Why Dillon Brooks' 20-Plus Points Stat Might Be The Most Intriguing Stat For The Memphis Grizzlies Beyond This Season

Anthony Sain

So far this season the Memphis Grizzlies (8-16) are undefeated (6-0) in games that starting shooting guard Dillon Brooks scores twenty or more points. This is, of course, an interesting stat if you only look at it at its surface but beyond Dillon Brooks, per se there might be more at it's core going forward.

Dillon Brooks has been a polarizing player over the course of his career with the Grizzlies, to say the least.  Many viewed him as a perfect young l player for the future when he arrived to play alongside Marc Gasol and Mike Conley on the wing but after a promising rookie season and an injury-shortened second season, Brooks has had a solid third season so far although mostly inconsistent.  There are games when he is effecient and knocking down shots from everywhere all while barking in people's faces. There are also games when Brooks has a questionable shot selection and leaves you gazing admirably at Kelly Oubre.

I personally don't see Dillon Brooks as the long term answer at either wing position for the long term future, but he is definitely someone that I want to see be a part of the team's future going forward.  I don't see him as a 30 minutes per game starter, but I can definitely see him as a valuable piece off of the bench.  High energy, aggressive guys like Brooks are the type that you see showing up in big moments in the playoffs; hitting crucial baskets and making momentum-swinging stops on defense.

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Possibly the most intriguing thing to me about the team's undefeated record when Brooks scores 20 points or more is because of the same way that I view Brooks going forward.  I don't look at the stat as a 'Dillon Brooks' stat as much as I look at it as a 'starting wing' stat.  I suggest that assuming that the Grizzlies find their long term answer at either wing position within the next year or so, this 20-plus point stat could have a much more significant meaning.

If Brooks is playing outside of his true expectation level - meaning that he is a reserve role player that is being asked to produce as the starting scoring wing within Coach Taylor Jenkins system, you can assume that once the actual starter level scoring wing is slotted into his position that it will lead to a winning formula.  Could another season of draft lottery luck, a clever free agent signing, or a bold trade for the wing position be what provides the answer to this Grizzlies rebuilding formula?  I for one think that it could be.

The combination of Ja Morant - an uber-athletic point guard with elite-level ball handle and vision, Jaren Jackson Jr. - a unique hybrid of post play and three-point accuracy with top tier defensive potential plus a scoring wing making shots from the outside has been a winning formula so far.  I'm not sold Brooks being that third player but the statistic alone still shows a ton of promise and reason to look towards a bring future.