Grizzlies Notes: Adams, Bane, Morant, Arena

The Grizzlies have lost six of seven games since Steven Adams went down with a knee sprain, and it’s clear the team has missed its starting center, says Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

“I’ve said it multiple times: You’re not going to replace what Steven does,” head coach Taylor Jenkins said. “I wish we could get every rebound, but it’s willpower. We were first in the league in offensive rebounding and defensive rebounding when he’s on the floor, and that’s even when he’s healthy and in the lineup. And then we’re 28th, even when he’s healthy and sitting on the bench, we’re like 28th in rebounding on both sides. So, we’ve got to find a way.”

Adams’ 11.5 rebounds per game are a career high and represent the highest average for any Grizzlies player this season. Beyond that, his traditional stats are modest (he’s the team’s eighth-leading scorer with 8.6 PPG), but Memphis has a -1.3 net rating when he isn’t playing, the lowest mark for any single player on the team. As Cole relays, Adams’ teammates certainly recognize the value he provides.

“I mean, (Adams) was a big part of what we do,” Desmond Bane said. “Similar to guys like Draymond (Green) and other guys that may not fill up the stat sheet in every single area, but their magnitude is felt on the court. A veteran presence, a screen-setter, rebounder, and a connecter on offense … he does a lot for us.”

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • After being eliminated in the first round of last season’s three-point contest, Desmond Bane was determined to get another invite and win it. However, while his .437 3PT% makes him a solid candidate to be included in this year’s field, he has changed his tune and doesn’t plan to take part in this year’s contest in Utah, Cole writes for The Commercial Appeal. “I want to take some time with my son,” Bane said. “We been moving around a lot. I’d rather hang out with him.”
  • Asked about an alleged incident involving his associates that took place after a Grizzlies/Pacers game last Sunday, Ja Morant was dismissive of the report. “All that stuff pretty much false. It’s been proven,” Morant said, per Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “That’s all I got to say on it.” According to The Athletic’s reporting, members of the Pacers traveling party alleged that someone in an SUV (in which Morant was a passenger) pointed a red laser at them; a Pacers security guard said he believed the laser was attached to a gun.
  • In a subscriber-only story for The Daily Memphian, Chris Herrington makes a case for why the Grizzlies should be focusing on a three-year contention window and should be active at the trade deadline.
  • The latest budget proposal from Tennessee governor Bill Lee includes funds that would go toward renovating FedExForum, according to Adam Friedman and Duane W. Gang of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. The city of Memphis requested money from the state to put toward the Grizzlies’ home arena in the hopes of ensuring the team remains in the city long-term. The Grizzlies’ lease with the city at FedExForum runs through the 2028/29 season.
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