Memphis Grizzlies: Best and Worst of the Week

Feb 4, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (standing) celebrates from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Randolph had previously fouled out. The Grizzlies won 107-99. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 4, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (standing) celebrates from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Randolph had previously fouled out. The Grizzlies won 107-99. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Memphis Grizzlies: Best and Worst – a column that dives into the positives and negatives from the most recent week of Grizzlies basketball. To kick things off, we look at Memphis’ most recent six-game road stretch.

So, we’re doing a new thing. Pretty excited about it, too.

This new column is titled “Best and Worst of the Week”. The concept is simple: we aggregate the positives and negatives from the past few games (or when the playoffs get here – a series), and lay them out for you in an orderly fashion.

We might even bless you with some really great highlight videos, too.

The goal of this column is to compile the roller-coaster of emotions that is Grizzlies hoops, analyze them and explain to you, the fans, what in the world actually happened.

This Memphis team recently finished a six-game road trip, playing all of those games in the matter of 10 days. They topped the Timberwolves, Suns, Jazz and Nuggets, but fell short to the Trailblazers and the Thunder.

This week, the Grizzlies face the San Antonio Spurs for the first time this season, followed by a second visit from the Golden State Warriors. This is a tough week to make mistakes.

Let’s get started with the good:

Sep 26, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandan Wright (34) poses for a picture at Don Poier Media Center. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 26, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandan Wright (34) poses for a picture at Don Poier Media Center. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, old friend. It’s me, health!

It’s been a long time since we’ve spoken for more than a few days at a time, but I wanted to let you know I’m going to come back home for good. 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The Memphis Grizzlies injury report was clear this week (multiple times, actually) for the first time this season!

Brandan Wright

The big-man underwent ankle surgery in November of 2016. That operation led to a recovery that has kept him off the court all season.

He made his debut Monday against the Phoenix Suns, scoring six points (3-5 shooting) in only five minutes.

His return to game-shape continued, snagging a starting spot in Saturday’s win over the Timberwolves.

GAME RECAP: JaMychal Green scores career-high in Grizzlies win over T’Wolves

Chandler Parsons

Feb 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jameer Nelson (1) guards Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons (25) in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jameer Nelson (1) guards Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons (25) in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis’ $94 million-dollar acquisition has yet to prove his worth to many anxious Grizzlies fans. Still, there’s little reason to worry.

The rise of Chandler Parsons is full-steam ahead. He played 25 minutes Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, scoring 12 points on 50-percent shooting – including a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.

Parsons’ three-pointer is still a little flat. Fear not, it will fall. #ShootersShoot

Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, JaMychal Green

Mikey Conley suffered a fractured back. Marc Gasol is playing elite basketball following a foot injury last season that many big-men don’t come back from. JaMychal green had his face broken.

Today? Mike Conley is an All-Star snub, Marc Gasol is actually #GasolStar and JaMychal Green just scored a career-high 29 points to lift Memphis over Minneapolis.

I’d say things are looking up.

THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES ARE SCORING A LOT OF POINTS!

I’m going to say this a little louder for the people in the back:

THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES HAVE BECOME AN OFFENSIVE POWERHOUSE HEADING INTO THE FINAL STRETCH OF THE SEASON.

Jan 30, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) dribbles the ball up the court with center Marc Gasol (33) in the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 30, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) dribbles the ball up the court with center Marc Gasol (33) in the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Over the stretch of the last six games, this Memphis team averaged right at 110 points every night. Those six games? All of them on the road. That alone makes a huge statement for the future of the Grizzlies offense.

Now that serious health is no longer an issue, coach David Fizdale’s system is falling into place. With plans to speed up the Grizzlies offensive game, fans worried that the Grit ‘N’ Grind defense would fade away.

It certainly did, for a handful of games.

Fortunately, for fans and the franchise alike, the Grizzlies’ high-volume offense and notorious defensive dominance has meshed nicely throughout the last few games.

With Chandler Parsons showing obvious signs of improvement, Memphis has high potential to be a handful for any playoff opponent when Parsons is back to full-speed.

MEMPHIS FANS, READ THIS: Its not time to worry about Parsons… yet.

Where in the world is Troy Daniels?

This doesn’t really fall under the category of “bad.” I believe “concerning” would be the better world.

Troy Daniels proved his worth multiple times throughout the season, and has yet to receive the minutes (and trust) he deserves.

Remember that time he scored 30 points against the Lakers during the “Nasty Nine” era of the Grizzlies roster this season?

What about the time where he had six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter alone to put the icing on the cake of a 30-point victory over the OKC Thunder?

BONUS: Troy Daniels was also invited to participate in the 3-point contest, to which he ultimately declined. 

Daniels has every opportunity to be an X-factor for this Memphis Grizzlies squad when the playoffs role around. I hope he gets the opportunity he deserves.

Consistency: the Grizzlies kryptonite

The first game of six-straight on the road ended with Memphis losing to a very, very average Portland Trailblazers team.

Truth #1: The Blazers have everything it takes to be an elite team, but they aren’t.

Truth #2: The Grizzlies can’t seem to find a way to beat teams they really need to beat.

Yes, Memphis destroyed the Phoenix Suns last week, signaling that the consistency might end. Per usual, the excitement faded briefly when The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Grizzlies for the second straight time.

Everyone is healthy, the back-up point guard situation rests in the hands of Toney Douglas and the consistency factor has nowhere to go but up.

Follow @BealeStBearsFS on twitter and ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook to keep up with the Grizzlies all season long!

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