Southwest Notes: Anderson, Hart, Williamson, Morant, Garuba

Kyle Anderson enjoyed a career year for the Grizzlies as a fixture in the lineup in 2020/21. He’s had a difficult time adjusting to a bench role this season, Mark Giannotto of the Memphis Commercial Appeal notes. Anderson, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, posted averages of 12.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 3.4 APG in 69 starts last season. In 14 games off the bench this season, he’s playing approximately five fewer minutes per game while averaging 8.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 2.4 APG.

“I’m just still trying to figure it out. It’s a different role,” Anderson said. “People may look at last year and say why aren’t you doing what you did last year? It’s just that’s over. This is a different role. I’m a professional. I’ve got to figure it out.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans are floundering with a 2-14 record and guard Josh Hart doesn’t want to hear excuses for their poor start, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune tweets. “We have to grow up. (Bleep) being young, inexperienced,” he said. “I don’t really care for that right now. We have have to focus on growing up. We have to focus on having better attention to detail.”
  • When Zion Williamson and Ja Morant were drafted 1-2 in 2019, it should have sparked a spirited division rivalry between the Pelicans and Grizzlies, It hasn’t worked out that way, at least not yet, because of Williamson’s injury issues, Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian writes. The teams have only met six times since that draft due to the pandemic and only three have included both Williamson and Morant, Herrington notes. Just one of those matchups had a full complement of fans in the stands due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Rockets first-round pick Usman Garuba has been assigned the G League Rio Grande Valley Vipers and that’s needed in order to get him some experience, Rahat Huq of the Houston Chronicle writes. Garuba hasn’t cracked the Rockets’ regular rotation, appearing in just seven games and averaging 6.4 MPG. Garuba is noted for defensive prowess but needs to develop his offensive game, Huq adds.
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