True To His Nickname, Kyle Anderson Has Slowly But Surely Found His Way With The Memphis Grizzlies
He's a lot more Mike Conley than Ja Morant. A lot more Marc Gasol than Jaren Jackson Jr. He was the piece that Chris Wallace and company thought could serve as a dose of adrenaline to a dying Grit 'n' Grind era on life support. His slow methodical pace wasn't supposed to fit with the #GrzNxtGen era, but at the end of the day, Kyle Anderson has proven to be 'GNG' - regardless of the specifics behind the acronym.
Kyle Anderson's game has always been a mystery. Anderson - a 6'9" point guard in high school and college had always played the game at what seems to be 0.75 speed. That move that you thought should have ended about a half-second ago? Anderson is finishing it while you are preparing for a move that hasn't or shouldn't have happened yet. Confused yet? Well, that's Kyle 'Slow-Mo' Anderson's game. He zigs while his defenders think he should be zagging. Lulling you to sleep while he finishes at the basket just after the nick of time.
My Thoughts On Kyle Anderson
Anderson's fit worked well with last year's team. He was a heady and disciplined defender, with the innate ability to score at the basket. He could find Marc Gasol and Jaren Jackson Jr. in the paint like none other. What he lacked in foot speed and athleticism, he made up in effort and basketball IQ. Anderson fit well with the fleeting remains of the Grit 'n' Grind era last year but many wondered just how he with fit in with Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins' new fast-paced, three-point heavy approach. Even more wondered if he would be able to bounce back from his season-ending shoulder surgery that he had last year as well.
I remember watching Anderson during training camp this fall and thinking to myself that there is no way that he will be able to compete anytime soon. Anderson proved me as well as many others wrong as not only has he been mostly injury-free this season but he has also been a key contributor. Being used as a small forward, power forward and center this season, Anderson has basically been everything that Coach Taylor Jenkins has needed him to be as a starter and as a reserve.
The Grizzlies are currently 8-1 in games when Kyle Anderson is in the starting lineup. With season-long starter Jae Crowder now in Miami and probable starter Justise Winslow still recovering from surgery, Anderson's record will definitely get more of a sample size. An old, wise soul trapped in a 26-year-old's body - Anderson has two more years remaining on his current deal and I look forward to seeing what Anderson will continue to bring on and off of the court until then and possibly for years to come.