Fast forward to now, the Grizzlies have lost 18 in a row and are 13-48 since that hot start. That record includes a 34-point loss to Dallas and a 26-point loss to Atlanta. (Throw in a few more losses to Phoenix, Orlando, and Chicago and you can call that a beautiful tank.) Parsons is just returning back to the lineup on a 15-minute restriction. Mike Conley is out. Marc Gasol doesnt play on back-to-backs. And the saving grace all season, named Tyreke Evans, is not playing.
With such a severe drop off, surely there has to be some sort of factor that caused such a drastic tumble? Or maybe it is the first six games of the season that were the outliers. Perhaps the Grizzlies got lucky while other teams were figuring out their chemistry and shaking off rust.
The NBA is more sophisticated than just shelling out luck, especially early in the season. So there has to be a factor that caused the great Grizzlian fall of the 2017-18 season.
What I find most interesting about this season is that aside from Mike Conleys injury and David Fizdales firing, this roster looks like we all thought it would this season. JaMychal Green returned, and though Tyreke Evans played better than expected, we knew he would contribute. Parsons was a question mark, so no one was counting on him to turn the season around; any contribution he gave would just be bonus.
The rest of the roster that includes free agent signee Ben McLemore, Jarell Martin, rookie Dillon Brooks, and sophomores Deyonta Davis, Andrew Harrison, and Wayne Selden were all part of the plan.
Mike Conley sat his first game due to his nagging Achilles injury on November 15th against the Indiana Pacers. He will not return this season. The team was 7-6 in games he played. Thats 11-43 since.
Parsons chipped in three points (1-4 FG, 1-4 3Pt), two rebounds, and two blocks in 16 minutes during Mondays 121-103 loss to the Bucks.
Parsons totaled nine points (3-8 FG, 3-5 3Pt), four dimes, and one board in 15 minutes during Saturdays matchup with the Mavericks, so these last two showings have been decent, albeit in limited action. There is no reason for the Grizzlies to push Parsons too much down the stretch of the regular season, but its clear that the team does have interest in helping him gain some momentum going into the offseason and beyond.