The Memphis Grizzlies had arguably their best season in the last four years because they qualified for the 2021 NBA playoffs. However, there are several things that they could have done better in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Finishing ninth-placed during the regular season is not considered a successful season. However, the newly-introduced play-in tournament made it possible for the Memphis Grizzlies to have a taste of postseason action. Although their celebrations were short-lived due to a first-round exit, there is hope for a better 2021-22 season.
With the 2021 offseason approaching, it is the perfect time for teams to reflect on things that were great and others that need fixing. The Memphis Grizzlies will be looking to bolster their roster and have another shot at winning the NBA championship.
That said, here are five things that went wrong for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2020-21 NBA season.
#1 Ja Morant did not reach the height many expected
Ja Morant won the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year award over New Orleans Pelicans powerhouse, Zion Williamson. Although it took Zion missing a significant number of games for Morant to clinch the award, the Memphis Grizzlies star also had an impeccable rookie season.
Heading into the 2020-21 season, the Memphis Grizzlies point guard was expected to take the league by storm. He was likened to Russell Westbrook because of how explosive he can be. Although he showcased All-Star potential, Morant was inconsistent with his delivery.
Regardless, Morant led the Memphis Grizzlies in points and assists, averaging 19.1 points and 7.4 assists. Credit is due to the youngster for his resolve to lead the Grizzlies through the play-in tournament. Perhaps they could have gotten better seeding if he had turned up the heat from the very first game.
#2 The Memphis Grizzlies were not a great perimeter shooting team
With how the NBA has progressed over the years, three-point shooting has become more of a necessity. Big men are also trying their hands at it as they are bound to get open looks on occasion. Joel Embiid, Marc Gasol and Brook Lopez are some of the centers that have excelled at three-point shooting in recent years.
The Memphis Grizzlies struggled from the perimeter as they did not have high-profile knockdown shooters. Grayson Allen and Desmond Bane were the shooting guards for the Grizzlies, and while they had decent percentages from three-point range, it was not enough to portray the team as a significant threat in three-point
Memphis Grizzlies wing Desmond Bane was selected to the 2020-21 NBA All-Rookie Second Team, the NBA announced tonight.— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) June 18, 2021
Bane set a franchise rookie record for 3-point field goal percentage (.432) and led all rookies in the category this season.
Press release below. pic.twitter.com/lnAsIeP2Ie
The Memphis Grizzlies finished the regular season ranked 20th in three-point percentage (.356). They made 803 of 2258 attempts from downtown.