Previewing the 2022-23 Memphis Grizzlies
October 1st, 2022
By Alan Lu
The Memphis Grizzlies were one of the most fascinating basketball teams to watch in the NBA last year. They improved monumentally and soared above the competition for much of the way, as they went from 38 wins in a 72-game season in 2021 to winning 56 games last year, and they were able to take the eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors to six games before losing to them in the second round.
They had a terrific, MVP-caliber season out of superstar point guard Ja Morant, who won the Most Improved Player award, and sharpshooter Desmond Bane also improved leaps and bounds to become a bonafide star in this league. Jaren Jackson Jr. played really good defense, and he has developed into being one of the best big men in the NBA. On top of that, the Grizzlies have a lot of talent and depth that make them one of the most talented and fun teams to watch, and they could make a deep playoff run for the upcoming season.
Ja Morant is one of the most exciting players in the NBA. He is a tremendously athletic, playmaking point guard that can score at will, and he is also a good playmaker and defender. He is one of the best players in the league, and he will likely make his second All-Star team in 2023.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is a versatile, skilled big man that can score in a variety of ways, and he is also an elite rim protector. He can score out of the post and is a good shooter that can step out behind the three-point line to knock down jumpers, and he also does a very good job of protecting the paint. He’s more of a complementary player than a lead go-to scorer and doesn’t always come away with enough rebounds, but Jackson is a very good big man that will be a mainstay on the Grizzlies for a long time.
Desmond Bane is a sharpshooting wing that can really shoot the basketball, but he’s developed into so much more than that. He’s developed into a bonafide scorer that can provide instant offense, and he is also a big, physical wing player that will move the ball, grab rebounds, and provide tough, hard-nosed defense.
The Grizzlies were able to get three rookies from the 2022 NBA Draft. They acquired two, big physical and mobile forwards that project into 3 and D roles off the bench, and they acquired a speedy point guard that will make plays and provide energy and some offensive skills off the bench.
As for Danny Green, he’s a smart, savvy veteran that has won NBA championships before with multiple teams, but he’s out for the season due to a knee injury and is on an expiring, non-guaranteed contract. In the unlikely event if he does get healthy this season, he could be a valuable addition to their team, but at the very least, if the Grizzlies keep him for their Opening Day roster, they could throw him into a trade to be able to get a valuable player back in return.
The Grizzlies lost two key bench players in Melton and Kyle Anderson. Melton is an athletic combo guard that had a strong season last year, and he is a skilled player that can shoot, pass, and defend, and he really improved last year. Kyle Anderson is a tall, skilled forward that moves the ball well and defends, and he operates like an off-ball point forward, but he struggled with his jump shot last season, and second-year forward, Ziaire Williams is expected to take on a greater role on their team this year.
The rookies will enter a crowded roster where playing time may be hard to come by and may not necessarily contribute right away, but it will definitely make an already deep Grizzlies team deeper.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Key Bench Players:
The Rest of the Roster (projected to make the team):
G-F Danny Green (injured, out for the season)
G-F Vince Williams Jr. (Two-Way)
F-C Kenneth Lofton Jr. (Two-Way)
Others in Camp:
F Justin Bean (Exhibit 10)
G Jacob Gilyard (Exhibit 10)
2021-22 (MEM): 56-26, 6-6 in the Playoffs, Lost in the 2nd Round to Golden State
Career: 128-99, 7-10 in the NBA Playoffs
Taylor Jenkins had a very good season last year, and he did a great job of cultivating and developing his team to win many games during the regular season. They were also very competitive in the playoffs, and they went very far when Ja Morant was healthy before they ended up having injuries and lost to Golden State in the second round.
He’s gotten a lot out of his team especially during the regular season. There are some mild concerns that he hasn’t produced a winning record in the playoffs yet, but with more experience, his team should reach further in the playoffs, and Jenkins is currently one of the best coaches in the NBA.
Outlook for the 2022-23 NBA Season:
The Memphis Grizzlies are a very talented team that has a nucleus of very good players, and they are expected to win many games throughout the regular season. They have a deep roster, and they improved exponentially last year. They are still a young team, so it may be tough for them to match to more experienced teams such as Golden State, but certainly the Grizzlies will be one of the best teams in the NBA this season.
Projected 2022-23 Win-Loss Record and Finish: 53-29, 1st in the Western Conference
Expected Playoff Finish: Projected to lose in the Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors
I went to Basketball-Reference and Spotrac to look up some information for this write-up. Thank you for reading my write-up on the Memphis Grizzlies. It will be an exciting basketball season this year, and the NBA season will start on October 18th.