When a staff makes a deal on the commerce deadline, there all the time finally ends up being a winner and a loser. In the case of the commerce that despatched Luke Kennard from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Memphis Grizzlies again in February, it is fairly obvious which facet cleaned up on this deal. It’s solely been 16 video games, however Kennard is taking pictures 49.3% from 3-point territory, together with an explosive 30-point efficiency Friday evening in opposition to the Houston Rockets through which he went 10 of 11 from lengthy vary.
Those 10 triples set a Grizzlies document for many 3s made in a recreation, in addition to a career-high for Kennard. He’s additionally simply the second participant in NBA historical past to make a minimum of 10 3-pointers with out trying a single 2-pointer, becoming a member of Malik Beasley on that record.
“Honestly it appears like each shot I take is gonna go in,” Kennard mentioned after the sport. “You get nights like that, and credit score to my teammates and coaches to get me the ball there after I was beginning to really feel it just a little. It feels actually good, not gonna lie.”
Kennard’s efficiency Friday evening confirmed on a grand scale simply how a lot of a win this commerce was for Memphis. This is a staff that ranks twenty second within the league in 3-point share and depends closely upon offensive rebounds and transition play to place factors on the board. But Kennard gives them with one other surefire deep ball menace alongside Desmond Bane to go to within the halfcourt offense.
While Kennard’s an elite spot-up 3-ball menace, he may rating on the transfer, and be a playmaker when wanted. But Friday evening was all about his scorching hand from past the arc, and he showcased his elite capacity to maneuver seamlessly with out the ball, shaking off a number of Houston defenders with ease, flying round screens and getting photographs off earlier than even getting absolutely set.
After the sport, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins lauded Kennard’s efficiency whereas talking in regards to the influence he is had since becoming a member of the staff.
“What an unbelieveable job,” Jenkins mentioned. “Obviously he is popping out speaking about how we have been on him, his teammates have been on him about being extra aggressive. You see his confidence constructing one recreation at a time. Kudos to him and his teammates setting a franchise document as a staff and as a person for us, that is large. You see the flexibility, he is on the market flattening photographs, after which he additionally has three assists. He’s competing on protection, that is why we made the commerce for him.”
Kennard’s heater of an evening, through which the Grizzlies trounced the Rockets 151-114, additionally helped clinch a playoff spot for Memphis. With a 46-27 document, the Grizzlies presently sit second within the Western Conference, and whereas there’s nonetheless time for them to maneuver just a little in these standings, they’re for positive headed to the postseason the place they will be a troublesome staff to beat if Kennard is taking pictures 3s like he was Friday evening.
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