Welcome back to another edition of Flip This Franchise!
In the previous blog, we capped off an eventful offseason with a blockbuster trade, highlighted by Jimmy Butler leaving Memphis in exchange for the speedy young PG, De’Aaron Fox. With this move, the Grizzlies are now more than ever committed to winning with a young core of talent moving forward with Fox, Reddish, and Jackson Jr. as the three centerpieces to build around. Before we advance to the trade deadline, I wanted to show what line-up the Grizzlies will be rolling out for the 2021 NBA Regular Season.
Grizzlies Starting Line-Up & Bench
PG: De’Aaron Fox, 85 OVR, 31 MINS
SG: Buddy Hield, 84 OVR, 28 MINS
SF: Cam Reddish, 85 OVR, 29 MINS
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr., 89 OVR, 33 MINS
C: Demarcus Cousins, 88 OVR, 32 MINS
6: (SG) Malcolm Brogdon, 85 OVR, 31 MINS
7: (SF) Bogdan Bogdanovic, 80 OVR, 22 MINS
8: (PG) Monte Morris, 80 OVR, 17 MINS
9: (C) Mitchell Robinson, 79 OVR, 10 MINS
10: (PF) Alec Peters, 78 OVR, 9 MINS
11: (PF) Jonah Bolden, 77 OVR, 0 MINS
12: (C) Willie Reed, 75 OVR, 0 MINS
13: (PG) Tyler Johnson, 75 OVR, 0 MINS
RES: (SG) Georgios Kalaitzakis, 74 OVR
With this line-up, I feel like the team has a lot of depth in areas that were less prominent last season. The major area being the PG position, with Fox taking a lead role at PG and Morris providing quality back-up minutes at an 80 OVR.
Similar to PG, the SG slot takes a boost with the addition of Buddy Hield. I decided to give the starting nod to Hield because of the firepower he can provide offensively, especially from 3PT, but still gave Brogdon many minutes because of his versatility in the fact that he can play both PG and SG at a high level.
In terms of the rest of the squad, the PF and C positions stay the same on the starting end, with Reddish finally getting the nod at SF after he set a Grizzlies playoff record with 3PT in a game last season. The bench also improved from the previous season with the additions of Bogdanovic, Bolden, Reed, and Johnson, also with the retention of Robinson and Peters.
Without further ado, it’s now time to talk about how the Grizzlies are doing before the trade deadline.
With the season progressing forward, our Grizzlies team has exceeded expectations and really has gelled as an overall unit, leading to a record of 34-20 before the deadline! This record puts them in third place in the Western Conference, only a few games behind the Rockets and Nuggets for the lead.
One highlight so far has been the team’s 3PT shooting (39%) with Buddy Hield (47%) leading the NBA in 3PT% and Malcolm Brogdon (44%) not too far behind in 8th place overall.
Overall, Memphis has made a strong case at contending for an NBA Championship in the 2021-22 season. Demarcus Cousins has continued to be a strong leader for the team, leading in both points and rebounds (20 & 9.5) for the Grizzlies. Newly added starter Cam Reddish has also been scoring at an efficient clip with 18.5 PPG at close to 50% from the field. On the defensive end, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Mitchell Robinson have been menaces with shots blocked, as Jackson Jr. leads the way with 2.2 BPG.
Can the Grizzlies continue their sizzling run in the first half of the season into the second half? Should any moves be made to solidify their spot in the West? Stay tuned for the next Flip This Franchise to see how the Grizzlies fair at the end of the 2021-22 regular season, and to see if we decided to make any moves at the deadline.
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