Quincy Pondexter isn’t exactly convinced he’s completely returned to form. Then again, the Grizzlies’ reserve swingman can be guilty of partly basing his critique on offensive statistics.

Pondexter sometimes sheepishly talks about not making enough shots following a poor game. Yet all he needs to do for coach Lionel Hollins is make a difference beyond scoring.

The Grizzlies have just 12 games remaining on the regular-season schedule, and quality bench play has become as important as ever. Hollins is looking to rest starters who have logged long minutes over the course of the season. He also wants to cement the end of the rotation with players he can trust to help win playoff games.

The key now is for Griz reserves to become reliable, especially fixtures in the rotation such as Pondexter.

“I’ve been playing horribly so I don’t blame Coach for saying anything like that,” Pondexter said. “I just have to find a way to be consistent. As one of the leaders of the (bench) I have to find a way impact the game and then make sure everyone is on board.”

Pondexter found an all-around groove Monday albeit in a loss to the Washington Wizards. He made shots early and that led to 14 points on 5 of 9 shooting, including four 3-pointers. However, the most encouraging aspect of Pondexter’s performance was that he defended well and grabbed five rebounds.

His play has been erratic since returning from a MCL sprain following the all-star break. The Griz count on the intangibles Pondexter brings to the court as much as — if not more than — his ability to bury corner 3-pointers.

“We’ve got to get something out of Quincy,” Hollins said. “As I’ve said to him, ‘You can’t just be a 3-point shooter. If the ball is not coming to you, you don’t do anything.’ A basketball player is attacking the basket and making plays, rebounding and defending. That’s what wins basketball games. I just want him to be confident in playing the game of basketball.”