Friday, September 20News That Matters

NBA Daily: First Quarter Grades: Southwest Division

The NBA has broached the mark, as November draws to a close. Twenty games might not look like a lot, but there is a lot which can be removed from the drama of any team through this point in the season.
The 2018-19 season has been quite a surprising one so far, even more so. Down and up, the Southwest has not played out just how anyone expected it to.
So, how have these teams done for this stage in the season?
Memphis Grizzlies — B+
Grit and Grind hasn’t made a comeback, like it was 2013, but the Memphis Grizzlies began this season.
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 squad they ran outside onto the court . Mike Conley, who has averaged 20.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 20 matches, has rebounded after he missed most of last year because of injury, and his return has galvanized his seasoned partner in crime, Marc Gasol.
Gasol has boosted his numbers after an underwhelming 2017; the Spaniard is one of five players this year to average at least 18 points, nine rebounds, one steal and one block per game. Meanwhile, the Shelvin Mack, Kyle Anderson and Garrett Temple have demonstrated capable additions as well.
Rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. has also played at a high level; 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 weren’t expected by many to lead the branch at the quarter mark, or perhaps some markers, this season. Where they’ve found themselves, However, with Houston Rockets underperforming and the New Orleans Pelicans into a significant level, this is. They might not hold onto that division all season, but they are able to consider a success thus far.

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