As November draws to a close, the mark has been broached by the NBA. Twenty games may not look like a lot, but there is a lot that could be removed from the play of any group through this stage in the season.
The season has been a surprising one so much, even more so. Down and up, the Southwest has not played out how anyone expected it to.
How have these teams?
Memphis Grizzlies — B+
Grit and Grind hasn’t made a comeback, like it was 2013, but this year was started by the Memphis Grizzlies.
While they’ve come back down by a surprising start, the 12-8 Grizzlies sit on top of the division and appear much improved from the 22-60 group they ran outside on the court last season. Mike Conley, who has averaged 20.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 20 games, has rebounded after he missed most of last year because of injury, and his return has his seasoned partner in crime, Marc Gasol.
Gasol has boosted his numbers after an underwhelming 2017; the Spaniard is among five players this season to average at least 18 points, nine rebounds, one steal and one block per game. Meanwhile, the Garrett Temple, Kyle Anderson and Shelvin Mack have proved additions as well.
Rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. has also played at a high degree; the former Michigan State Spartan has averaged 12.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, one steal and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting 34.9 percent on 2.2 three-point attempts per game.
The Grizzlies were not expected by many to lead the branch at the quarter mark, or maybe some mark, this year. Where they have found themselves, but, with the New Orleans Pelicans and Houston Rockets underperforming to a level, this is. They can think about their year a success thus far, although they may not hold all season.
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