Last season, the Memphis Grizzlies were swept in the Western Conference Finals as they looked completely outmatched by the San Antonio Spurs. One of the biggest reasons was due to their inability to score with the best of the best. Memphis prides themselves on being a defense-first team, but when push comes to shove, they simply can’t score enough to win a championship.
This year, one of the guys that could begin to change that is backup guard Jerryd Bayless. Already this preseason he has shown the ability to knock down shots when his number is called.
Most recently, Bayless stepped in for Mike Conley Jr. on Sunday in a preseason contest with the Atlanta Hawks and scored himself 22 points. The most impressive part though? Bayless finished shooting 8-for-9 from the field. I’d call that an efficient night from the floor.
I lied. The most impressive part of his performance came from beyond the arc, where Bayless was a perfect 6-for-6. In 2012, Bayless shot the three ball at a mediocre 35 percent. If he can up that number to around 38-39 percent, the Grizzlies would be foolish not to also up his minutes in return.
The Grizzlies will of course depend on Conley along with Tony Allen as the starting guards, but behind Bayless lies only Mike Miller as the next best veteran. The rookie Jamaal Franklin could get some minutes here and there if he can provide some offensive reasoning, but Bayless will get the majority of the reserve minutes in terms of guards.
Bayless could solidify himself as a very prominent sixth man this year if he can turn in some more shooting performances like the one he most recently gave the Grizzlies. This season, Memphis needs all the help they can get as they look to rebound from being the 27th ranked scoring team in the league.