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Grizzlies Grades: Marc Gasol garners an NAD for "Not a Dream"

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All hail Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, your respective valedictorian and salutatorian of the first-ever Memphis Grizzlies opening night victory.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Timberwolves 101 - Grizzlies 105

Report Card


Mike Conley: 34 MIN | 16 PTS | 7-14 FG | 1-4 3PT | 6 AST | 1 REB | 1 STL | 1 TO | +15

B. After an ehhh first half in which he scored just four on five shots, Conley was more aggressive in the second frame. He canned a three to open the second half, and swiped his only steal of the game straight from the lap of a Timberwolf at midcourt, leading to a Grizzly bucket. With about 2:30 left in the game, Mike Conley, Jr. had a nice take that should've been an and-one, a solid capper to his steady if unspectacular season debut. 

Courtney Lee: 36 MIN | 14 PTS | 5-11 FG | 2-4 3PT | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 REB | 1 BLK | 3 TO | +8

B-. Lee was another first half ho-hummer, as maybe he thought we were still doing preseason things. Or perhaps it was because Dave Joerger was going all #FEED50 there for the first quarter. Either way, Lee had a nice second half, hit a couple threes, launched a fantastically gross airball on a scramble play in the 4th, and scored 14 points.

Tony Allen: 33 MIN | 8 PTS | 4-8 FG | 5 AST | 3 REB | 3 STL | 3 TO | +10

TA. Sometimes you deserve credit for just being yourself. The 2014/15 season opener was indeed Allenian, as we were gifted many early Halloween tricks and treats: a sneaky first half back cut and layup; a layup off the bottom of the rim, one of the hors d'oeuvres of the Tony Allen experience; a muscle-rippling first down signal there in the second half; a poked-between-the-legs swipe of Rubio in the 3rd; and a near-foul of the jump-shooting Chase Budinger at the buzzer that would've led to Brevin Knight tearing his suit and wearing sackcloth for the next Grizzlies broadcast.

Zach Randolph: 35 MIN | 25 PTS | 12-16 FG | 13 REB | 1 AST | 1 BLK | 1 STL | 5 TO | +11

A. ZBo was, as the Romans say, strong last night. The man had 12 points in the first quarter, when he scored on 6 of 7 tries. Randolph bullied Thaddeus Young (who kindly returned the favor on the other end) all night, amassing 25 points and 13 rebounds, with a handful of Z-bounds tossed in there to spice things up.

Marc Gasol: 37 MIN | 32 PTS | 12-17 FG | 8-10 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | +9

NAD. That's an acronym I just made up here with my coffee steaming and the autumn air wisping through my open windows: Not a Dream. Big Marc scored a career-high 32 points last night, and it never felt like he even tapped into "more aggressive Marc." Gasol, as he does, let the game come to him--hitting those gorgeous 18-foot set shots (is it me or were a couple of those from about a step and a half back from where he shot them last year?), whirling into the lane for scoop shots, running the break if necessary, and even thunderously (?) dunking (?!) one time. Gasol performed the classic nut slap/dunk combo on Gorgui Dieng in the first half, and gleefully tried to take a charge on Corey Brewer's half-court heave to end the first. I love Marc.


Jon Leuer: 19 MIN | 0 PTS | 0-4 FG | 3 REB | 1 BLK | -8

C. Leuer was definitely out there. My notes indicate that at one point he made a nice defensive play, and my roommates -- whose attention I directed to the Grizzlies game, playing on the smaller of our two TVs we set up in our basement for a kind of World Series/NBA sports bar experience -- indicate that I maybe got a little too excited about that Leuer backwards volleyball tap to Gasol.

Kosta Koufos: 5 MIN | 0 PTS | 1 REB | -2

C-. Wherefore art thou, Kosta?

Quincy Pondexter: 11 MIN | 4 PTS | 1-2 FG | 1-2 3PT | 1 AST | -7

C+. Q had a spunky offensive run there in the first half, dealing a nice pass to ZBo for a layup, and hitting that big three before the half. The Grizzlies obvs need to get more out of Pondexter if we're going to reprise the...what did we call them...the Zoo Crew? Actually wait never mind.

Beno Udrih: 14 MIN | 2 PTS | 1-3 FG | 0-1 3PT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 TO | -11

H for "Hmmmmmm." As I revisit the box score, it's clear that Beno Udrih made a decently lengthy appearance in last night's game, and yet, my memory offers only the slightest blur, my notes blank. Beno Udrih!

Vince Carter: 16 MIN | 4 PTS | 1-7 FG | 0-4 3 PT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | -5

C-. Thought about just leaving my ENJF grade from the Rockets preseason game, as Vince seems to really like playing for the Memphis Grizzlies at least. Sure, he was 1-7, but the one was nice: a fading jumper inside the arc. He also drew the foul at the end and made some big free throws. Let's change that grade to a C+ because, well, I like Vince Carter and I can. C+