire Williams, Jake LaRavia, Santi Aldama, Xavier Tillman
UTAH: Vic Law, Jared Butler, James Palmer Jr., Xavier Sneed, Kofi Cockburn
The Memphis Grizzlies (1-1) wrap up their 3 game set of summer league action in Salt Lake City, Utah with a matchup against the Jazz before the NBA world meets in Vegas for the 2K22 NBA Summer League.
So far in Salt Lake City, the Grizzlies featured their 8 main guys in their first matchup while going with their G League lineup last night, with two-way players Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Vince Williams Jr. playing in both games. Predicting rotations in summer league is never easy, but tonight will probably be a mixture of both lineups, with potential the guys who have played in both games so far in SLC (Lofton, Williams, Tremont Waters and Dakota Mathias) all getting some rest.
Here are a few things to keep an eye out for as the Grizzlies wrap up action in SLC.
Patience with Ziaire
On-ball Ziaire was a bit of a mixed bag in the first game. Williams played with a relatively loose dribble, but you could tell it’s something he’s been working on all off-season. Getting live reps on the ball will certainly help in the long term when it comes to Williams’ handle. He didn’t have a great night shooting the ball, as he went just 5-13 from the field but did shoot 3-6 from deep. I’m less worried about the shot falling, and more interested in Ziaire getting to his spots and creating his own looks instead of settling being primarily a catch & shoot option. For summer league at least, I’d rather see Ziaire shoot less than 40% if he’s getting double digit attempts per game creating for himself.
Ziaire finished the game with 8 assists and flashed some nice vision throughout the game that should give Grizzlies fans excitement with Z as a secondary facilitator. The 3 turnovers were a team high, but not that surprising considering it was Williams’ first opportunity at being the guy. He may not be as physically overwhelming and dominant like Desmond Bane was last offseason, but Grizzlies fans should be excited to see Williams grow outside of his comfort zone, taking the good and the bad.
Battle in the frontcourt
With Jaren Jackson Jr. expected to miss at least the first month or two of the season, along with Kyle Anderson's departure, minutes in the frontcourt are up for grabs to start the season. Summer league action won’t determine who gets those minutes, but it’s a great start to see who is in the lead. Santi Aldama and Xavier Tillman figure to have a lead early on thanks to their time with the Grizzlies last season. Rookie Jake LaRavia may force himself into the conversation with the way he played in the first game finishing with 13 points and 4 rebounds to go along with 2 assist and 2 steals. LaRavia is the best out of the 3 in spacing the floor, evident by his 4-7 shooting from deep. Tillman (16 points, 4 assists) and Aldama (13 points, 3 rebounds) were no slouches either so it will be fun to see how those 3 continue to play throughout summer league.
With big man Kofi Cockburn & potentially Tacko Fall manning the paint for the Jazz, the battle of the big men will be the matchup to watch tonight. Can Aldama and Tillman attack the two large centers, or will they be overwhelmed physically. Can the Summer Grizz gang rebound to keep the tall duo off the boards? Tonight is a sneaky good opportunity for Kennedy Chandler, coming off an 8 point, 4 rebound, 4 assists, 4 steal and 3 block game to continue to show his worth as a well-rounded player.
Stick with Grizzly Bear Blues for more Summer League coverage.