Reviewing Memphis Grizzlies reserve wings in 2022-23, including what happened to Ziaire Williams

An argument can be made that the backcourt was the deepest area of talent for the Memphis Grizzlies coming into the 2022-23 season. Along with having Ja Morant and Tyus Jones make up one of the NBA's top point guard duos, Desmond Bane turned into a high-level shooting guard last season.

Memphis felt so good about its pool of guards that it was willing to trade backup shooting guard De'Anthony Melton to secure a first-round pick that turned into David Roddy. That trade also helped the Grizzlies land Luke Kennard at the trade deadline.

Guard play in the NBA is as important as ever. More teams are running a high volume of pick-and-rolls, plus 3-point shooting is emphasized. The Grizzlies under coach Taylor Jenkins have emphasized shooting more 3-pointers and layups.

Through trades and injuries, the Grizzlies created a stable core of guards that played a major role in securing the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Here's how the backup guards fared this season.

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Two seasons in one for Tyus Jones

It was a tale of two seasons for Jones. Or maybe a better way to put it is a tale of two players. When Jones started in place of Morant, his numbers were comparable to other starting point guards. He averaged 16.4 points and 8.1 assists while shooting 50% from the field and 41.5% on 3-pointers. However, those numbers decreased when he came off the bench. Jones' scoring and assist numbers dropped as expected with less minutes, but his field goal percentage decreased to 39.7% overall and 35% on 3-pointers. The most notable moment came in the playoffs. Jones struggled mightily, averaging 4.5 points and shooting 30.6% overall and 15.8% on 3-pointers. Memphis went 13-9 in game started by Jones. Jones was the perfect fill-in for Morant when the two-time All-Star wasn't available, but he left a lot to be desired in his role as a backup.

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Luke Kennard's shooting changes the offense

Bane was the one shooter the Grizzlies could rely on most of the season before Kennard arrived. Memphis traded for Kennard, and he quickly made an impact by shooting 54% on 3-pointers in 24 games. The Grizzlies had incredible success in Game 5 against the Lakers when Kennard shared the floor for more minutes with Bane to maximize spacing and shooting. The Lakers did a good job of exposing Kennard's limited ability to create shots by being physical with him and staying attached. As a counter, the attention that Kennard gets on the floor tends to lead to easier shots for teammates. Not having Kennard in Game 6 against allowed the Lakers to crowd Bane and limit the Grizzlies' ability to create space and easy looks. Kennard's presence was a present for the Grizzlies.

John Konchar wants to keep shooting

The message for John Konchar coming into the season was to shoot more 3-pointers. His volume slightly increased, but his 3-point percentage went from 41.3% last season to a career-low 33.9%. Konchar's defense and ability to rebound from his wing position are reasons Jenkins likes to have him in the rotation, but his 3-point shooting wasn't good enough after Memphis signed him to a three-year extension before the season.

What happened to Ziaire Williams?

One of the biggest mysteries from this season was how Ziaire Williams went from a promising player who the Grizzlies were high on, to a 2021 top-10 pick playing minutes in the G League with the Memphis Hustle. Williams was a focal point in Summer League last season as the Grizzlies put the ball in his hands more in preparation for the season. An injury in a preseason game set Williams back, and he never found his footing in the rotation for an extended stretch. Williams shined inside the 3-point line like he did as a rookie. He shot 59.6% on twos, but almost half of his shot attempts were 3-pointers despite shooting 25.8%. It has become clear that Williams is most effective when he's getting to the rim and shooting mid-range jumpers, but an overreliance on 3-pointers has led to his efficiency numbers being below average.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Grizzlies' season wing reviews, including for Tyus Jones, Luke Kennard