The Memphis Grizzlies made a concerted and clear effort to improve their reserves heading into the 2013-14 NBA season. With the additions of Mike Miller in free agency and with the Grizz acquiring Kosta Koufos via a trade with the Denver Nuggets, Memphis clearly recognized the inconsistency of their bench last season and tried to make moves to improve that.
However, the Grizzlies’ bench has been inconsistent as ever through the first four games of their season. Miller and Quincy Pondexter are still trying to find their stroke, though Koufos has been decent. However, the always inconsistent Jerryd Bayless was on the high-side of the roller-coaster ride that is his performance on Monday night against the Boston Celtics.
While the Grizzlies’ defense stifled most attacks that the Celtics tried to mount on Monday night, it was Bayless that proved to be the difference-maker on the other end of the floor. In his 21 minutes off of the bench, the guard put up 15 points on 6-11 shooting from the field while also adding one rebound, one assist, one block and two steals.
Bayless has always had the potential to be a spark-plug off of the bench in the NBA, but hasn’t realized that potential over his career or early on in this season. Before Monday, Bayless was shooting only 34.6 percent from the field, well below an already uninspiring career mark of 41.3 percent.
At this point, it’s hard to expect Bayless to develop any kind of consistency. He’s only 25 years old, but after five years in the league he pretty much seems to have his game set in stone. He’s going to be a player that frustrates you to no end on two nights, but gives you a ton of help on the third night. Such is life for the Grizzlies with Bayless still playing a key role as a reserve.