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Grizzlies Insider: Decision not to use Melton is perplexing
 
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Memphis Grizzlies' De'Anthony Melton (0) plays against the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone/AP)
 

Memphis Grizzlies' De'Anthony Melton (0) plays against the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone/AP)

Taylor Jenkins just wanted to go with something different. 

That was the explanation the Grizzlies coach gave Tuesday when asked why usual role player De’Anthony Melton did not play Monday against the Phoenix Suns. 

But that reasoning is a little perplexing, even following a Memphis win. 

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Let’s start here: No, Melton is not hurt. He did not appear on the team’s injury report, at least. The team would have also listed him on the injury report if he wasn’t available due to rest. 

He was available. He just didn’t play.

It’s not preposterous to think that a player who was available would not see the floor. It happens all time.

Gorgui Dieng and John Konchar, who each have played well this season, have accounted for a handful of DNPs. Jenkins usually doesn’t like to extend his rotation past 10 players, so guys sit on the bench. 

But for that to be Melton, a player who has a clear and obvious impact on the defensive end off the bench, is surprising. 

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For three straight seasons, Melton has ranked in the top 3% of combo guards in steals per team play. This season he’s already averaging 1.3 steals per game to go with 8.1 points, which is best in his career. 

“I think John (Konchar) has done a good job this year and just got back healthy,” Jenkins said of the decision. “He’s been putting in a lot of work and I just wanted to try something different.”

Does this mean Konchar is likely to be a rotation staple moving forward and Melton will spend more time on the bench? Probably not. 

But there were plenty of reasons why Grizzlies fans were scratching their heads Monday, and now they will have to wait until next week to find out how the rotation changes from here. 

Memphis has had its next three games postponed due to coronavirus complications. 

 

Memphis Grizzlies guard John Konchar (46) brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets during an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (Jacob Kupferman/AP)


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