It appears that the Memphis Grizzlies have a set starting five. This five does not include Zach Randolph and judging by his performances, this suits him just fine.
The Memphis Grizzlies are having a much better year this year with injuries. They have their starting five settled. Of course, it would not be an NBA season if there was not at least one player of a team injured and Chandler Parsons has been that player for Memphis.
The starting five for Memphis is Mike Conley, James Ennis, Parsons, JaMychal Green and Marc Gasol. This starting five appears to be able to take on most others in the league. Currently the Memphis Grizzlies are sitting fourth in the Western Conference with a 9-5 record.
Offensively, the Grizzlies are not great, 22nd in offensive rating is never a good thing. However, it is their defense which is getting them the wins. They are sitting fourth in defensive rating.
Now, most second units tend to leak points. That is the nature of second units. Unfortunately for the NBA, the Memphis second unit includes Vince Carter and the conductor of the grit and grind orchestra, Zach Randolph.
Of the 15 games so far, Randolph has had a negative plus minus four times. He has been even on the night twice and plus nine times.
Randolph has scored double figures in all but one game so far this season. The only game he missed out was the 36 point loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves where it is pretty safe to say that the club had a bad day on that one.
Randolph is averaging 22 minutes a game. In that time Randolph has amassed 14.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.4 steals a game. His points are coming at 49 percent from the field so Randolph is rarely wasting any opportunities that are coming his way.
The amazing this is that Randolph has been doing this coming off the bench. In his 999 games in the NBA, he has started 820 times. Of the 15 games so far this season, Randolph has started none. This appears to be working for Randolph.
Randolph has always been a tough and gritty defender and with him on the court leading the second unit, others are playing better defense as a result.
His offense is also allowing other members of the second unit to score more as he needs to be double teamed more as he is a still a quality player who could start.
Randolph is playing 21..9 minutes per game this season. His career average is 31.7 minutes per game. In ten minutes less per game, Randolph is scoring 14.4 points per game, only 2.5 points per game less than his career average of 16.9 points per game.
Randolph is able to keep his scoring rate high due to his improvement in his field goal percentage. His career number is 47.3 percent which is a quality number. This season he is shooting at 49.1 percent, the second highest field goal percentage of his career.
Randolph’s rebounding has also not suffered much for the loss of game time. He is collecting 7.9 rebounds per game, compared to his career mark of 9.3 per game.
These numbers are impressive. These numbers are great for a second unit player. The impact that he is having on the Grizzlies is easily as good as that which Jamal Crawford is having on the Los Angeles Clippers.
There are several other players who will contend for this award apart from these two, some of these are Enes Kanter of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors or Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Lakers. If he keeps going the way that he is then Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets will be a serious contender for this award as well as others.